Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s plantation near Charlottesville, Va., was the center of his world. To understand Jefferson, one must understand Monticello; it can be seen as his autobiographical statement.
Monticello encompassed a house, an ornamental landscape, a farm, a plantation, a small mountain, and a large and diverse community. It encapsulated the interests, talents, ideals, ambitions, and realities of its creative and complex owner.
In 1923, Monticello was purchased by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, a private nonprofit corporation and was opened as a public attraction in 1924. Since then, the Foundation has instituted numerous research and educational programs and major restoration and renovation projects, and Monticello has attracted more than 27 million people.
Today, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation remains committed to a twofold mission:
- preservation -- to conserve, protect, and maintain Monticello in a manner which leaves it enhanced and unimpaired for future generations -- and
- education -- to interpret and present Thomas Jefferson to the widest possible audiences, including scholars and the general public.
Monticello is a National Historic Landmark and the only house in the United States designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Thomas Jefferson Foundation engages a global audience in a dialogue with Jefferson’s ideas.
The Foundation seeks to facilitate conversations and to use its extensive research and knowledge to stimulate interactions on a variety of topics that were of keen interest to Jefferson, the most powerful of which are liberty and self government. Through virtual, off-site and on-site engagement, the Foundation seeks to excite the world about Jefferson’s relevance today and ignite a passion for history.