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Artwork for CHP Seed Packets by Tim O'Kane, 2017 -

 Collection — Series: 53, Box: 1
Identifier: 53


  • 2017 -

History and Background

In 2017, staff at Monticello’s Center for Historic Plants began working with local artist Tim O’Kane on a series of original oil paintings of historic plants for the Center’s line of flower, vegetable and herb seed packets. The process for each painting involves research, photography, sketching, underpainting and then the final painting, with the artist meeting and consulting with CHP staff throughout the process to ensure botanical accuracy. Some paintings include relevant wildlife such as bees, birds and butterflies, as well as a few details inspired by Jefferson-era pottery. Approximately 10-30 paintings are completed each year, working towards the goal of illustrating each of the circa 120 varieties offered in the CHP seed line. The illustrated packets are visually appealing and engaging, and give Monticello visitors, both in the Shop and online, an idea of what the plant will look like in their own gardens.

To learn more, watch this 2021 video featuring these seed packet paintings by Tim O'Kane.


The project is made possible by the generous support of donors Ken and Teresa Wood.

Artist Bio

Tim O’Kane is a Virginia-based artist. The recipient of numerous awards, grants and fellowships from the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the University of Virginia, his work has been exhibited and collected internationally. He is known mostly for his large narrative drawings and paintings, but also for his portraits, cityscapes and landscapes of Italy where he has traveled often and, as well, his more recent still-life subject matter.


1.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Archives Repository

Jefferson Library, Thomas Jefferson Foundation
Post Office Box 316
Charlottesville VA 22902
(434) 984-7543