Modern Portrait of George Washington Draws Attention


“He was quite fancy,” she said. “I don’t think he would look as slick as Mitt Romney, but you would be able to recognize that it was well tailored. If he couldn’t wear Prada, he would probably have it custom made.”

Dean Malissa, who has been described as the “world’s greatest George Washington impersonator,” agreed that the first president “was a bit of a fashion plate.” He also tended to dress more formally than his peers. “When men of his day took their coats off when it was blistering hot, he kept his on,” said Mr. Malissa, a longtime portrayer of Washington at Mount Vernon.

Mr. Hardy does not know who designed the coat his George Washington is wearing, just that it was worn by Representative Roger Williams of Texas. He picked Mr. Williams as a base image for his Photoshop creation after searching online for “U.S. politician” and scrolling for a bit, he said. He then combined this image with photos of Glenn Close and Michael Douglas because an article on celebrities that look like historical figures made a compelling case to him that they had a bit of Washington in them.

Ms. Coe, the political historian, said that she did not see any of the 6-foot-2-inch Washington, known to carry himself like an athlete, in the narrow shoulders. Nor does she imagine that a man who put so much effort into his hair would be photographed looking like Mr. Hardy’s creation. (No, George Washington did not wear a wig, contrary to what many assume.)

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Janice Hill

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