Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Washington

As "father of our country" and the nation's first president, George Washington earned his place as the foremost figure in the presidential portrait. Born in 1732 in Virginia, as a youth he surveyed what was then considered the western wilderness, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. At only 23 years of age, he commanded the Virginia militia, then served as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. He was a justice of the peace and then commander-in-chief of the Continental Army before assuming his most illustrious role as the first president of the United States.

Washington is remembered for helping the nation achieve its independence from England and for ensuring that Americans have a -repre-sen-tative form of -govern-ment. 

Before sculpting his own vision of Washington, Borglum studied portraits by Rembrant Peale and Gilbert Stewart, as well as a life mask by French artist Antoine Houdon.