For a week in June, the gardens and grounds of Monticello and the University of Virginia will serve as the setting for a unique educational experience in the theory and practice of historic landscape preservation.
The Historic Landscape Institute will offer students an introduction to the fields of landscape history, garden restoration, and historical horticulture by using the landscapes designed by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello and the University of Virginia as case studies and outdoor classrooms. Participants will engage in a forty-hour week of instruction, with the bulk of that time spent on site. In recognition of generous support from the Harrison Foundation, graduates will be named Harrison Fellows of the Historic Landscape Institute. Occasional, moderately strenuous activity will be required in the gardens.
Student evaluations of past Landscape Institutes were universally enthusiastic. One participant said, “This is the best conference I have ever attended: a thorough look at all of the issues with insights from real experts!” Another wrote, “The Institute was the academic highlight of my association with the University of Virginia.” Still another student remarked, “It was a lifetime experience to work and learn on the mountain.”
Monticello is the only American home, and the University of Virginia the only educational institution, on the elite UNESCO World Heritage List. Owned and operated by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Monticello’s dual mission of preservation and education has been expressed in the garden world of Thomas Jefferson. Today the University of Virginia landscape represents many layers of history, retaining much of the integrity of the Founder’s design while adapting to the changing demands of each new generation of scholars.
Programming for the Institute involves a combination of lectures, walking tours, workshops, field trips, and hands-on experience in the gardens. Instruction will be provided by the staff of Monticello and its Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants, including Co-Directors Peggy Cornett and Gabriele Rausse. Mary Hughes from the University of Virginia’s Office of the Architect will lecture and serve as a third Co-Director. Other eminent scholars will also lecture: Peter Hatch, Director Emeritus of Monticello’s Gardens and Grounds; Charles Pepper, Deputy Director Emeritus at the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation; Eric Proebsting, Director of Archaeology and Landscapes at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest; and Brian Hogg, Senior Historic Preservation Planner at the University of Virginia.
Tuition for the week-long 2020 Historic Landscape Institute is $525, and includes three lunches and a dinner reception in addition to all scheduled programming. The estimated cost of lodging is $40 per day.
Successful applicants will have the opportunity to stay on grounds at the University of Virginia. Students are responsible for their own breakfasts and dinners. University food services and local restaurants are available within walking distance. The estimated cost of lodging is $40 per day, and transportation will be provided to Monticello each day.
The number of participants for the 2020 Institute is limited. Applicants will be selected upon submission of the application form, resume, and personal statement. This one-week program is designed to fit a variety of interests and educational backgrounds ranging from amateur to professional in the fields of horticulture, history, and landscape architecture. Completed applications must be postmarked by April 1, 2020.
Limited scholarships are available for full-time college students or employees of non-profit historic sites. In addition to a resume and personal statement, applicants must provide two letters of support from the affiliated institution and an essay outlining career aspirations. Scholarship applications are due April 1, 2020.
A Sampling of scheduled Events
- Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden
- The Preservation of Cultural Landscapes
- Understanding Landscapes through Historic Maps and Surveys
- Introduction to Landscape Archaeology
- Pavilion Gardens at the University of Virginia
- Monticello: House, Gardens, and Plantation
- Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest
Additional Information and How to Apply
Please include a one-page résumé and statement of personal reasons for wanting to participate. Return your completed application form by April 1, 2020, to: