January 23, 2023

Bill Martin

The Valentine Adds Diverse Richmond Stories and Objects to Its Collection

RICHMOND – The Valentine is excited to announce new acquisitions from the past year that affirm the museum’s commitment to collecting diverse Richmond stories. In 2022, the Valentine added 44 accession groups to its holdings, totaling 650 new objects. These additions will enhance exhibitions, programs, and research for the years to come. The following selections highlight costume & textiles, general objects, and archival materials newly added to the collection that support the Valentine’s mission to engage, challenge, and inspire our community.

James Conway Farley, 1895-1910, Jefferson Fine Art Gallery, V.2022.15.01, Museum Purchase

One of a group of five cabinet photographs produced by the Jefferson Fine Art Gallery (523 E. Broad St.), this image is the only known formal photographic portrait of studio owner James Conway Farley (1854– about 1910). Farley was a Black photographer whose work gained national recognition. He exhibited at the Colored Industrial Fair in Richmond in 1884, where he won a first prize, and at the World Cotton Centennial in New Orleans in 1885. Farley’s work frequently appeared in The Richmond Planet newspaper. He operated the Jefferson Fine Art Gallery beginning in 1895.

Hat from Colonial Hair Goods, about 2010, Designs by Debbie, V.2022.06.01, Gift of Jung Ja Choi

This hat was unsold stock from Richmond retailer Colonial Hair Goods located at 211 E. Broad Street). Richmonder Jung Ja Choi, originally of South Korea, ran the business from 1978Colonial Hair Goods served predominantly Black women, offering wigs, hats and hair products. Impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and 2020 social justice protests, Choi closed Colonial Hair Goods late in 2021.

Robin Inn menu, 1968, V.2022.39.04, Gift of Carol Loupassi

This menu is part of a group of objects, including a neon sign, apron and photographs, from the Robin Inn restaurant (2501 Park Avenue), which closed in 2022. Manuel Loupassi. a Greek Immigrant and Holocaust survivor, acquired the restaurant in 1964. He met his future wife Carol there, and the couple co-owned and worked together in the restaurant until 1995, when they transferred ownership to their daughter Niki.

Monogram ring & display stand, late 20th century, Adolf Jewelers, V.2022.09.01-.02, Gift of Ronnie and Susan Adolf

Adolf Jewelers crafted this monogram ring for Susan Adolf using her initials. These custom rings were popular in the 20th century in Richmond, so much so that Best Products also began creating a similar product. Kurt and Jean Adolf, parents of Susan’s husband Ronnie, opened Adolf Jewelers in the Willow Lawn shopping center in 1961. Ronnie took over the business until his retirement in 2018. The Adolfs have also been active in the Richmond Jewish community for multiple generations.

Regalia (hat, cape, and sash) worn by Color Corps Commander of Knights of Columbus Council #395, late 20th–early 21th century, The English Company, Inc., V.2022.04.01a-c, Gift of Knights of Columbus Council #395

This regalia was worn by the Color Corps Commander while executing formal duties of training and activities for the Richmond-based Knights of Columbus Council #395. It was retired by the supreme council in 2019 and replaced with less formal regalia. The Knights of Columbus originated in March 1882 as a mutual benefit society for working class and immigrant Catholics in Connecticut but quickly expanded to become a global Catholic fraternal service order. Richmond Council #395 was the first chapter established in Richmond. It was chartered in 1899, with 79 charter members and included a large number of the founders and members of the McGill Catholic Union.

Pamunkey artist Ethan Brown with painted gourds, 2022, V.2022.41.01-.03, Museum Purchase

These three gourds were commissioned by the Valentine from Pamunkey artist Ethan Brown. The three pieces depict a creation story from the Paleo era, the story of Chief Cockacoeske, Queen of Pamunkey (d.1686), and the story of Opechancanough (d.1646). Ethan Brown is a living artist and member of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe. Brown burns designs into the gourd surface and then paints them. The gourds are currently on display in the exhibit “This is Richmond, Virginia.”


ABOUT THE VALENTINE The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond’s 400-year history for over a century. Located in the heart of historic downtown, the Valentine is a place for residents and tourists to discover the diverse stories that tell the broader history of this important region.