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Thomas Jefferson’s Most Underrated Legacy to be Spotlighted in Houston ICAA Talk

The Ambassador Who Fostered America's Love for the Arts

BY // 02.22.19

Some of Thomas Jefferson‘s accomplishments as a Founding Father are famous: drafting the Declaration of Independence; serving as minister to France, secretary of state, vice president, and president; founding the University of Virginia; and designing the Virginia State Capitol, Monticello. Susan R. Stein, senior curator at Monticello, wants Jefferson’s seminal role as an ambassador of arts and culture to be acknowledged as well.

Stein, who has played a major role in the comprehensive presentation, restoration, and interpretation of Monticello since 1986, is currently in the midst of planning a major exhibition called Thomas Jefferson: Fashioning America that explains how Jefferson “planted the arts” in America to create an American identity.

Stein touches down in Houston to reveal how Jefferson helped craft our nation’s cultural legacy in the days before art museums thanks to The Institute of Classical Architecture and Art (ICAA) Texas Chapter, who will be hosting Stein this Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 7 pm at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

“Jefferson believed that the arts could help forge an American identity and create international respect for the young republic,” Stein says. “As architect, designer, collector, and patron, Jefferson made substantial contributions to the arts, so much so that the Society of Artists of the United States named him its president in 1812.

“A year later, architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe credited Jefferson with planting the arts in America.”

What: “Thomas Jefferson: Planting the Arts in America” talk, reception to follow

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When: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 7 pm

Where: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Brown auditorium, 1001 Bissonnet

Who: Susan R. Stein, Richard Gilder Senior Curator, Special Projects, at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Tarriff: The event is free and open to the public, but RSVP is a must.

Contact: Register to attend at classicist-texas.org/houstonlectures.

ICAA membership provides access to educational opportunities across the ICAA’s 15 Chapters, unique travel experiences, and much more. To join, visit https://www.classicist.org/membership/

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