Sweeney’s Claymount

Pottery production is among the earliest of American artisan crafts. Everything needed for the production of pottery was present in Virginia-clay deposits, hardwood for firing kilns, and skilled craftsmen and entrepreneurs. In 1838, Henrico County native Stephen Booker Sweeney bought land on the north side of the James River in Henrico County, adding parcels over the next twenty years to assemble a property he whimsically named Claymount. Read more

An Interview with Wanda Hernandez on Nuestras Historias: Latinos in Richmond

Richmond is home to over 100,000 Latinos with various histories and lives. Opening July 27, 2017, Nuestras Historias: Latinos in Richmond, takes a look at the diverse culture and experiences of Latinos in Richmond. I sat down with curator Wanda Hernandez to talk more about the exhibition. Read the interview below and make sure to visit The Valentine when the exhibition openings this summer.

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Open Air Schools: The Fight Against Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an ancient disease that has killed over one billion people in the last two centuries.  Read more

The Valentine Announces “Community Conversation Series”

The Valentine is pleased to announce the sixth iteration of the 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.

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. 

“The more people that join in the conversation, the more productive our efforts become, and the easier it will be for people to see themselves in the history of the region,” said Bill Martin, Director of the Valentine.


This year, the Valentine will partner with TMI, Altria, RRHA and Richmond Magazine to present public discussions about sustainability issues in the Richmond area. Each conversation will feature a panel of local experts that can best represent the given topic and the timely issues surrounding that topic.

Community Conversations Dates & Topics:

Tuesday, October 6
6-8 p.m.

Tuesday, November 3
6-8 p.m.

Historic Preservation
Tuesday, January 5
6-8 p.m.

Urban Farming
Tuesday, February 2
6-8 p.m.

Tuesday, March 1
6-8 p.m.

Public Spaces (Including the James River)
Tuesday, April 5
6-8 p.m.


All Community Conversations  are free and open to the public.

The events will be held at the Valentine in the Multi-Purpose Room located on the lower level.

Parking is available in the Valentine’s lot located off of 10th Street. The entrance is located between Clay and Marshall streets.

For more information, contact (804) 649-0711 ext. 301.


About the Valentine

The Valentine preserves, conserves and interprets Richmond, Virginia history and diverse community issues by focusing on urban and social history, costumes, decorative arts and architecture. It is the only institution in the country committed solely to this mission and it is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It houses a 40,000-piece collection of textiles and costumes, one of the largest Western collections of its kind. The Valentine maintains more than one million photographic images of the city, and 25,000 decorative arts pieces, including portraits, furniture and domestic items. Its research library provides primary source material for national and international scholars. The Valentine-owned 1812 John Wickham House is listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.



Hollywood Cemetery is Alive

Hollywood Cemetery has it all: Civil War ghosts, mausoleums, pyramids, and a great place to run in the morning. Founded in 1847 by Richmond locals William Haxall and Joshua Fry, Hollywood Cemetery sold its first grave in 1849. Since then, the cemetery has become the resting site of numerous historical figures. Two United States Presidents: James Monroe and John Tyler reside in the cemetery. President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis’ gravesite can also be found there. The cemetery is home to many other prominent and historical local figures such as teachers, congressmen, generals and even a Supreme Court Justice.

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610 South First Street, Just Before They Left by Ruth Clide Proffitt

Ruth Clide Proffitt: A Story of Portraits Series

A story of resilience, Ruth Clide Proffitt faced many adversaries her entire life. At the age of five, Proffitt’s mother passed away, causing Ruth to take on the responsibility of raising her siblings. Ruth would spend her life in Richmond, becoming a painter as a means of making money as well as a form of self-expression. Ruth settled in Oregon Hill which became a backdrop and focal point in many of her works. This family portrait paints the peaceful crowded, yet struggling life of the Proffitt family in their Oregon Hill home.

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Meat Juice Love: A Story of Portraits Series

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Time to get your roses and chocolates together for your special someone, but don’t forget the meat juice, specifically Valentine’s Meat Juice. The love story of Mann and Ann Valentine is full of romance, money, and meat.

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Mattie Ould: A Story of Portraits Series

Instead of following the archetypal life of the Southern Belle, Mattie Ould flipped southern family values on its head with lasting consequences. Feeling trapped in an engagement to one of her father’s associates, Ould packed her bags and ran off to elope with the dashing Oliver Schoolcraft. The two settled in Richmond, but tragically Mattie and her young daughter died shortly after in 1877, having never reconciled with her father. The Mattie Ould story has been retold for generations in Richmond.

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Elisha and Joseph: A Story of Portraits Series

The Great Depression was a time of tremendous hardships for Americans, especially members of the African American community. A commissioned portrait at the time was a luxury few could afford. However, Elisha and Joseph, both of whom worked for the Mayo family had their portraits painted by Isabel Jones Mayo. The couple’s smiles highlight the fortitude of the two during such a grueling moment in history.

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A Story of Portraits

Focusing on portraits in current exhibition “It’s All Relative: Richmond Families (1616-2016)” the Valentine takes a look at the stories behind various portraits in our collection..

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