The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (MVLA) has selected Mount Vernon’s Robert H. Smith Senior Curator Susan P. Schoelwer as its new executive director of Historic Preservation and Collections.
In this role, she will oversee the preservation and research of Mount Vernon’s historic core, landscape, and museum collections while fulfilling the preservation mission of the MVLA. Schoelwer will be responsible for maintaining the estate’s historical accuracy and for prioritizing work so that all of Mount Vernon’s cultural resources are preserved.
“Susan brings a rich and learned background of curatorial expertise and a gracious collegial spirit to this position,” said Mount Vernon Regent Sarah Coulson. “As the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association endeavors to preserve and protect this unique historic site, we will be guided by Susan and her team to advance our strong legacy of scholarly preservation and curatorial work for generations to come.”
Schoelwer served as Mount Vernon’s curator from 2010 to 2014 and the Robert H. Smith Curator from 2014 to 2018. A few highlights of her career at Mount Vernon include directing the award-winning exhibition Lives Bound Together: Slavery at George Washington’s Mount Vernon; overseeing the reinstallations of the New Room, Blue Room, Chintz Room, and greenhouse slave quarters; and directing the exhibitions Gardens & Groves: George Washington’s Landscape at Mount Vernon and Take Note! George Washington the Reader. She has authored and presented many scholarly papers related to her work.
Prior to her time at Mount Vernon, Schoelwer directed the museum collections at the Connecticut Historical Society for 11 years. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she holds a M.A. in Early American Culture from the Winterthur Program at the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University, the premier American Studies program in the country.