Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center
The Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center serves as the 21st-century gateway to Jefferson's timeless Monticello, with multiple components that transform the visitor experience by preparing guests for their trips to the historic mountaintop through dynamic content presenting fresh perspectives on Monticello and the enduring significance of Jefferson's life and ideas.
Four Innovative Exhibitions
- Thomas Jefferson and 'the Boisterous Sea of Liberty' illustrates the development and ongoing influence of Jefferson's core ideas about liberty on a wall of 21 flat-panel LCD screens, including seven interactive touch screens.
- Monticello as Experiment: 'To Try All Things' explores Jefferson's use of Monticello as a laboratory for his belief that "useful knowledge" could make life more efficient and convenient.
- Making Monticello: Jefferson's 'Essay in Architecture' showcases the architectural origins, construction and four-decade evolution of the Monticello house, widely regarded as one of the icons of American architecture.
- The Words of Thomas Jefferson brings Jefferson's thoughts to light through projection in an innovative display.
Powerful Introductory Film
Thomas Jefferson's World, Monticello's visually rich introductory film, orients all visitors to key notions regarding Jefferson's ideas and accomplishments, especially his core concepts about liberty that have reached far beyond his place and time in history to the present day while illustrating Monticello's central importance to his life and work.
New Resources for Young People
- The Griffin Discovery Room gives Monticello visitors – especially those ages 6 to 11 – the chance to literally get in touch with Jefferson's life and times through hands-on elements and activities, including reproductions from the Monticello house and plantation.
- The new, fully-equipped classrooms in the Carl and Hunter Smith Education Center accommodate an expanded number of student groups and also serve as a venue for workshops and other programs.