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Documents and Drawings: "The Private Jefferson" Examined by Susan R. Stein


On December 10, Susan R. Stein delivered a Banner Lecture called “Documents and Drawings: 'The Private Jefferson' Examined.”

Thomas Jefferson devoted himself to building the new American nation as well as Monticello, his plantation home. At Monticello, he managed his sizable farms, designed the house and its surrounding landscape, and selected art and furnishings. This talk will discuss how the extensive Coolidge Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society has influenced the understanding of Jefferson and the ongoing restoration and interpretation of Monticello. The key drawings and records of The Private Jefferson exhibition—from Jefferson’s first elevation of Monticello, the Declaration of Independence, and catalog of books to his designs for curtains and a plow—demonstrate the range of his actions and interests.

Susan R. Stein, the Richard Gilder Senior Curator and Vice President of Museum Programs at Monticello, is the author of The Worlds of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello (1993). She has been involved in the presentation and interpretation of Jefferson and Monticello since 1986.