NEW Red, White, and Blue!

“…the paper of July 4.76 was but the Declaration, the genuine effusion of the soul of our country at that time.” -Thomas Jefferson to James Mease, September 16, 1825

fourth-of-july-picnic-set-for-two-4Decorate and dine with festive American flare this Memorial Day or Fourth of July! These new selections are perfect for your patriotic summer picnic or party.

Looking for a ready-to-go celebration? The Shop at Monticello’s Fourth of July Picnic Set includes packs of 8 paper dinner plates, 8 paper dessert plates and 20 cocktail napkins, two sets of red, white and blue silverware, two travel wine glasses, a tin bucket, two reproduction Declarations of Independence, three little 15-star flags and four fun firecracker mini-torch candles, all packed in a stylish red-and-white striped canvas tote.

The Shop’s Travel Wine Glass with Liberty Quote is an essential picnic accessory, featuring Jefferson’s immortal words “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

cotton-bunting-4-x-8-4Draw on classic American designs and historical traditions for your patriotic gathering or Independence Day party. Red, white and blue cotton bunting made in the U.S.A. is the perfect design centerpiece for your celebration.

Salute the season with historical and modern American flag accents. Flag-themed rugs are a wonderful way to greet guests and flag-themed throws invite your guests, family and friends to wrap themselves in American comfort.

Accentuate your walls with a patriotic pop. Framed reproductions of American flags, historical prints and classic silhouettes, similar to those in Jefferson’s Monticello Parlor, showcase American pride and history.

For a truly inspirational experience, celebrate the Fourth of July morning at Monticello, the home of the author of the Declaration of Independence. Since 1963, more than 3,000 people from every corner of the globe have taken the oath of citizenship at the annual Monticello Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony. David M. Rubenstein will be the featured speaker on July 4, 2014 at Monticello’s 52nd Annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony—the oldest continuous naturalization ceremony held outside of a courtroom in the United States. Rubenstein is best known as co-Founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager.

Celebrate Graduation with Jefferson-Inspired Gifts


“This institution of my native state, the hobby of my old age, will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind, to explore and to expose every subject susceptible of it’s contemplation.”

-Thomas Jefferson on the University of Virginia December 26, 1820

Commemorate graduation with these Jefferson-inspired pieces! Classic and timeless, these keepsakes will last a lifetime, inspiring your graduate to tackle his or her “dreams of the future.”

Jefferson Cups

Sterling Reproduction Cup with Gold-washed Interior

In 1810, when Jefferson commissioned a silversmith to make eight cups from his own design, he probably never imagined how popular they would become. The Shop at Monticello offers exclusive Jefferson Cups based on Jefferson’s design in pewter, silver and gold. Exquisitely simple and extremely versatile, Jefferson Cups are as suitable for serving a festive punch as they are for holding cufflinks or office supplies. Gift boxed and customizable with engraving, a Jefferson Cup is the perfect gift to mark this occasion. For your graduating wahoo, The Shop also offers Jefferson Cups engraved with the UVA seal.

personalized-chinese-railing-cuff-bracelet-31Personalized Jewelry

Inspired by the Chinese-style fretwork on the railings of Monticello’s raised terrace walks, this bracelet can be personalized with initials and matched with The Chinese Railing Necklace and Earrings, for stylish and versatile American-made look. The Shop at Monticello offers a wide-range of jewelry that evokes Jefferson’s distinct taste in art and architecture for your accessory-loving graduate or budding architect.

Classic Cufflinks

eaglesThe stylized eagle found on Monticello’s Entrance Hall ceiling provides the motif for these impressive cufflinks. As on the ceiling, each eagle is surrounded by 18 stars representing the United States between 1812 and 1816. These sterling silver cufflinks with gold-plated eagles and oxidized background are exquisitely handcrafted in Ireland. A perfect gift for your history buff or hopeful politician.

Shop dozens more inspired gifts for graduation on and celebrate graduation with us at Monticello’s Walk the Other Lawn!


A Historic Visit

Presidents Obama and Hollande in the Cabinet

From Thomas Jefferson’s lifetime to the present day, people have journeyed to Jefferson‘s mountaintop seeking inspiration and knowledge of the man who penned, as he called it, an “expression of the American mind” and a creed for democracies around the globe. Monticello, Jefferson’s three-dimensional biography, has welcomed United States presidents, foreign heads of state, and key international figures throughout its history, including President James Madison, the Marquis de Lafayette, Queen Elizabeth II, President Ronald Reagan, President Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Dalai Lama.

