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Thomas Jefferson’s gardens with Jennifer Milam
Presented as part of 'A Foreign Country: Travels through the Past' series
'A Foreign Country: Travels through the Past' is a series of fortnightly lectures hosted by the State Library of NSW on Tuesday evenings at 5.30 pm between 31 August and 9 November 2021 .
Thomas Jefferson described his building projects as a favourite amusement, understood in Enlightenment terms not as a trivial pursuit, but as a use of time in which knowledge and ideas were developed and conveyed as a form of pleasurable diversion. Incorporated into his two most significant private building projects were landscape gardens that included ornamental plantings and planned views out into the American landscape. His properties at Monticello and Poplar Forest were experimental grounds on which he sought to give physical form to his ambitious philosophical, political and aesthetic ideals.
Jennifer Milam is Pro Vice Chancellor and Professor of Art History at the University of Newcastle. She a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Milam has published widely on eighteenth-century art, gardens and the visual expression of Enlightenment ideas. She has three volumes appearing this year: A Cultural History of Plants in the 17th and 18th Centuries (Bloomsbury), Making Ideas Visible (Delaware University Press) and Moving Landscapes in the Transatlantic World (Huntington Library Quarterly).
A Foreign Country: Travels through the Past series includes
- 31 August Will Christie, ‘A public lecture on public lecturing’
- 14 September Anna Johnston, ‘The platypus journal and the felon press: Science and print culture in colonial Tasmania’
- 28 September Trevor Burnard, ‘Legacies of Atlantic slavery and British colonialism’
- 12 October Victoria Haskins, ‘Family histories and the memory of nations: Reflections on my great-grandmother’s fight against Aboriginal child removal in the 1930s’
- 26 October Mark Kenny, ‘Lucky but lame — Australia’s unhappy relationship with risk’
- 9 November Jennifer Milam, ‘Thomas Jefferson’s gardens’