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Fashioning the American Diplomat

Gaye Wilson

It was as important then as today. What to wear? But what if you're a first-time diplomat from a new and unproven nation? And you're sitting for a portrait that may become your image abroad and back home? This is what Jefferson faced in 1786 when, while serving as the United States's Minister to France, he sat for the famous portaitist, Mather Brown. Monticello's Shannon Senior Research Historian, Gaye Wilson and examines the details of this portrait—one of the earliest formal images of Jefferson—and compares it with those of his American and European peers.
(This talk was given as part of an October 2005 conference entitled The Old World and the New: Exchanges Between America and Europe in the Age of Jefferson sponsored by Robert H. Smith Center for International Studies and The Salzburg Seminar). 


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