Tudor Place Blog
- February 16, 2017
On February 17, 2017, Tudor Place joined hundreds of other museums, historic sites, archives, libraries, science centers and cultural organizations on social media to address confusion over “alternative facts.” This “Day of Facts,” in the words of its grass roots organizers, reaffirmed “values of curiosity, intellectual pursuit and openness. Facts matter, our visitors matter, and we will remain trusted sources of knowledge.”
These are the stories behind the facts shared by Tudor Place:
Marietta Minnigerode Andrews: Artist, Poet and Author
Born in Richmond, Virginia, Marietta Minnigerode Andrews (1869-1931) studied art in ... (continue reading)
- November 23, 2016
As a granddaughter and namesake of Martha Washington, Tudor Place founder Martha Parke Custis Peter inherited several important pieces of her correspondence following the death of the first president.
Since 2015, the University of Virginia has been annotating and publishing the Mrs. Washington’s letters as part of an ongoing partnership between The Washington Papers project (formerly the Papers of George Washington) and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. Inspired by this project, Tudor Place Archivist Wendy Kail has added to the record by studying her letters and draft replies at ... (continue reading)
- October 20, 2016
Who were they, the founders of Tudor Place? Martha Parke Custis Peter and Thomas Peter, civic leaders in Georgetown and the capital city, helped shape our national life but few Americans today know their names. That anonymity belies the tangible legacy they left, thanks to the constancy of their descendants and an almost genetic devotion to preservation in the lasting family line.
A businessman, landowner, and slaveholder, Thomas began life with great wealth accumulated by his father, a Scottish immigrant. Active in the business of Georgetown and the new city of Washington, he pursued personal interests extending to farming, horse racing, playing his flute (now in the ... (continue reading)
- September 12, 2016
In the state of Maryland, every September 12 is Defenders Day, commemorating a crucial American victory in the War of 1812. The Battle of Fort McHenry helped reverse American losses and also inspired a British prisoner’s poem that became our national anthem. It also recalls a hero with ties to Tudor Place who, less than a month before, had defied U.S. Army superiors to fight the calamitous British attack on Washington.
Tudor Place founder Thomas Peter had no fancy for a military life, but his brother George Peter (1779-1861) did. On August 24, 1814, Major Peter commanded a light artillery company that was one of the few to return ... (continue reading)
- August 25, 2016
Nora Pehrson explains the origins of her essay on Britannia, written while interning here during her senior at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C. Nora now attends Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
I was drawn to Britannia’s story because of an abiding interest in women’s history. I wanted to situate Britannia in the broader context of her time. Around the time that Britannia was on the marriage market, the abolitionist and advocate for women’s rights Sarah Grimké wrote “Letters on the Equality of the Sexes,” in which she asserted that the American woman was “a cipher in the nation” because marriage rendered her ... (continue reading)
- June 1, 2016
Visit us free all summer! We invite active-duty members of the U.S. military, including National Guard and Reserve, and their family members traveling with or without them, to tour free from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Like about 2,000 other U.S. institutions, we are a Blue Star Museum, part of a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense. Tudor Place also honors service families with free admission on Veterans Day, November 11.
Up to six members of one family at a time (including children, spouse, and other kin) may join any regular house tour or self-guided garden visit free of ... (continue reading)
- April 2, 2016
Though grand by city standards even when the Peters first purchased it in 1805, the original eight and a half acres of Tudor Place was by no means their largest property. Most affluent urban families of the time owned large farms, and the Peters were no exception. Among the lands Thomas Peter inherited from his father Robert was a tract in Montgomery County that the family called Oakland, part of a coveted royal land grant once known as Conclusion. On it they husbanded not just Peter’s cherished race horses, but also crops, lumber, cows and hogs, ... (continue reading)
- April 1, 2016
To meet Americans’ growing fascination with land use, ecology, and food sources, and to mark the site’s bicentennial, the Tudor Place Foundation has reassessed the National Historic Landmark’s interpretive focus. As of today, April 1, 2016, in a nod to its semi-agrarian origins, the site has been converted to a working farm.
Executive Director Mark Hudson, who came to Tudor Place in October, spearheaded the redirection. “Tudor Place was just too many things to too many people,” he explained. “It has a vast archive and more than 15,000 artifacts and tells stories of American domestic and political life over more than 200 years. Imagine trying to cover all that in a 55-minute ... (continue reading)
- March 26, 2016
2016 Garden Party Honors Tudor Place on Its Bicentennial
Mary Michael Wachur Invitations have been mailed. Director of Development Please register online. 202.580.7323 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The 24th Annual Garden Party to support Tudor Place will take place on May 25, 2016, celebrating a rare American milestone, the National Historic Landmark’s year-long Bicentennial, with a party for 500 under an elegant lawn tent in the estate’s 5½-acre garden. Chaired by Ms. Marcia V. Mayo, the event recognizes the 200th anniversary by naming as honoree Tudor Place itself. Now a historic house museum ... (continue reading)
- January 14, 2016
Cleaning, counting, and assessing conditions are all part of the drill when the museum closes each year for what we call the “January Clean.” Rugs are rolled up, paintings removed from walls for examination, and the walls themselves examined. In the garden, bricks are relaid and trees trimmed amid the usual plant care and preparations for spring. The Museum Shop undergoes a careful inventory (14,000 postcards!), while in offices and workspaces elsewhere on the property, closets and cabinets are straightened, files sorted, and other year-long accumulations dealt with.
For collections staff especially, close examinations of objects left quietly undisturbed the other 11 months of the ... (continue reading)