The Montpelier Foundation formed in 2000 with the goal of transforming James Madison’s historic estate into a dynamic cultural institution engaging the public with the enduring legacy of Madison’s most powerful idea: government by the people.
The Development Department at Montpelier connects members, supporters and other friends
with the different ways of giving and becoming part of the Montpelier family. Charitable
opportunities include membership at levels from $50 to $25,000, as well as corporate,
foundation, other major and planned gifts, gifts of appreciated property, and gifts in
The Research Department investigates the history of Montpelier, the Madison family, the
enslaved community, and Orange County from the 18th century until to today. By
identifying, collecting, transcribing, and analyzing primary materials our research team
provides the documentary and genealogical backbone for on-site interpretation of life at
Montpelier, furnishing of the house, and the recreation of the South Yard complex.
The department manages the way the public learns about Montpelier's programs and
offerings by operating its digital media channels, leadings its advertising and branding
initiatives, and publishing We The People Magazine. In addition to its public-facing
priorities, the department helps ensure that all of the organization's communications
reflect the foundation's strategic and mission-focused priorities.
The curatorial department researches the decorative arts and material culture of
Montpelier's residents, as well as their larger contexts, in order to make informed
decisions about furnishing interior spaces. The department also examines and acquires
antiques, verifies provenances, and commissions reproductions.
The Collections Department ensures the care, conservation, and documentation of
Montpelier’s collection of objects, both historic and modern. These objects are on
display in the House, Grills Gallery, duPont Gallery, Train Depot, and Gilmore Cabin.
The Montpelier Archaeology Department is dedicated to discovering, studying, preserving,
and interpreting Montpelier’s Madison-era archaeological resources through public
scholarships and programming. This is achieved through public excavation programs,
descendant/community engagement, professional training for future archaeologists through
our field school and internship training, and the regular dissemination of our
archaeological research to the public and fellow researchers.
The Architecture and Historic Preservation department works to better understand the
history of Montpelier through the built environment. The department is responsible for
the ongoing historical research and reconstruction of the buildings in the South Yard, an
architectural research collection containing over 11,000 architectural fragments, as well
as the preservation of over one hundred historic buildings across the property including
the Madison-era house and Temple. Keep up with our ongoing projects by following us on
The Education Department offers programming for daily visitors, student field trips, and
adult tour groups. Our interpreters and educators are passionate and engaging
story-tellers who love passing their knowledge on to our guests. With Montpelier’s broad
and rich history, there is a story here to intrigue everyone.
As a monument to James Madison, a museum of American history, and a center
for constitutional education, Montpelier engages the public with the
enduring legacy of Madison’s most powerful idea: government by the people.