New Book | Thomas Jefferson at Monticello

Posted in books by Editor on September 21, 2021

From Rizzoli:

Leslie Greene Bowman and Charlotte Moss, eds., with photographs by Miguel Flores-Vianna, and contributions by Annette Gordon-Reed, Carla Hayden, Jay McInerney, Jon Meacham, Xavier Salomon, Gil Schafer, Alice Waters, and Thomas Woltz, Thomas Jefferson at Monticello: Architecture, Landscape, Collections, Books, Food, Wine (New York: Rizzoli Electa, 2021), 208 pages, ISBN: 978-0847865222, $45.

This visually stunning volume explores Monticello, both house and plantation, with texts that present a current assessment of Jefferson’s cultural contributions to his noteworthy home and the fledgling country.

Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), third president of the United States, designed his Virginia residence with innovations that were progressive, even unprecedented, in the new world. Six acclaimed arts and cultural luminaries pay homage to Jefferson, citing his work at Monticello as testament to his genius in art, culture, and science, from his adaptation of Palladian architecture, his sweeping vision for landscape design, his experimental gardens, and his passion for French wine and cuisine to his eclectic mix of European and American art and artifacts and the creation of the country’s seminal library. Each writer considers the important role, and the painful reality, of Jefferson’s enslaved workforce, which made his lifestyle and plantation possible. This book, illustrated with superb photography by Miguel Flores-Vianna, is a necessary addition to the libraries of those who love historical architecture and landscape design, art and cultural history, and the lives of prominent Americans.

Leslie Greene Bowman is president of Monticello and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Charlotte Moss is a designer and author. Miguel Flores-Vianna is an interiors photographer. Annette Gordon-Reed is a Pulitzer Prize–winning author and historian. Carla Hayden is the 14th Librarian of Congress. Jay McInerney is a novelist and wine columnist. Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize–winning presidential historian. Xavier Salomon is the deputy director/chief curator at The Frick Collection (NYC). Gil Schafer is an award-winning architect. Alice Waters is a chef, activist, and author. Thomas Woltz is an award-winning landscape architect.


October Is Virginia Archaeology Month

Posted in on site by Editor on September 21, 2021

From Monticello:

Archaeology Open House at Monticello
Charlottesville, Virginia, 9 October 2021

Help celebrate Virginia Archaeology Month. Monticello’s Archaeology Department hosts its annual open house, featuring displays on recent discoveries in the field and the lab, walking tours of the vanished Monticello Plantation landscape, and lightning-talks about current research. Archaeology staff members will be on hand to answer questions. Displays and exhibits are found in the Woodland Pavilion and the Visitors Center. Lightning talks begin at 10.30am, 12.30pm, and 2.30pm.

This year’s walking tours will visit Site 6, an archaeological dig that revealed important information about enslaved agricultural laborers at Monticello and, following a visit in 2018, proved deeply impactful for Ta-Nehisi Coates’s novel, The Water Dancer. Walking tours leave the Woodland Pavilion at 11am, 1pm, and 3 pm. Be prepared to walk over uneven terrain; sturdy (preferably waterproof) shoes recommended. The walk roundtrip is approximately one mile with one steep hill.

Online Talk | Linda Binsted, Jefferson’s Brick Palladian Architecture

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on September 21, 2021

This afternoon, from Monticello:

Linda Binsted, Brick Palladian Architecture: Jefferson’s Transformation of Stone to Clay
Online, 21 September 2021, 4.00pm (Eastern Time)

Join the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello for a virtual Fellow’s Forum with architect and architectural historian, Linda Binsted. Click here to join us on Zoom on Tuesday, 21 September at 4.00pm.

Thomas Jefferson’s international travels took him to the cities and countryside of England and France but not to Italy, the birthplace of Palladian design. His travels never took him to Rome and its classical buildings, nor did he see any works by Palladio firsthand. Yet, through architectural treatises, the prevalent pattern books of the 18th century, visits to architecturally significant structures in America, England, and France, and the intellectual thoughts of the day, he came to produce some of the most influential Palladian designs in the still young United States.

Palladio’s villas are visions of smooth planar beauty, crisp whiteness in the Italian piedmont sun. Jefferson’s Palladian work in the Virginia piedmont—Monticello, Poplar Forest and the University of Virginia—are clothed in molded red brick and striped with sand mortar. Other builders and architects of the era studied the same sources as Jefferson and used the same materials to produce worthy Palladian-inspired plans and volumes; however, their detailing of the façade merely replicated the prevalent Georgian and Federalist manner. This presentation examines the pathway Jefferson travelled and the methods he employed to purify the brick edifice to better attain the planar volumes depicted in Palladio’s folios.

Linda Binsted is a practicing architect working in Washington, DC. Her architectural designs have garnered design awards and appeared in local and national publications. She has conducted seminars focused on the intersection of the design, technology, and history of building materials including brick and concrete as well as mid-century urban renewal at American Institute of Architects (AIA) conferences including AIA Washington Chapter’s Design DC and Virginia AIA ArchEx. She is also a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Master’s program in architectural history. As an architectural historian, she has presented her preliminary findings on Jefferson’s brickwork design at the Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians (SESAH) regional conference in 2017 and the New Discoveries of Thomas Jefferson’s Architecture and Design symposium sponsored by the University of Virginia in 2018.

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