The Woman Behind Thomas Jefferson

Audiovisual integration

Sally’s Room

Located in Charlottesville, Virginia, Monticello is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Centre. The original plantation was built at the end of the 18th century by Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States. In 1996, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation opened the site to the public, giving people the opportunity to visit the historical home, along with the former croplands that surround it and the presidential library.

The south wing of the estate pays tribute to Sally Hemings, one of the most famous African-American women in U.S. history, who was Jefferson’s slave and mother to several of his illegitimate children. GSM Project tapped into XYZ’s expertise for the audiovisual content presented in what were once Hemings’ living quarters. The multimedia installation is designed to be both engaging and educational, focusing on important moments of her life in the exhibit room. Typical articles of clothing are also on display to give visitors a better idea of who she was and what her life was like.


The technological integration work was particularly painstaking in that it had to be carried out without damaging this small (190 sq. ft.) windowless room built in the 18th century.

The integration of pared-down, carefully designed audiovisual content into this small space helps visitors get to know Sally Hemings. The projection system using stretched canvases on two of the four walls, along with mapping on the articles of clothing that represent her whisks visitors back in time to experience her story from her point of view. A glowing mannequin only adds to the effect.

A motion detector in the room automatically triggers the audiovisual sequence when someone enters the room. A soundscape playing over ceiling-mounted speakers further enhances the overall ambiance.

XYZ Cultural Technology was also responsible for designing the lighting controls for another room in this heritage site.


  • Audio
  • Video
  • Lighting
  • Control systems


Audiovisual integration
Lighting integration
Technical design
System programming
Lighting programming


GSM Project


GSM Project