Grateful American™ Radio Show


Curator Susan Stein Takes Us Inside Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Susan Stein is the Senior Curator and Vice President of Museum Programs at Thomas Jefferson’s beloved estate, Monticello. For more than 20 years, she has studied and written about Jefferson. Her main responsibility is running the Curatorial department, where staff members research the objects and lives of those associated with Monticello. They also determine the physical presentation of the house; study, acquire, and care for collections; and develop exhibitions.

But perhaps Stein is best known for the landmark exhibition and book, “The Worlds of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello” (1993), and her work on the four exhibitions and film at the new Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center (2009).

Today, Grateful American Foundation founder David Bruce Smith and executive producer Hope Katz Gibbs interview Stein about:

  • What influenced Jefferson’s design of Monticello? What were some of his design objectives?
  • How long did it take Jefferson to design and redesign Monticello? What was the building process like?
  • How did Jefferson decorate Monticello? Which artifacts stand out or were used frequently?
  • What was Jefferson’s “sanctum sanctorum?” Can you describe some of “public” and “private” spaces inside Monticello?
  • What was life like for Jefferson and his family inside Monticello? Which rooms were regularly used?

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