Poplar Forest Parkway & Quarter Site Exhibits

Forest, VA
Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest (TJPF or Poplar Forest) received a federal grant to complete and install wayside and trailhead exhibits. The objective was to transform the visitor experience at Poplar Forest by presenting a comprehensive narrative that explores the intertwined lives of both free and enslaved individuals at Jefferson’s retreat house and plantation in the late 1700s to early 1800s. These exhibits were initially outlined in our 2016 Schematic Exhibit Plan and further refined during the proposal processes in 2016 and 2017, separately completed by 106 Group.
To enhance involvement from the descendant community, an African American Advisory Group was established, consisting of civic and artistic leaders as well as social activists. Throughout the project’s design development phases, production, and installation, the Parkway and Quarter Site Exhibits project’s advisory group provided guidance. The current progress, supported by award-winning engagement with the African American descendant community, builds upon prior planning stages.
As part of the Parkway and Quarter Site Exhibits project, several elements were included, such as 13 new interpretive panels along the Parkway, 12 interpretive panels at the Quarter Site, five banners, “name wraps” featuring the names of enslaved individuals who worked at the site, an audio post, and four bronze tactiles showcasing archaeological resources recovered from the site. The project also featured exceptional custom artwork by the Caldecott Medal-winning artist and illustrator, E.B. Lewis.
"Overall [Dr. Spencer Crew] is very excited about the signs. They [106 Group] do a great job of evoking a sense of place and purpose really showing off the duality of enslaved people surviving under harsh circumstances" - Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest, Executive Director
- Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest, Executive Director
Case Study & Film
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission that emerged during the dismantling of South Africa’s apartheid system acknowledged four kinds of truth as part of a societal healing process. See how these truths are reflected in recent interpretive planning at Thomas Jefferson’s retreat home, Poplar Forest.
To learn more about this project, check out our case study and videos.