RVA50 Object 14 “Richmond Theatre Fire Needlework Sampler”

Richmond Theatre Fire Needlework Sampler
Sally Washington Clark, 1812
Linen, silk
V.81.119 Read more

Let’s Talk Dirt.

This week contractors dug trenches for new plumbing in the lower level of the History Center.

Since 1902 the Valentine has been providing educational experiences for Richmond students. For most of these 100 years, kids have been building small clay pots as a part of our Powhatan Indians school program. Believe it or not, one of our larger budget items has always been for our large annual supply of red clay. Over the years I am certain that tons of clay has been used to support this program.

Well….we can now slash our education budget (not really).

In putting in the new water lines to support the new Sara D. November Education Center and our new restrooms, we found beautiful red clay and lots of it. Trenches are being carefully hand dug through the floors in preparation for the water pipes and drains.

As the initial demolition phase comes to a close, we are beginning to see hints of the new spaces that will support and sustain our long engagement with the public schools. We should not be surprised that our programs and our buildings are both built on foundations of the red clay soils of the South…the soils that have always supported all of us.

Are you curious about the progress of our renovation? Please join us for one of our Hard Hat Happy Hours that occur every Wednesday from 4:30-6:00 p.m. You can contact me for more information or RSVP online and let me know you’ll be coming by.

If you would like to help keep us calm and hammering on, you can support the History Center on our secure donation page at /give

A student and her clay pot
A student proudly shows off her clay pot. 

A man standing by a pit. Plumbing
Trenches are being dug and new plumbing is being installed in the Sara D. November Education Center and for the new restrooms. (Photo by Burl Rollet, Richmond BizSense).  

-Bill Martin, Director

Jackhammers Galore!

While the weather outside was frightful, the work inside was frightening. There has been the noise of jackhammers everywhere!

While the weather outside was frightful, the work inside was frightening. I really thought that most of the demolition inside the building had been completed. Well…I was wrong! 

There has been the noise of jackhammers everywhere! 

This was the week that large load bearing walls were removed to prepare for the new steel beams waiting to be installed. Suddenly we have even larger open spaces for the Stettinius Community Galleries and the Klaus and Reynolds Costume and Textile Galleries.

I really did not understand fully the magnitude of some of these changes until I saw it for myself this week.

Until the beams are in we have a new art installation (actually it is a complex web of temporary framing – see below) that supports all four floors. While the framing is really beautiful, I know that our staff on the floors above would rather be focused on planning for the new galleries than the constant noise below. With the work on the basement floor, we are now able to look through the entire building from the Wickham House to the education center in the Bransford Cecil House. 


Temporary framing in the Stettinius Community Garden.

Wickham house view
The view from the Wickham House into the Sara D. November Education Center

But the renovation fun did not end there, the City also began their major replacement of water and sewer lines on both Clay and 10th Streets. The streets around us have been filled with the sounds of jackhammers pulling up paving along with the movement of trucks and backhoes. VCU continues work on its new building (with lots of new parking) on Broad and 10th. 10th Street will soon be made 2-way providing much easier access to Broad Street.This is work that will change the way we think about our Court End neighborhood.
Clay St Construction
Water and sewer replacement on Clay Street.

OK…I’ll admit it…it’s a mess around here. And that is even more reason for you to come to one of our Hard Hat Happy Hours that occur every Wednesday from 4:30-6:00 p.m. You can contact me for more information or  RSVP online and let me know you’ll be coming by.

These are exciting times in Richmond and I know that you join us as we watch the transformation of the Valentine and downtown.

If you would like to help keep us calm and hammering on, you can support the History Center on our secure donation page at  /give.

-Bill Martin, Director

 

RVA50 Object 13 “Mrs. Joseph Marx”

Mrs. Joseph Marx

Attributed to John Wesley Jarvis, circa. 1825
Oil on canvas
V.64.64.02 Read more

RVA50 Object 12 “Thomas Callendine Boushall, (1894-1992)”

Thomas Callendine Boushall, (1894-1992)
1947
David Silvette
Oil on canvas
V.2012.26.01 Read more

We are more than a group of historic buildings on Clay Street.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could find us on every corner of our city?

The Silver Belles exhibition at the Wilton House Museum features evening gowns from the History Center’s Costume & Textile Collection.  The exhibit is on display through January 26.

We are more than a group of historic buildings on Clay Street.

I was reminded of our presence throughout the city during the holidays as I found hints of the Valentine everywhere.

  • It was in the crowds that paraded along Monument Avenue in our two sold-out Holiday Glitter: Monument Avenue After Dark walking tours.
  • It was in the thousands of students that participated in our school programs in December.
  • It was in photographs from our collection posted along Grace Street celebrating the new energy of this important downtown street.
  • It was even larger historic trolley images filling the walls of the old GRTC barns along Cary Street in the Fan.
  • It was in our neon sign photo exhibition surrounding me at a meeting at the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce and in our social outreach photo exhibition at Richmond City’s new Center for Workforce Innovation.
  • I even found dresses from our costume and textile collection featured in the holiday exhibition Silver Belles at the Wilton House Museum.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could find us on every corner of our city?

Are you curious about the progress of our renovation? Please join us for one of our Hard Hat Happy Hours that occur every Wednesday from 4:30-6:00 p.m. You can contact me for more information or RSVP online and let me know you’ll be coming by.

If you would like to help keep us calm and hammering on, you can support the History Center on our secure donation page at /give.

UR Panel

Images of trolley cars can been seen along the Cary Street wall outside of the GRTC Bus Depot.

CFWI Label CFWI Gallery

Images from the History Center’s collection are featured in Richmond Comes Together: Then and Now at the City’s new Center for Workforce Innovation.

-Bill Martin, Director

RVA50 Object 11 “Richmond Virginia. Where Men and Women Are Bought and Sold Like Cattle, 1866″

“Richmond Virginia.  Where Men and Women Are Bought and Sold Like Cattle,” 1866

From a sketch made in 1820
J.J. Nevins
Paper, ink and watercolor
V.45.28.26 Read more

RVA50 Object 10 “Death or Liberty, 1993″

“Death or Liberty,” 1993
Mark Weakley, Pyramid Studios
Scratchboard
V.94.58.02 Read more