James Madison's Montpelier We The People Fall 2013 - Page 13

We The People FRIENDSHIP FOR THE AGES 13 Artist unknown, European, ca. 1800 Oil on panel with gilt frame; LMF2013.2.2ab Courtesy of Mr. & Mrs. Peter R.W. Roughton Jr. the “The friendship which has subsisted between us, now half a century, and constant harmony of our political principles and pursuits, have been sources of happiness to me thro’ that long period.” — Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, February 17, 1826 James Madison and Thomas Jefferson’s friendship was one of the longest and richest relationships of both men’s lives. In the spirit of this founding friendship, The Montpelier Foundation and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello continue to collaborate on research, collections, and interpretation initiatives. This spring, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation gifted to Montpelier a portrait medallion of Nelly Conway Madison, James Madison’s mother. Italian artist Pietro Cardelli visited Montpelier in 1819 as part of a campaign to sculpt busts of current and former presidents. While at Montpelier, Cardelli sculpted the 88-year-old “Mother Madison” (1731-1829), who throughout her son’s life was a visible presence at Montpelier where she maintained a separate household in the south wing of the mansion. In addition, the Monticello team made an important discovery last summer about a pair of paintings with a surprising and significant connection to the Madison family. These two small cabinet paintings were first brought to Monticello by the owners who believed they were given to the family by Thomas Jefferson. Montpelier’s curators now believe the paintings descended through the extended Madison family and were erroneously connected to Jefferson in the early twentieth century. The subjects of both paintings match titles found on a ca. 1837 list titled “Oil paintings at Montpellier.” Research suggests these pieces may have been acquired by John Payne Todd, Dolley Madison’s son, during his travels in Europe with the U.S. diplomatic delegation sent to negotiate the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812. The Montpelier Foundation recognizes with gratitude the Thomas Jefferson Foundation for their collegiality and generosity, and invites you to come see these items, which are now on display in the Joe and Marge Grills Gallery. Nelly Conway Madison Pietro Cardelli (1776-1822), 1819 Plaster MF2012.13.1 Gift of Monticello/Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. 2013 Artist unknown, European, ca. 1800 Oil on panel with gilt frame LMF2013.2.2ab Courtesy of Mr. & Mrs. Peter R.W. Roughton Jr.