July 2, 2013 - Two small paintings with a mysterious past are now on display in the Joe and Marge Grills Gallery at James Madison’s Montpelier. Our extensive research project, the Presidential Detective Story, have put together the clues to unpack “The Case of the List and the Landscapes.”
As with many famous folks, the internet abounds with questionable folklore, spurious quotes, and outright falsities concerning James and Dolley Madison. It has long been repeated that James Madison, notoriously diminutive in stature, stood 5’4”. However, in documentary records...
Continuing my professional journey at this historic place, the home of James Madison, is a tremendous honor. Madison restored himself on these lands before returning to the Herculean task of creating a new nation. I, too, feel restored in returning home to Virginia, to the rolling Piedmont hills, and to the red earth of Orange County.
A team of curators, facilities and restoration staff, and a fine art specialist worked late into the evening hours on September 17—Constitution Day—to install thirty-four of the thirty-seven prints and engravings listed on an 1836 document entitled “Engravings in the dining room.”
Perhaps the principle highlight of James Madison’s presidency was the aptly named War of 1812. Often referred to as “America’s Second War for Independence,” the war was the new nation’s struggle for sovereignty. Locked in a long and difficult clash with Napoleon, the British attempted to hinder the growth and prosperity of their former colony, and prevent the United States from colluding against them with the French.