Virtual Field Trip Report
Thomas Jefferson is a very important figure in the history of America. He authored the Declaration of Independence, became the third president of the United States, and founded the University of Virginia. Aside from this, he also left a patch land which contains his estate, Monticello. Thomas Jefferson designed the house himself and it is the repository of his other works. It is situated atop a 260-meter high mountain, and in Italian, it means “little mountain”. It is now considered as a United States National Historic Landmark and a World Heritage Site.
Monticello has a total of forty three rooms, thirty three of these are found in the house itself, including the cellar, the first, second, and third floor. Four rooms are in the pavilions, while six more are under the South terrace, though the stable and the carriage bays located under the north Terrace are not counted. The house contains eight fireplaces, as well as two openings reserved for stoves on the main floor, and has a total of eleven thousand square feet of living area. The construction of the Monticello started around 1769 basing on Thomas Jefferson’s design, and it was almost completed some time in 1784.
When a new design was finished, remodeling and enlarging of the Monticello started in 1796 and was completed by the year 1809. The bricks used for the house was made at Monticello, as well as the nails used for remodeling it. The timber for the whole structure was all from Thomas Jefferson’s own land, while most woodwork in the windows were made in Philadelphia and were mostly of imported mahogany. The glass for the windows all came from Europe, and the stone used for the cellars, columns, and limestone for mortar were all quarried from lands that Thomas Jefferson owned.
Virtual tour of the house The area that you’ll first arrive into is the entrance hall. It is a wide open space, with dimensions of 27’11” by 23’9” with a ceiling of 18’2”. The main purpose of this room is to serve as a reception area and waiting room for visitors, which would just come and go, considering that Thomas Jefferson is a very prominent person. The prominent color of the area is whitewash, with yellowish portions on the lower part of the wall, and with green floor cloth, which gives a feeling of the outdoors inside the house.
The prominent architectural features of this area is that there is a balcony that connects two mezzanine leveled wings, as well as the green flooring and, the ceiling which has an eagle and stars pattern, which are the common symbols of the United States of America. Some notable furnishings of the room include the Great Clock with case, which is designed by Thomas Jefferson himself. Some works of art displayed in the room includes eleven copies of Old masters paintings, and various busts of notable personalities like Voltaire and Alexander Hamilton. Two engravings would depict the celebration of the declaration of independence.
One shows Trumbull’s depiction of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and another one was that of John Binn’s print of the text. This just shows how dedicated an American is Thomas Jefferson. Other notable works of art include forty plus pieces of Indian artifacts, comprised mainly of pipes, clothing, domestic objects, and a buffalo robe with a battle scene being depicted. Currently, the room holds several specimens which are of great importance to natural history, including some antlers and bones and surveyed maps by Thomas Jefferson’s father, Peter Jefferson.
The room currently has up to twenty eight chairs in order to accommodate its frequent visitors. To the left of the entrance hall is the south square room, which has dimensions of 14’10” by 15’4” and with a ceiling of 10’0”. The current color of the room is blue, with white linings on walls and fireplace. Recent investigations revealed that there were multiple layers of paint, which meant that the colors have been changed every now and then. The main purpose of the room is to serve as the sitting room of Martha Jefferson Randolph, Thomas Jefferson’s daughter who inherited the house.
In here, she sewed and taught her children, and it also served as her office, so to speak, as she directed the slaves who worked as household servants in this room. It was also used to house some of the overflow of books of Thomas Jefferson, which his library was unable to accommodate. The room has a special Rumford fireplace which was altered by Thomas Jefferson so that it burns efficiently, using wood instead of coal. Some notable furnishings of the room were tables and chairs used for reading writing and sewing, as well as a sewing table mainly used by Martha Jefferson Randolph.
Another prominent room in the house is the Library or the Book Room which has dimensions of 14’10” by 15’” with a ceiling of 10’0”. The current color of the rooms is oyster white, and it was assumed that it was previously wallpapered. The main purpose of the this room is to hold Thomas Jefferson’s libraries, which has the largest collection of more than 6,000 books, which was then sold to Congress in 1815 after their collection were burned by the British. The notable furnishings in the room are the books, the book boxes, which were use as bookshelves today, as well as tables and chairs used Thomas Jefferson in his day to day endeavors.
Another part is the Parlor, which is just adjacent to the main Entrance Hall. This is a large area, with dimensions of 27’3” by 23’8” with a ceiling of 18’2”. The room’s color is that of unpainted plaster, with a parquet floor of cherry and beech, which was designed by Thomas Jefferson himself. The main purpose of the room is for games, music, reading, and it was relatively the center of social activities and gatherings. The room contained various artworks from Thomas Jefferson’s art collection, and the room was also used for weddings, christenings, dances, and other gatherings which involved many people.
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is indeed influenced by the Enlightenment period. In the estate, Jefferson employed various forms of art, regardless of what type of design he used. He also has unique ideas which were brought to life in the furnishings of the house. The floorings of some parts of the house are uniquely a design by Jefferson. He did not limit the design of his house and its furnishings into just one style alone, instead he used his imagination work and mixed these various designs altogether.
Work Cited: Monticello. org. “Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello”. 2008. October 14 2008. <http://www.monticello.org/>.Sample Essay of Edusson.com