Importance of Architecture

"But how is a taste in this beautiful art to be formed in our countrymen, unless we avail ourselves of every occasion when public buildings are to be erected, of presenting to them models for their study and imitation? . . . . the comfort of laying out the public money for something honourable, the satisfaction of seeing an object and proof of national good taste, and the regret and mortification of erecting a monument of our barbarism which will be loaded with execrations as long as it shall endure. . . . You see I am an enthusiast on the subject of the arts. But it is an enthusiasm of which I am not ashamed, as its object is to improve the taste of my countrymen, to increase their reputation, to reconcile them to the rest of the world, and procure them its praise." TJ to James Madison, September 20, 1785 DLC, ed. Julian P Boyd, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson 8:535.

"architecture is among the most important arts and it is desirable to introduce taste into an art which show [s?] so much," painting and sculpture are "too expensive for the state of wealth among us. It would be useless, therefore, and preposterous, for us to make outselves connoisseurs in those arts. They are worth seeing, but not studying." Notes on objects of attention for an American," ed. Julian P. Boyd The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 13, (1956), p. 269

"You are right in what you have thought and done as to the metopes of our Doric pavilion [Pavilion 1, UVA]. Those of the baths of Diocletian are all human faces and so are to be those of our Doric pavilion. But in my middle room at Poplar Forest I mean to mix the faces and ox-sculls, a fancy which I can indulge in my own case, altho in a public work I feel bound to follow authority strictly. The mitred ox-sculls for my room are for its inner angles." Thomas Jefferson to William Coffee July 10, 1822, MHI (Chambers, p. 146)

"Architecture is my delight, and putting up and pulling down one of my favorite amusements." Statement attributed to Jefferson in, Margaret Bayard Smith, A Winter in Washington (New York: 1824) 2:261

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