Early American History Seminar: Kerry Dean Carso, James Madison University

Thursday, February 26, 2004

3:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Early American History and Culture Seminar

“Narratives and Nationalism: A Cultural and Architectural History of Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Follies”
Kerry Dean Carso, James Madison University
This paper will place Thomas Jefferson’s designs for architectural follies into the larger literary and cultural context of the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries. Jefferson designed more than twenty garden structures for the Monticello landscape, only one of which he carried out. His unexecuted designs for observation towers on Montalto, a mountain overlooking Monticello, are instructive as early examples of folly design in America. This paper is part of a a larger project on the cultural and architectural history of follies, ruins, and summerhouses in the United States, with an emphasis on themes of narrative and nationalism.