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The 1812 Wickham House

A dialogue-based guided tour of the 1812 Wickham House, a National Historic Landmark, challenges guests to explore aspects of life in the early 19th century. The Wickham House was purchased by Mann Valentine Jr. and in 1898 became the first home of the Valentine Museum. This historic home allows us to tell the complicated story of the Wickham family, the home’s enslaved occupants, sharing spaces, the realities of urban slavery and more. The Wickham House cellars opened in April 2017 with new hands-on history interactive chests exploring everyday life above and below stairs as well as a short film, Shared Spaces: Separate Stories.

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#BallotBattle: Richmond’s Social Struggle for Suffrage

To highlight the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, #BallotBattle: Richmond’s Social Struggle for Suffrage uses modern social media platforms to profile five Richmond viewpoints and the racial and generational tensions that each exposed. Between 1909 and 1920, both pro-suffrage and anti-suffrage advocates battled tenaciously, using all the platforms available to persuade both the legislature and the general public. While they could not use Twitter or Facebook, they did rely on newspapers, broadsides, pamphlets, postcards, banners, and personal accessories to proclaim their viewpoints.  Just like our complicated social media battles today, the final political and legal outcome was never a foregone conclusion.

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Dressing Identity: Caring for Collections and Understanding Ourselves

Dressing Identity is a one-of-a-kind exhibition that presents a working Costume and Textiles Collections Lab as well as a gallery of objects which present powerful symbols of identity. Taken together, these galleries provide a glimpse into how both the Valentine and the larger community claim, interpret and share identity through dress.

Dressing Identity: Caring for Collections features a Collections Lab on view where visitors can watch as members of the museum’s Costume and Textile team catalog, mount, photograph, label and prepare artifacts for storage in the museum’s collection. The lab will provide museum attendees with an inside-look at how the Valentine’s historic objects are protected for generations to come.

In the second adjacent gallery and a companion to Dressing Identity: Caring For Collections,  Dressing Identity: Understanding Ourselves presents visible manifestations of grief, pride, honor, ambition, fear and joy. These objects from our collection speak in a broad array of symbolic languages that reflect the rich diversity of Richmond but also communicate a message that is shared by us all.

 

 

Monument Avenue: General Demotion/General Devotion

Following Monumental: Richmond’s Monuments (1607-2018), the Valentine is hosting Monument Avenue: General Demotion/General Devotion. The Storefront for Community Design and the mObstudiO at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts invited teams of planners, architects, designers, artists and individuals to participate in a national design competition to conceptually re-imagine Monument Avenue and contribute to the ongoing dialogue about race, memory, the urban landscape and public art. The finalists are featured in this one-of-a-kind exhibition at the Valentine.

Visit www.monumentavenuegdgd.com for details.

Competition Partners

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This Is Richmond, Virginia

What defines a city? Physical boundaries? People? Economy? Government? Shared beliefs? Richmond is defined by all of these concepts. No one aspect is greater than the other. Together, they create this unique place we call Richmond, Virginia. Richmond is also defined by artifacts, which convey meaning and tell stories. They are collected as silent witnesses of the past and present. The objects in this exhibition have passed through many hands to create personal stories. Collectively, these artifacts help to tell the community’s larger history.

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The Valentine First Freedom Center and Monument

The Valentine First Freedom Center is located on the same corner where Virginia’s General Assembly met in secret during the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson drafted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1777. Enacted in 1786, this revolutionary document paved the way for the first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and continues to impact how Virginians and the nation view the free exercise of religion.

Free to visit, the First Freedom Center celebrates this important history by exploring the past, present and future of religious freedom in America. Physically connected to the Marriott Residence Inn, guests and visitors can also experience the First Freedom Monument, which includes a 27-foot spire, a limestone wall etched with the enacting paragraph of the Statute and a 34-foot banner featuring a seminal Jefferson quote.

You can watch an introductory video about the First Freedom Center below:

You can also watch a video of the 2019 Religious Freedom Day Celebration at the First Freedom Center below:

The Valentine First Freedom Center is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

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Signs of the Times

The Valentine is known for its antique, vintage and contemporary collections. Our neon signs from Richmond businesses illustrate commercial growth and advertising trends. Mounted outdoors overlooking the Gray Family Terrace. We encourage you to come by after dusk to see them lit up!

Creating History
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Creating History: The Valentine Family and the Creation of a Museum

A new interpretation of this popular exhibition, Creating History is now viewable on the second floor of the 1812 Wickham House and features additional objects from the Valentine’s founding collection across five gallery spaces. The exhibition explores the Valentine family’s collecting enterprises, Valentine’s Meat Juice, and ways in which the Museum’s interpretation of Richmond’s history has evolved over the last 120 years.

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Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio

You probably know his work even if you don’t know his name. Edward Virginius Valentine (1838-1930) was a prominent sculptor whose works included the Recumbent Lee statue at Washington & Lee University, and the statue of Thomas Jefferson at the Jefferson Hotel. His studio is one of only four surviving 19th century sculpture studios in the United States that is open to the public. A visit to this restored studio offers a glimpse into the mind of the artist and into his times.