Jefferson scholar Richard Guy Wilkins will expound how Jefferson shaped Virginia architecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, in room 537 of the H. G. Leggett building.
Design historian and author Andrea Wulf will then discuss the gardens of Thomas Jefferson and other Founding Fathers at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, in Wimberly Recital Hall (Presser Hall).
Architecture and gardening were important to Jefferson, who even intermingled the two in his building and landscape designs, said Leanne Zalewski, a Randolph College art professor who coordinated Wilkins’ lecture.
“He believed that architecture would help civilize our new nation,” Zalewski said.
Wilkins, the Commonwealth Professor and chair in the Department of Architectural History, at the University of Virginia, will speak about “Thomas Jefferson and the Making of Virginia Architecture.”
Jefferson left his stamp on Virginia architecture by combining features of masterful designs from France, Italy, Greece, and other European countries, Zalewski said. Those influences can be seen in Monticello, the University of Virginia, the state capital, and Poplar Forest, Jefferson’s retreat home just a few miles from the Randolph campus, and other local buildings that mimicked Jefferson’s style.
On Thursday, Wulf will speak about her book, “Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation.” She will discuss Jefferson’s gardens and landscapes, along with those of other Founding Fathers, such as George Washington, John Adams, and James Madison.
Their attitude toward gardening, plans, nature, and agriculture helped shape the new nation. Wulf will guide the audience through this retelling of America’s founding using beautiful illustrations.
Zalewski said agriculture played a significant role in Jefferson’s architecture, especially at Poplar Forest and Monticello, his homes.
Wilkins’ lecture on Wednesday and free open to the public.
Tickets to the Founding Gardeners event on Thursday can be purchased for $20 online at Poplar Forest’s events page or by calling the Poplar Forest Museum Shop at (434)534-8120. Randolph College students, faculty, and staff can attend for free by showing their campus ID.