More Shirts!

This summer at the Valentine, we began the long and labor-intensive process of inventorying the Costume and Textiles Collection. My fellow intern and I were assigned ‘men’s shirts’ as our starting point, beginning with the earliest dated pieces and moving forward through the decades. It seemed fitting to all involved to start the audit with such a basic component of men’s dress. Read more

White Shirts: A Sartorial History

While womenswear is perpetually rewritten, contemporary menswear is consistently rooted in tradition. A man is given just a few inches of change here and there: a thinner tie, fewer buttons. Because he is limited in the tools of dress provided to him, his intents are expressed through subtleties. Read more


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. Read more

Buckles & Bits

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

The Joys of Research

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

The Valentine Announces “Community Conversations” Series

The Greater Richmond community is invited to attend the Community Conversations series to engage with fellow Richmonders in a dialogue about the region’s past and how that past can positively shape our collective future.

Richmond, Va. – The Valentine is pleased to announce the sixth iteration of the Community Conversations series.

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The Valentine Joins Smithsonian Magazine’s Eleventh Annual Museum Day Live!

Free Admission for All Participants Presenting a Museum Day Live! Ticket on September 26, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. (August 24, 2015) – The Valentine will open its doors free of charge on Saturday September 26, 2015, as part of Smithsonian magazine’s eleventh annual Museum Day Live! A nationwide event, Museum Day Live! offers free admission to visitors presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket at a participating museum or cultural institution.
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“In Gear: Richmond Cycles” Exhibition to Open at the Valentine

RICHMOND, Va. – There’s no question Richmond is a cyclists’ town. This exhibition is a uniquely-Valentine take on the history of cycling in Richmond from the 19th century to the present day. The exhibition opens on Aug. 27 in time for the UCI Road World Cycling Championships in mid-September.  The exhibition runs through Jan. 3, 2016. There will be special extended hours nightly until 8 p.m during the cycling events from Sept. 19-26 at the Valentine. Read more

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. Read more

The Valentine Announces New Admission Prices

The Valentine will operate under new admission prices starting July 1, 2015.
Adults are $10 per person and groups, seniors (55+) and students are $8 per person. The new pricing structure includes free admission for all active duty military and children under the age of 18. Read more