Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Overview

Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's mountaintop home in Charlottesville, Virginia, has attracted public attention ever since Jefferson's own day, when sightseers regularly visited the grounds in the hope of catching a glimpse of the former president. In our own day, Monticello has been added to the United Nation' list of World Heritage Sites that must be protected at all costs, designating the house and grounds as an international treasure.

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello is a ...

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Overview

Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's mountaintop home in Charlottesville, Virginia, has attracted public attention ever since Jefferson's own day, when sightseers regularly visited the grounds in the hope of catching a glimpse of the former president. In our own day, Monticello has been added to the United Nation' list of World Heritage Sites that must be protected at all costs, designating the house and grounds as an international treasure.

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello is a collection of essays and color photography showcasing this extraordinary American home. Featuring essays written by scholars at Monticello, chapters focus on all aspects of the house and plantation. Monticello, a model of elegance and symmetry, was designed by Jefferson himself, whose architectural prowess prompted a visitor in 1782 to note: "Mr. Jefferson is the first American who has consulted the Fine Arts to know how he should shelter himself from the weather." Inside, Jefferson assembled a world-class collection of objects and furnishings: art and porcelain from France, scientific instruments from England, the finest American furniture from Philadelphia and New York, natural artifacts brought back from the West, as well as furnishings made in Monticello's own joinery by enslaved craftsmen. Surrounding the house, Monticello's celebrated gardens and grounds form an experimental yet breathtakingly lovely landscape of flowers, fruits, and vegetables from the Old and New Worlds. A final chapter on the plantation and the enslaved community at Monticello provides a context in which to place and understand the house and its owner.

With an introductory essay by Wendell Garrett, this compilation is a comprehensive, long-awaited study of Thomas Jefferson's "little mountain."

University of Virginia Press

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Editorial Reviews

Southern Living
This book takes us on a photographic and textual adventure into the spirit of Monticello and its architect, Thomas Jefferson.
Los Angeles Times
This is a rare coffee-table book, not only handsome but full of worthwhile text and insights into the life and thinking of Jefferson as president, architect and Renaissance man.
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Many books have been devoted to Monticello; this stands with the best.
Garry Wills
This beautiful book captures the home's aesthetic appeal, and the experts writing the text bring new information on the way Jefferson lived, studied, and created there.
Los Angeles Times
This is a rare coffee-table book, not only handsome but full of worthwhile text and insights into the life and thinking of Jefferson as president, architect and Renaissance man. Along with excellent photographs of Monticello's interiors and gardens, the book explains the contemporaneous influences that shaped Jefferson's design and use of the house.
Southern Living
Every approaching step reveals the magnitude of [Monticello's] ingenuity, from its gardens and vineyards to its architectural nuances. This book takes us on a photographic and textual adventure into the spirit of Monticello. . . . This tribute gives us insight into the complexity of the statesman and his residence, which is the only American house on the United Nations' list of World Heritage sites.
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Product Details

Meet the Author


William L. Beiswanger is Robert H. Smith Director of Restoration at Monticello and has overseen numerous landscape and building restoration projects there. He is a contributor to the National Trust books American Landscape Architecture and Master Builders, and the author of Monticello in Measured Drawings.

Director of Gardens and Grounds since 1977, Peter J. Hatch is responsible for the care, restoration, and interpretation of Jefferson's Monticello landscape. He is an authority on Jefferson's gardening interests and on the history of plants in American gardens. His most recent book is The Fruits and Fruit Trees of Monticello.

Lucia Stanton is Shannon Senior Research Historian at Monticello. The author or co-editor of various books on Jefferson, including Jefferson's Memorandum Books, Free Some Day: The African-American Families of Monticello, and Slavery at Monticello, she is currently involved in an oral history of the descendants of Jefferson's slaves, which is part of her research on the African-American families of Monticello and on the plantation at large.

Curator of Monticello since 1986, Susan R. Stein has responsibility for Thomas Jefferson's world-famous house and the wide variety of artifacts that relate to Jefferson's life on the mountain. She organized the landmark 1993 exhibition that commemorated the 250th anniversary of Jefferson's birth and produced the exhibition catalog The Worlds of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello.

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Table of Contents


Foreward

Preface

Thomas Jefferson's Essay in Architecture

A Look Inside Monticello

Furnishing Monticello: Jefferson as Consumer and Collector

The Gardens of Monticello

The Plantation: A Day in the Life

Notes

Suggested Readings

Acknowledgments and Photo Credits

Index

About the Contributors

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