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Washington-Portrait Tour Plays Vegas

June 28, 2002|From Associated Press

America's first president has arrived in Las Vegas in time to celebrate the nation's birthday.

A full-body portrait of George Washington is making its second stop in an eight-city tour as a reminder to Americans that he defined the U.S. presidency, said Marc Pachter, director of the National Portrait Gallery, which launched the national three-year tour over Presidents Day weekend.

The 1796 painting by Gilbert Stuart, who also painted the portrait used on the dollar bill, shows Washington in the final year of his second term. It depicts his final appearance before Congress, three years before his death.

The portrait, which came from its first stop in Houston, opens to the public Saturday in time for July 4 celebrations. It remains at the Las Vegas Art Museum through Oct. 27 before traveling to Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Ark., and New York City. The tour also features educational programs about Washington; organizers have launched a Web site (www.npg.si.edu) about the portrait.

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