The Resource These records are part of the Library of Virginia record group (RG#35)

These records are part of the Library of Virginia record group (RG#35)

1797-2002 (bulk 1994-2002)
Inclusive dates
1797-2002 (bulk 1994-2002)
  • This accession consists of textual and other materials related to the conservation and reproduction of the 18th century model for the Virginia State Capitol building executed by Jean-Pierre Fouquet for Thomas Jefferson
  • These records consist of correspondence, reports, drawings, radiographs, photographs, slides, paint and materials samples. The bulk is made up of a multi-section report detailing the procedures and results of this project. The raw materials that went into creating the final report are also included and consist of radiographic X-rays of the original model, written and photographic analysis of paint and materials samples, photographs of the model at various stages of restoration, and historical images of the Capitol Building. Also included are inkjet reproductions of drawings for the Maison Carree, Jefferson's inspiration for the Virginia Capitol and measured drawings for a new display case for the restored model and its reproduction
  • Some oversize materials have been separated and appropriate notations have been made in the contents list below. Two small boxes containing individually-bagged samples (paint and materials) from the Capitol and other Fouquet models are housed inside Box 2. Extreme care should be used when handling these materials
Agency history record describes the history and functions of the Library of Virginia. (Search Library of Virginia as author).
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), after commissioning Charles-Louis Clerisseau (1721-1820) to execute finished drawings of his design for the Virginia State Capitol, hired Jean-Pierre Fouquet (1752-1829) to create a plaster of paris model to be sent to Virginia. The model was intended to be an aid to workmen at the building site.
  • Following its use as an instructional tool, the model became a historical artifact displayed for the majority of the 19th century in the Executive Mansion. In the 20th century, it was moved to the Rotunda in the newly expanded Capitol building. Because the model received regular additions of paint over the decades, many of the details were lost and there was a pronounced crackling on the surface.
  • In 1994, the Library of Virginia, in cooperation with Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and others, undertook an extensive analysis of the Fouquet model resulting in the thorough restoration and conservation of the original and the construction of a replica. The project revealed previously unknown information about the historic paint schemes of the Capitol, the 18th century model building process, and the history of the model itself. Ultimately, the project team decided that only limited restoration could be done to the original building model, so in order to illustrate the fine detail encapsulated under layers of paint, the group commissioned a replica. The reproduction was created using three-dimensional computer models attained from X-rays of the original.
  • Both Fouquet's original model and the replica will be displayed in the Virginia Capitol in 2007, following its extensive renovation and expansion.
Cataloging source
Citation source
Howlett, F. Carey. "Thomas Jefferson's Model for the Capitol of Virginia: A New Understanding," Virginia Cavalcade (Winter 2002), p. 4-15
Form designation
Capitol Model Project, Records
These records are part of the Library of Virginia record group (RG#35)
These records are part of the Library of Virginia record group (RG#35)
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
Immediate source of acquisition
Library of Virginia, Special Collections Department
Organization method
Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Type of unit
cu. ft.

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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