Curated by Monticello: The Windsor Chair
Monticello was both Thomas Jefferson’s “sanctum sanctorum” and a frequent venue for large parties and gatherings of family, friends, and political allies (and adversaries). Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Jefferson’s grandson, painted a telling portrait of his grandfather as an entertainer. He wrote, “Twelve years before his death, he remarked to me…that if he lived long enough he would beggar his family—that the number of persons he was compelled to entertain would devour his estate.”
It goes without saying that Jefferson needed a great deal of furniture to accommodate his many guests. Jefferson commissioned numerous Windsor chairs for Monticello which could be moved around the house according to where guests were gathered. He prided himself on having stylistically cohesive designs for Monticello’s furniture; the Windsor chair’s classic style and high-quality woodwork complemented rather than disrupted his vision—even if an abundance of chairs were drawn into one room for entertaining purposes. Today, the Windsor chair is featured throughout Monticello as a reminder of Jefferson’s love for entertaining guests.
The Shop’s own Painted Bow-Back Windsor Chairs are so true to Jefferson style that Monticello curators have selected them to furnish newly restored rooms on the second and third floors of Monticello as part of the Mountaintop Project. In accordance with Monticello’s mission of preservation and education, the Mountaintop Project entails the restoration of the upper bedchambers and passages of Monticello, enabling guests to explore Jefferson’s mountaintop home as he knew it and learn more about the members of Jefferson’s household.
Add a touch of Jefferson’s stylish, functional simplicity to your own home with The Shop at Monticello’s Windsor Chair! This solid wood chair has bamboo-turned legs and a comfortable shaped seat. It’s made in the U.S.A. with the same care for quality as the originals, and like Jefferson’s Windsor chairs it looks great in any room in the house. The Shop’s Round Cherry Table resembles tables made at the Monticello joinery and pairs nicely with the Windsor Chair. Complete the look with the Checkered Floorcloth, which is inspired by the floorcloths Jefferson placed in Monticello’s Entry Hall.
These Jeffersonian pieces are sure to transform your home into a beautiful space for entertaining and make it the new favorite gathering place of your family and friends alike.