Community & News

Community & News


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Parasols originated in ancient Assyria. They began as fashioned palm branches and reeds held over the heads of Kings and other royalty. Pale skin from avoiding the sun through use of a parasol became associated with wealth and social status.

Buckles & Bits

“One, two, buckle my shoe…” – English Nursery Rhyme

The Joys of Research

The Joys of Research, or, Why I Love the Internet (and Libraries!)

A Brief History of Floorcloths

During John Wickham’s lifetime (1763-1839), a floorcloth was a term that referred to a traditional rug or fitted carpet substitute made from treated or untreated wool, linen, or cotton. Floorcloths went by numerous names including painted, printed, stamped, or common carpet, oil floor cloth, wax cloth, fancy-pattern cloth and various combinations of the above. Originally made of canvas, linseed oil, whiting and pigments, a painted floorcloth was water and insect resistant as well as more easily cleaned than the more familiar Wilton, Axminster or Turkish rug or carpet.

Edith Shelton Collection

The Valentine has another great photograph collection to share with the world! Donated by Mrs. Edgar Fisher, Jr. in 1991, the Edith K. Shelton Slide Collection is now ready for on line viewing. The collection of just over 3,000 35mm color slides is a glimpse into the architecture and life of Richmond’s older neighborhoods, often ones that have been demolished by road or building projects.

Classically inspired VCU Fashion Students

In conjunction with the Classical Allure: Richmond Style exhibition, VCU fashion students were given the opportunity to view the Valentine's costume collection and create classically inspired sketches.

As one war ends, another faceoff begins

With the anniversary of Richmond’s 1865 surrender reaching its 150th anniversary this week, the city’s most unique commemoration of the American Civil War sesquicentennial opened at the Valentine on March 26. Working alongside Meg Hughes, Curator of Archives, I have spent the past few months researching, writing, and designing Beard Wars, a photography exhibition juxtaposing ‘then’ and ‘now’ between Civil War imagery and contemporary photography.

Charles W. Smith

To celebrate the artistic work of Charles W. Smith, the Valentine, with the help of Richmond based crowd-funding company Bonfire Funds, has created a shirt featuring Smith’s print "Backyards" (V.59.72.26), a view of iconic Richmond row houses that was named one of the 50 best prints of 1931. Through November 5, you can place your order for this special shirt that introduces the Valentine’s new brand in conjunction with Smith’s work. With an additional donation of $15 or more, you will also become a Valentine Member complete with all of the membership bells and whistles.

RVA50 Object 50 "Rainbow Pride Flag, circa 2010"

Rainbow Pride Flag, circa 2010
Nylon, metal

RVA50 Object 49 "Qipao or Cheongsam, circa 1970"

Qipao or Cheongsam, circa 1970
Worn by Ms. Julie Laghi