Gunston Hall

Welcome to Gunston Hall

Summer Saturdays

Summer Saturdays

Lazy summer? Hardly!

Kids and the young at heart should visit Gunston Hall every Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. in June,  July and August for unique, hands-on adventures. No RSVP required. Included with admission.

Each week we explore a different theme - from walking tours to hearth cooking, everything we do will be focused on that.  Check back for more details and the theme for each week.
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Virginia Declaration of Rights
240th Anniversary Celebration

“That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights...” - Virginia Declaration of Rights

When George Mason wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776, he was the first to codify freedoms that Americans still hold dear today. Join Gunston Hall in celebrating the Virginia Declaration of Rights by exploring the democratic ideals penned by Mason. In honor of the 240th anniversary of the ratification of this seminal document, Gunston Hall is planning a year-long celebration with new programs, special events, and community collaborations in 2016.

This educational initiative will include a diverse offering of experiences at Gunston Hall and in locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic. High school students are invited to respond to The NSCDA's 2016 Essay Contest question, centered on the continuing relevance of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and to participate in a school program on Mason and the Constitution. People around the world will hear from guest bloggers on the topic of Why Rights Matter.

A schedule of anniversary events is listed below. Stay tuned for additional information!

September 10
Naturalization Ceremony
Gunston Hall, Mason Neck, VA

October 5
Symposium: Dissent in Democracy
National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA

November (Date TBD)
Town Hall: Responsibilities of Citizens
Newseum, Washington, DC

December 15
Bill of Rights Day
National Archives, Washington, DC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact: David DuVal
703-550-9220
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Gunston Hall Receives Highest National Recognition
Awarded Re-Accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums

MASON NECK, VA, July 27, 2015 – Gunston Hall has again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition for a museum. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. Gunston Hall has been accredited since 1988. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review every ten years to maintain accredited status.

AAM Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for nearly 45 years, AAM’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

Of the nation’s nearly 17,500 museums over 1000 are currently accredited. Gunston Hall is one of 59 museums accredited in Virginia.

“Gunston Hall is honored to have been awarded subsequent accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. I could not be more proud of our Board of Regents, our staff, and our volunteers for their tremendous effort and passionate commitment to meeting all the requirements necessary to be recognized in this fashion,” said Scott Stroh, Gunston Hall’s Executive Director.

Accreditation is a very rigorous but highly rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, a panel of seven museum professionals, consider the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.

“By virtue of being awarded accreditation, Gunston Hall has been recognized as a national leader in the museum field. This professional recognition will enhance our reputation, facilitate partnerships, increase our credibility, and inspire engagement as we strive to fulfill our mission, build audience, garner support, and provide maximum value to those we are proud to serve,” shared Stroh.

Gunston Hall is an educational agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia governed by a Board of Regents comprised of members of The National Society of Colonial Dames of America. As the 18th-century home of George Mason, Gunston Hall is committed to stimulating the continuing public exploration of democratic ideals as first presented by Mason in the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights. Gunston Hall features daily guided tours, an active archaeology site, and special events offered throughout the year. For more information, call 703-550-9220 or visit www.gunstonhall.org.

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. With more than 18,000 individual, 3,000 institutional and 300 corporate members, the Alliance is dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of the American landscape, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience, past, present and future. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.

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The Architecture of Democracy
November 5, 2015


How does the built environment contribute to or detract from our democracy?  And what ideas and historical events shaped our founders’ ideas of democracy?  Gunston Hall’s upcoming symposium “The Architecture of Democracy” will look both figuratively and literally at some of the ways we have constructed our unique government.

Click here to register. 
$95 for non-members
$75 for members
Registration fee includes morning snacks, lunch, speaking program, a visit to the mansion, and reception.


Program:

9:00 a.m.
Registration Opens

9:30 a.m.
Welcome
Scott M. Stroh, III, Executive Director, Gunston Hall

9:45 a.m.
Speaking Program
Denver Brunsman, George Washington University
"Subjects to Citizens: The Birth of America's Democratic Experiment"

Louis Nelson, University of Virginia
“Architectures of West African Enslavement”

Ryan K. Smith, Virginia Commonwealth University
"Robert Morris's Folly, or, The Place of the Palace in the Early American Republic"

Courtney Speckmann, White House Historical Association
"The White House as 'The People's House'"

4:30 p.m.
Reception

Location:

Gunston Hall Visitor Center
10709 Gunston Road, Mason Neck, VA 22079


Speaker bios:

Denver Brunsman is Associate Professor of History at George Washington University, where he writes and teaches on the politics and social history of the American Revolution, early American republic, and British Atlantic world. His courses include “George Washington and His World,” taught annually at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. He completed his MA and Ph.D. degrees at Princeton University and his BA at St. Olaf College. His book, The Evil Necessity: British Naval Impressment in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (2013), received the Walker Cowen Memorial Prize for an outstanding work in eighteenth-century studies in the Americas and Atlantic world. He is also a coauthor of the leading college textbook, Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People (2015), as well as an editor of The American Revolution Reader (2013) and Colonial America: Essays in Politics and Social Development (2011), among other works.

Louis Nelson is an Associate Professor of Architectural History, the Associate Dean for Research and International Programs in the School of Architecture, and the Director of the Program in Historic Preservation. He is a specialist in the built environments of American colonial architecture and the architectures and landscapes of the early modern Atlantic world. One of Nelson's recent publications, an article Buildings and Landscapes on "Architectures of West African Enslavement," won the 2015 Bishir Prize for Excellence in Vernacular Architecture and Cultural Landscapes.

Ryan K. Smith has been on the faculty of the Department of History at VCU since 2004, where he is an Associate Professor and also Director of Graduate Studies. Previously, he worked at the Library of Virginia, the Winterthur Museum, and other public history sites. Smith received his Ph.D. in American Civilization from the University of Delaware in 2002, and an M.A. in American history from the College of William and Mary in 1998. He specializes in American material culture and religious history. His most recent book was published in 2014 by Yale University Press as Robert Morris's Folly: The Architectural and Financial Failures of an American Founder.

Courtney Speckmann is the Director of Education at the White House Historical Association, where she has worked for seven years. A graduate of the George Washington University Museum Education Program, Speckmann has also worked at the National Cathedral and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. She has contributed to programs, publications, and exhibitions for visitors and learners of all ages.

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