Faculty Advisor

Kotsis, Kriszta

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2013


This paper examines how the private home of Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, was, in fact, designed and constructed in many ways as a public building. By examining how Jefferson created the spaces that would have been visited by guests to Monticello, one can see that visitors were intended to have meaningful, affecting experiences at the home. I have broken down the study of these experiences into two parts: the first examines Monticello as a personal emblem of Jefferson’s aesthetic and political philosophy; the second explores Monticello as a means to crafting Jefferson's personal vision of America. I argue that Jefferson intended his home to be both reflective and didactic, and as a result provide an analysis of how private spaces can be utilized to influence and engage with visitors to essentially create a smaller, public space within a larger private realm.


University of Puget Sound