On the Occasion of the State Visit of The President of the French Republic to the United States February 10, 2014, Thomas Jefferson Foundation President Leslie Greene Bowman welcomed the President of the United States, Barack Obama, and His Excellency François Hollande, President of the French Republic, on the East Walk. This was the first time either President Obama or President Hollande had visited Monticello and the first time in Monticello’s long history that a sitting U.S. President accompanied another head of state to Monticello.

During their tour of Monticello, the presidents viewed many examples of French influence including Jefferson’s Voltaire and Turgot busts, copies of original Houdon plasters that Jefferson brought back from France, the Dome Room, and several pieces of furniture and decorative arts. President Hollande was delighted to see books in the French language resting upon Jefferson’s infamous Revolving Bookstand in his Cabinet room. They also visited the Monticello kitchen where meals were said to have been prepared in “half-Virginian, half-French style” by servants trained in the French culinary arts.












Jefferson, inspired by French culture and Enlightenment ideas, was our most famous Francophile. He famously said of the French people to Abigail Adams, “I do love this people with all my heart” and he once wrote that if he could not live in the United States, he would live in France. In 1784, Jefferson went to Paris and served as the U.S. Minister to France. While there, he avidly studied European culture, sending back books, seeds, plants, statues, architectural drawings, scientific instruments and person notes home to Monticello. His enthusiasm for the culture and intellectual vibrancy of France is visible throughout his home in the surviving furniture and tableware.

After the tour, the presidents reflected upon the historic relationship between the United States and France. President Obama remarked:

“As one of our Founding Fathers, the person who drafted our Declaration of Independence, somebody who not only was an extraordinary political leader but also one of our great scientific and cultural leaders, Thomas Jefferson represents what’s best in America.  But as we see as we travel through his home, what he also represents is the incredible bond and the incredible gifts that France gave to the United States, because he was a Francophile through and through.”

President Hollande also recognized Monticello’s significance to the relationship between the United States and France:

“This is Thomas Jefferson’s house, which means that this was a man who understood — met the secretary of Enlightenment, and he wanted to represent this life throughout this house.  You can see life everywhere.  You can see it the objects, in the refinement of the objects, and its architecture.”

As a philosopher, president, food connoisseur, gardener, and scientist, Jefferson’s legacy has inspired and moved each generation since his lifetime. Today, Monticello remains a symbol of knowledge and illumination for visitors past, present, and future.

For photos of past visiting heads of state or more images of President Obama and President Hollande at Monticello, visit For our “Jefferson and France” Collection, visit



5 Ways to Celebrate the Season


For Thomas Jefferson, Christmas was “the day of greatest mirth and jollity.” As was customary during the time, Jefferson celebrated the full 12 days of the Christmas season. The usual activities included traveling to the homes of friends and family, placing greenery around the house, and hosting and attending parties. Jefferson gathered his circle of family, which he affectionately called “the fireside,” around him during the holidays. This season draw inspiration from Monticello and make your festivities merry with classic accents and DIY workshops from The Shop.


Festive Greenery

red-apple-wall-hanging-214[1]While Christmas trees were not popular until the 1840s, natural elements like decorative greenery, sprigs of holly in the windows, or holly and bay leaves in vases were likely adornments during Jefferson’s time. A Harvest Glow Wreath, featuring Monticello’s primary export wheat, or a Dried Berry Wreath with Satin Bow, a classic combination of red and green, are sure to show off your seasonal spirit.

If you enjoy DIY, visit The Shop for one of Monticello’s Holiday Wreath Workshops. These ever-popular workshops, in their 27th year, produce a gratifying and tangible end product: a beautiful holiday wreath. Janet Miller, Lou Hatch, and Maggie Stemann Thompson lead participants through the process in these three-hour sessions. All materials (straw wreath forms, pins, wire, etc.) are provided, including a cornucopia of natural materials sourced from Monticello. Bring your own hand pruners and visit for tickets to this annual event.


Classic Candlelight

ivorytapersDark wintry days and the remoteness of life in the countryside could lead to winter doldrums for Jefferson’s family. Lighting was essential in keeping “many a dull winter in Albemarle” at bay. Jefferson encouraged his grandchildren to outline a course of winter reading and used the reflecting reading candelabrum and alabaster lamp in his library for his own research and entertainment. Candles lit evening celebrations, games, and music at Monticello. Brighten your home with holiday-inspired Ivory Glitter Tree Tapers or Red Metal Lanterns, great for use inside or outdoors, from the Shop at Monticello.

