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TOM Talks

Our series of Topics on Monticello continues in 2018 with more “behind-the-scenes” opportunities including a return by popular demand to Jefferson’s boyhood home Shadwell! All events sold out last year; guarantee your place by purchasing tickets at the links below or calling Reservations at (434) 984-9800.

Experience a New Season of TOM Talks℠!

April 23
Garden Week Conversation with a Special Guest

Each year, Monticello invites a prominent guest speaker for a TOM Talk during Historic Garden Week in Virginia, described as “America’s Largest Open House.” Make Monticello a part your visit when more than 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes, and historic landmarks open their doors to guests. Ticketholders can stroll through in the Monticello gardens before the talk. $65 per person, 6:30 PM, includes a reception.

May 20 and 21
Monticello Overheard
Join us in Monticello’s Entrance Hall for an immersive sensory experience from the internationally recognized artists of Charlottesville’s Victory Hall Opera. The performance will bring to life Monticello as Thomas Jefferson knew it, and include the sounds and songs that Jefferson, his family and the enslaved community encountered both on the mountaintop and elsewhere. Limited seating for this exclusive, one-of-a-kind event. $110 per person or $195 per couple. Two performances per night, 6:00 PM or 7:15 PM. Co-sponsored by Victory Hall Opera.

June 28
Chickens at Jefferson's Monticello

Author of numerous books including City Chicks: Keeping Micro-flocks of Chickens as Garden Helpers, Pat Foreman, aka “the Chicken Whisperer”, will teach us about chickens at Monticello. Poultry was a major source of food and income for the enslaved community at Monticello. In September 1805, for example, Jefferson’s granddaughter Anne Cary Randolph noted that the Jefferson kitchen purchased “47 dozen eggs and 117 chickens.” Copying trends on England, Jefferson’s family also bred ornamental and bantam fowl and likely kept them as pets. $55 per person, 6 PM, includes private reception

September 6 and 13
The Stories of Monticello’s South Wing and Kitchen
Come visit the restored South Wing, our newest project, with our top experts. Archaeologists will lead a tour explaining how Jefferson’s design and use of the spaces changed over time. Curators will share the stories of the people who lived or worked in these spaces. See the remains of Monticello’s first kitchen and residences for enslaved individuals, including Sally Hemings. $55 per person, 6 PM, includes private reception.

September 8
Restoring Jefferson’s Private Suite: How Did Our History Detectives Do It?
Come behind the scenes with Monticello’s “history detectives” as they share some of their processes, tools and methods for restoring rooms in a working historic house. This day-long program includes a breakfast, panel discussion, box lunch and tour of Jefferson’s private suite. Scholars will include Susan Stein, Richard Gilder Curator and Vice President for Museum Programs, Gardiner Hallock, Architectural Historian and Director of Restoration, and other restoration specialists. $85, 9-3 PM.

September 27 and October 4
Jefferson’s First Family Home at Shadwell
Monticello’s research archaeologist Derek Wheeler will lead this visit to the site of Thomas Jefferson’s birthplace. On this walking tour, he will share details of the plantation during Jefferson’s childhood, when Shadwell was the family home. $45 per person, 5:30 PM



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