100 years ago, a group of well-connected people hoped to settle a decades long battle over a not-so-simple question: “Who owns Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello?”
Explore photos, podcasts, an online exhibit, and a timeline of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation's first 100 years.
In 1923, the newly created Thomas Jefferson Foundation fulfilled its primary purpose by acquiring Monticello to preserve it in Jefferson's memory. But now it had another problem: money.
When the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation took possession of Monticello in the 1920s, it didn’t just have a house to restore, it had a reputation to restore: Jefferson’s.
Journalist, author, documentary filmmaker, Steven Pressman -- with help from author Marc Leepson and Susan Stein, Monticello's Richard Gilder Senior Curator, Special Projects -- focuses in on Maud Littleton's years-long public campaign first to purchase and then to wrest Monticello from the Levy family.
Monticello today is American icon, Jefferson's architectural masterpiece, and a symbol of the American story. It's on the back of the U.S. Nickel. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Replicas of it dot the American landscape, both real and imaginary. But it wasn't always so.
Explore the history of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation through photographs, documents, and other objects from our Foundation archives.