Experience Monticello illuminated with a Holiday Evening Tour. These small-group house tours, offered nightly through most of December, give visitors an intimate look at how the holidays were celebrated in Jefferson’s time and include a walk through of the Dome Room.


Seasonal Flavors

peppermint-bark-6Holiday celebrations were more modest than those we know today, but special food would have been the focal point of the winter gatherings. Guests at Monticello could have enjoyed Country Ham and Hot Chocolate during the holiday season. Traditional savory and sweet foods including Peppermint Chocolate Bark, Chocolate Covered Gourmet Apples, Country Cured Slab Bacon, Virginia Spoon Bread, and Monticello Sparkling Cider from The Shop are prefect treats for your winter festivities.

Many seasonal decorations evolved around the grand display of food on the table.  Whether or not you are a fan of traditional baked goods in the “season of mince pies,” as Jefferson termed it, using apples and other holiday scents in your décor can set a familiar festive tone for your gatherings. The Shop’s Monticello Holiday Elegance Potpourri and Spicy Apple Botanical Wax Sachets are great choices for evoking the scents of the season.

Add some tasty DIY to your décor and embrace your inner architect during our My Monticello Gingerbread House Family Workshop. This icing intense program offers fun for the whole family. With hot chocolate and cookies fueling your creativity, you’ll work together to craft a delicious, hand-made addition to your home’s holiday décor.


Holiday Keepsakes

wooden-drum-214During the 1809 Christmas, Jefferson wrote that his eight-year-old grandson, Francis Epps was “at this moment running about with his cousins bawling out ‘a merry Christmas’ ‘a Christmas gift, etc.” Christmas then and now is a time to gather family around you. Typically gifts were given by parents to children, from masters to slaves but not from dependents to superiors.  The Shop offers gifts that are both classic and fun for kids of all ages like a Personalized Trunk, Child’s Pewter Cup, or Nine Men’s Morris Travel Game. For both young and old, gifts inspired by Jefferson’s Monticello make treasured keepsakes.

For handcrafted, historic, and unique gifts, visit the Shop at Monticello for Handmade for the Holidays. Meet artisans, sample holiday treats, enjoy craft demonstrations, and shop for gifts made in Virginia. Visit for more information on this annual event or to shop these one-of-a-kind gifts online.


Merry Traditions

carolerChristmas cards and hymns were popular though not necessarily the same ones and tunes of today. “Adestes Fideles,”” Joy to the World,” “The First Noel,” “God Rest you Merry Gentlemen,” and “The Holly and the Ivy” were some of the carols sung at Monticello. Jefferson was fond of music throughout his life and the parlor was the scene of many musical performances and much holiday revelry. A Monticello Musical Snow Globe or a handcrafted Thomas Jefferson Caroler are great ways to commemorate the sounds of the season.

Like “dashing through the snow?” Start a new tradition and join the 4th Annual Monticello Holiday Classic 5K. Both festive and fun, this family-oriented 5K begins at the East Walk of Monticello and ends at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center. Kids 12 and under can enjoy the Deck the Halls Kids Dash, a loop around the West Lawn within the shadows of Monticello. Pre-registration is suggested, but day-of registration is available. Visit for more information and holiday merriment.

Madiera Tasting at The Shop!

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madieraJoin us Wednesday October 9th at The Shop at Monticello for an introductory celebration and tasting of the new Thomas Jefferson Special Reserve Madeira.

As a young law student, Thomas Jefferson was introduced by his mentor’s wife, Mrs. Wythe, to a blend of one tenth “superfine” Malmsey to nine‐tenths dry Madeira. He never lost his taste for this elegant blend.

Thomas Jefferson Special Reserve celebrates this Jeffersonian ideal by blending a small amount of very old and rare Malvasia into a fine dry Madeira. Even more so than today, Malmsey was, in Jefferson’s time, extremely rare and expensive, often shipped in barrels one‐quarter the size of other Madeiras. So, this type of blend was not just a matter of taste, it was also a matter of economics.

Learn about the history of Jefferson and Madeira, and its important role in early America.  Enjoy tastings of the newly created Thomas Jefferson Special Reserve.

The Shop at Monticello (map)
  • Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Reservations: Not required


  • Jefferson and Madeira – Gabriele Rausse, Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello.
  • The history of Madeira – Mannie Berk, The Rare Wine Co.
  • The making of Jefferson Madeira – Ricardo Freitas, Vinhos Barbeito in Câmara de Lobos, Portugal.