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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.

 

 

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Developing Richmond: Photographs from the Cook Studio

When photographer George S. Cook relocated with his family to Richmond in 1880, he arrived in a city caught between the old and the new: Richmond bustled with post-Civil War construction and economic enterprise even while it held onto the antebellum social and political order.

Acquired by the Valentine Museum in 1954, the Cook Studio’s more than 10,000 negatives and prints visually document Richmond at the turn of the 20th century.  Experience imagery taken by George and his son Huestis Cook of this conflicted and changing city.

 

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

Monumental: Richmond’s Monuments (1607-2018)

Since Christopher Newport’s expedition planted a cross on the banks of the James River in 1607, Richmonders have marked the landscape to reflect their collective values. Monumental will look at the historical context of public monuments in Richmond, and the Valentine is excited to build on its role as a space to engage in meaningful, sometimes uncomfortable discussions about what we have chosen to commemorate and what we have chosen to forget.

Photo courtesy Jay Paul/Richmond Magazine

Pretty Powerful: Fashion and Virginia Women

The fashion industry in all its forms was one of the first industries to offer Richmond women of diverse backgrounds and colors an accepted professional path with prospects for personal agency. Communal participation is central to the success of the fashion industry. Through word of mouth, one woman’s social network can become another’s client base. At the same time, many of the Richmond women working in fashion have used their professional connections and successes to bring attention to the city and its industries.

In a superb display of high fashion and low from the 19th century to the present day, Pretty Powerful: Fashion and Virginia Women will examine the role of fashion in the professional, creative and social advancement of women in Richmond, Virginia.

 

made possible by our generous sponsors

            

                        

Ms. Susan L. Klaus*
Mr. James W. Klaus*
Mr. and Mrs. Philip W. Klaus, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Bruce A. Kay
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Valentine
Rejena Carreras and Tom Jones
CCH Collection
Lori and Chris Evangel
Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. Luck III
Caroline Rennolds Milbank
Quirk Gallery and Verdalina
Jane L. Schwarzschild and V.R. Shackelford III*
Ms. Helayne Spivak

*Charter Member of the Valentine Costume and Textile Collective

Pandemic: Richmond

Pandemic: Richmond explores the repeated storms of disease that have swept through the city. From influenza to cholera to polio to AIDS/HIV, this exhibition investigates how Richmonders have fought silent, invisible enemies and tells their stories of both loss and survival.

 

Lead Sponsor

Additional support provided by

 

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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 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.