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TOM Talks

Our series continues in 2018 with new offerings and a return to Jefferson’s boyhood home at Shadwell! All events sold out in 2017; guarantee your place by purchasing tickets below or calling (434) 984-9800; please note $25 of each ticket represents a tax-deductible gift to support Monticello. To join the list for TOM Talks, please email

Experience a New Season of TOM Talks!

April 23
Garden Week Conversation with Peggy Cornett

Each year, Monticello invites a keynote speaker to celebrate Historic Garden Week, described as “America’s Largest Open House.” Join Peggy Cornett, Monticello’s Curator of Plants, on a sometimes surprising and always entertaining journey to discover Jefferson’s ten favorite plants. Ticketholders can stroll through the Monticello gardens before the talk. $65 per person, 6:30 PM, includes a reception.

Image: John GrantMay 30 and 31
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.

June 28
Chickens at Jefferson's Monticello

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. Copying trends in 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 11
The Stories of Monticello’s South Wing and Kitchen
Come visit the restored South Wing, our newest project. Curators will share the stories of the people who lived or worked in these spaces. Archaeologists will lead a tour explaining how Jefferson’s design and use of the spaces changed over time. 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: What's Old is New
Come behind the scenes with Monticello's "history detectives" as they share how their investigation transformed the rooms most closely associated with Jefferson and how their understanding of Monticello has changed. This day-long program includes breakfast, talks, discussion, a box lunch, and a tour of the private suite and upper floors. Experts include Susan Stein, Richard Gilder Senior Curator; Gardiner Hallock, Robert H. Smith Director of Restoration; and curators Diane Ehrenpreis and Emilie Johnson. $85, 9-3 PM.

September 27 and October 4 - Both Dates Sold Out!
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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