Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Before 1980, complex and controversial topics were ignored and avoided at Mount Vernon and Monticello. Instead their curators favored the enshrinement of the presidents and their mansions, without any mention of the hundreds of people who built and managed these estates. In the 1980s, this began to change. This thesis discusses why and how the expansion of the interpretation of slavery happened over the course of the 1980s and 1990s. Additionally, it seeks to understand how Mount Vernon and Monticello experienced this expansion, and the internal and external reactions to the process. Specifically, it examines this trend as it relates to museum professionalization, African American history, and the political and historical tensions that also emerged during this time.
Simmons, Katherine J., "Mount Vernon and Monticello : the changing representation at two presidents' estates" (2016). Honors Theses. 842.