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BY SHAUN TOLSON I PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALVARO FONTAN
Patriotic Pursuts







With a penchant for historical preservation,


Robert B. Pamplin Jr. has amassed a collection of artifacts 

that encapsulates the life and legacy of George Washington.















T

he list of indi- to the artifacts and art associ- 

viduals who shaped ated with him. The 72-year- 
the identity of the old Pamplin serves as the 

United States of
president and CEO of his 
America during the late 18th
namesake firm, R.B. Pam- 

century includes, among other
plin Corp.—a business that 
patriots, John Adams, Thomas
includes ventures in textiles, 

Jefferson, and Benjamin
agriculture, and entertain- 
Franklin. Of the 70 delegates
ment—and he has demon- 

appointed to the Constitu-
strated inancial acumen from

tional Convention by the original 13 states, however, a young age (as an undergraduate, he made his irst 
none were as revered as George Washington, the ledg- million dollars by taking a $113,000 inheritance and 

ling nation’s former commander in chief of the Con- carefully investing it in the stock market).
tinental Army. As historian Michael P. Riccards once Pamplin is equally passionate about historical pres- 

wrote of the decorated general, “Of all the leaders who ervation, however. He is the founder of Pamplin His- 
emerged from the crucible of the Revolution, no one torical Park and the National Museum of the Civil 

combined better the attributes of experience, sagac- War Soldier in Petersburg, Va., and as a collector, he 
ity, and ‘gravitas’ that so captivated the imaginations has made George Washington one of his many areas 

of his fellow countrymen than George Washington.”
of focus. “History is the genesis and the real visceral 
Given Washington’s place in history, it was inevi- feeling of why I collect,” Pamplin explains. “People say 

table that Robert B. Pamplin Jr. would be attracted
that history is a dead study and that it’s the past, but



As a historical-artifacts collector with a penchant for ine art, Robert B. Pamplin Jr. owns numerous paintings of George Washington, 

including an Edward Percy Moran scene of Washington being presented with the Declaration of Independence (opposite) and a copy 
of the Athenaeum Portrait by Gilbert Stuart (above), which is considered the most recognizable image of the irst president.








OCTOBER 2013


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