Art: Jefferson: Taste of The Founder

The man who wrote the Declaration of Independence, made the Louisiana Purchase and dispatched the Lewis and Clark Expedition was also a multifarious taster of art, a dilettante. Lacking a theory, Thomas Jefferson was blessed with an eclectic curiosity about aesthetic experience. As architect, he drew up some of the most refined structures in all Georgian building—Monticello, the Richmond Capitol and an "Academical village," the university of his native Virginia. He also had a devouring and insistent eye for detail; designs for stair rails, coffee urns, goblets and garden gates flowed from his...

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