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Life Masks and Hearths

Two articles with TJ/Monticello content in the latest issue of Early American Life:

  • "The Faces of a Generation," by Audrey J. Wolfe, about sculptor John Browere (who did a near-deadly life mask of Jefferson - there's a rather horrifying description of the proceedings by granddaughter Virginia here)

All John Soane All the Time

The 2008 issue of Furniture History: The Journal of the Furniture History Society is All John Soane All the Time, with “A Catalogue of the Furniture in Sir John Soane’s Museum,” as well as several articles on John Soane and his furniture.  Who's John Soane, you say, and what's he got to do with Thomas Jefferson?  And I say: well, architecture, neoclassicism...something like that.  All I know is, Curatorial wants me to buy lots of books on John Soane, and I do whatever they tell me.*  Anyway, here's a panoramic

It's raining Campeachy Chairs

This month's Magazine Antiques features an article by Cybèle Gontar on Campeachy (Campeche) chairs - the article is heavy on the TJ content.  Campeachy chairs, for those who may be unfamiliar with them, are curious low-slung neo-something pieces of furniture, of which Jefferson was inordinately fond and owned several.  Sitting in one shifts your center of gravity in such a way that they are right tricky to get out of.

That's Al-BE-marle Pippin to you

I was unaware of this, but it seems that our beloved local apple, the Albemarle Pippin, is in fact a native of New York (just like Your Correspondent, here).  The Big Apple has decided to get serious about jettisoning the image of the vile-tasting but very photogenic Red Delicious Apple in favor of the homely-but-yummy Pippin.  This all goes along nicely with the cresting wave of the local food movement, as well.  A blog entry

A wave of pirate comparisons

Jefferson's got something uncannily insightful to say about everything (or so it seems), so I suppose it was only a matter of time before comparisons of the current Somali Pirate Situation to Jefferson's Barbary Pirate Situation starting popping up like daffodils. Just a sideways mention at first. Then a more direct one.

The perennial Meriwether Lewis

October, 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Meriwether Lewis's bizarre death, and oh what a smorgasbord of Lewisiana there is to wallow around in this year.

No tame geniuses in waistcoats here

In the latest issue of Common-Place ("The Journal We Don't Pay For"), Alison L.

This is how bogus quotes are born

Last September, I received a question from someone looking for a Jefferson letter titled, "The Value of Constitutions."  Jefferson didn't usually bother to give his letters titles, so this was a bit puzzling.  I finally figured out that this letter had been published in a volume edited by Edward Dumbauld, chapter 4 of which was titled, "The Value of Constitutions."  It seemed pretty obvious that somewhere along the way, someone had quoted from the letter and attached the chapter title

Re-planting the vegetable patch

Once-and-future ICJS fellow Andrea Wulf published a short, fascinating article in The Guardian just yesterday - the Obamas are digging up a patch to plant vegetables at the White House, following a long tradition of presidential vegetable gardeners, including Our Man TJ (of course).

Jefferson Book Review Extravaganza!

And by "extravaganza" I mean "two book reviews in one issue."  In the latest Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (vol. 117 no. 1):

  • Douglas L. Wilson reviews Kevin Hayes' book, The Road to Monticello (review-o-meter: Wilson thinks the book is too long.  The word "leaden" is used.)
  • Catherine Kerrison reviews Annette Gordon-Reed's book, The Hemingses of Monticello (review-o-meter: overwhelmingly positive.  Lots of description of the book's contents.)