June 21, 2013
Replicating the First Oval Office
During the Revolutionary War George Washington's office and sleeping tent served as a makeshift Oval Office for the future president. That very tent will be on display at the Museum of the Revolution when it opens in Philadelphia. In the meantime, this spring the Museum teamed up with Colonial Williamsburg to create a replica tent for display in Virginia. This effort required a team of expert historians, craftsmen, and stitchers. Museum staff sat down with a few of them for a behind-the-scenes look at the process.
First, Scott Stephenson, Director of Collections and Interpretation at the Museum of the American Revolution, and Mark Hutter, journeyman tailor at Colonial Williamsburg, discuss the process of replicating the iconic marquee.
Next, Scott Stephenson and Neal Hurst, journeyman tailor at Colonial Williamsburg, discuss the methods being used to create a historically faithful reproduction.
Scott Stephenson returns for an interview with Nicole Rudolph, a stitcher and interpreter for the First Oval Office project, about the history behind the fabrication of this and similar tents.
Finally, Museum Collections Manager Michelle Presnall talks to Colonial Williamsburg journeyman saddler Jay Howlett about his recreation of George Washington's portmanteau, a collapsable trunk believed to hold his camp mattress and bedding.