Get your hard hats because we’re about to enter a construction zone! Beginning tomorrow visitors can watch a team of carpenters build timber outlines of two smokehouses, part of the South Yard, where enslaved domestic workers and craftsmen lived and worked during James and Dolley Madison’s time.
Have you ever bought the commemorative edition of a newspaper or magazine? Maybe you bought the TIME issue that commemorated President Obama’s inauguration, or the Boston Globe the day after the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series. James Madison bought commemorative editions too.
Dolley Madison is renowned as a fashion icon of the Early Republic. She is often remembered for her glamorous appearance as First Lady hosting parties in the fashionably decorated Drawing Room of the President’s House. But how do we know what Mrs. Madison wore? The answer is threefold: portraits, written descriptions, and surviving gowns which are believed to be hers.
The opening of Montpelier’s new exhibit Dolley Madison’s Life Through Fashion: Dressing the Part is less than two days away! The exhibit will use eight costumes created for the PBS documentary Dolley Madison: America’s First Lady to tell her life story.
During the hot summer months, James and Dolley Madison always left the muggy Washington weather behind to relax at Montpelier, their beloved Virginia estate. This summer, they’re coming home again! On most Saturdays and Sundays, June through September, you can meet “James” and “Dolley” in the mansion’s South Wing.
You are cordially invited to celebrate Dolley Madison’s 243rd birthday at Montpelier on Friday, May 20, 2011. Join “Mrs. Madison” for cake and lemonade at the Montpelier Visitor Center at 11:00 a.m. Then, take a tour of the home, where she showered guests with her legendary hospitality.
Today marks the 78th annual Historic Garden Week in Virginia, an event the Madisons would have enjoyed with relish. In addition to his roles as politician and scholar, James Madison was interested in science, agriculture, and horticulture.
It’s the early spring of 1861. South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas have all seceded. The first shots of the Civil War ring out over Fort Sumter. In Virginia, a state secession convention is underway, but a cloud of uncertainty hovers over the state. What would life in the Confederacy mean for Virginians serving in the U.S. Army? What would a war mean to civilians at home?
Do you remember the Case of the Missing Painting, where our curatorial detectives tracked down a work of art which had hung at Montpelier and then traveled to Washington with Dolley in the 1840s? The painting was on display in the Montpelier Visitor Center Grills Gallery in May 2008, and removed in October 2010 for conservation and cleaning.