Wickham House 200: Inspiring New Art Two Centuries Later

The Wickham House is a spectacular example of 19th century neoclassic architecture and displays some of the country’s finest examples of interior decorative painting. Today, the house and its contents continues to foster artistic creation. Students from the nationally recognized Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts have created site-specific works of art inspired and informed by its architecture and history. This innovative project allows the visitor to investigate new interpretive approaches for historic houses. The exhibit explores contemporary responses to the House in a variety of media and disciplines. Look for these original masterpieces in the front hall, the parlor, the drawing room, upstairs and in the basement. We hope that these works of art inspire you.


History, Ink: The Tattoo Archive Project

This exhibition focuses on the rising popularity of body art, specifically tattoos, broadly in American culture and locally in Richmond. In 2010, NBC’s “The Today Show” listed Richmond as the third most tattooed city in the United States, citing the city’s high number of tattoo shops per capita. This year the Valentine partnered with local photographer Terry Brown to document locally-made tattoos.

“I am well and war is Hell”: Richmond During the World Wars

Curated from all of the Valentine’s collecting areas, the exhibit tells the story of Richmond residents who fought both at home and abroad to advance the American cause. “I am well and war is Hell” explores the sacrifices made by Richmond residents, the role of women at home and in the service and the innovative ways people coped with life during wartime. This exhibit is the third in a series of exhibitions focused on 20th century history.

Richmond Comes Together: Images of Community Outreach

This photograph exhibit features images of the various local and national organizations that provide social services and advocate for members of the Richmond community. Highlights of the show include examples of late 19th and 20th century efforts to fight poverty, homelessness and hunger. The exhibition also documents the local volunteers and philanthropists who have worked to improve child, senior and animal welfare and to provide education, job training and health care.


Into Focus: Henrico County through the Camera

An exploration of Henrico County’s history on the 400thanniversary of its founding, this photography exhibition includes images taken in Henrico from the 19th century to the present. Drawing upon the photograph collections of both the Valentine and Henrico County, “Into Focus” chronicles how times have changed architectural and culturally throughout the county. Originally named Henricus, Henrico was settled by the Virginia Company in 1611, making it the second English settlement in North America. The exhibition documents the county’s five districts of Brookland, Fairfield, Three Chopt, Tuckahoe, and Varina and includes photographs from historic sites such the J.E.B Stuart Monument at Yellow Tavern.

Inaugural Gowns of Virginia’s First Ladies

This exhibition includes nine gowns worn by Virginia First Ladies to the inaugural balls and receptions held to honor the new governor. These evening dresses present a glimpse into the personal style of each woman and the fashion of the time. Fashion in the state Capitol has followed the major trends of the 20th century. The Virginia First Lady gowns were purchased at local dress shops or department stores, and one was designed by a prominent New York fashion designer.


The “What in the World is Happening in this Photo?!?” Caption Contest Exhibit

An exhibition of mid-to-late century images from the Valentine’s Richmond Times-Dispatch Collection, as determined by the winners of a caption contest held in February 2011. The public was invited to submit original, creative captions for up to 100 random images from this collection. The winning captions appear alongside their respective photos, along with the actual captions that ran in the Richmond Newspapers, in an exhibition on view concurrently at the Valentine and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.


Manchester: From Sister City to South Richmond

Originally incorporated as a town in 1769, Manchester developed into an independent city directly south of Richmond across the James River and was incorporated into the City of Richmond in 1910. An early center of shipping and the slave trade, Manchester also was home to numerous mills and factories. Its main thoroughfare Hull Street developed into the area’s commercial core, serving the surrounding suburbs of Spring Hill, Blackwell, Forest Hill, Bainbridge, Woodland Heights and Swansboro.

Waste Not, Want Not: Richmond’s Great Depression, 1929-1941

This exhibition demonstrates life in Richmond during the Great Depression, which lasted from October 1929 until the U.S. entered World War II. In the midst of calamity, Richmond residents joined other Americans in an explosion of political, organizational and cultural creativity. Several important local businesses, organizations and cultural institutions were established during this period.


Please Enjoy the Show: Images of Richmond Theater

This photography exhibition explores Richmond’s 20th century theater community, examining playhouses and movie theaters, professional and amateur actors, and memorable events and personalities. Visitors will see images documenting the city’s rich theater history, from the Academy of Music and Biograph Theater to the Little Theatre League and Eddie Weaver. Additional playbills, tickets, posters and other theater memorabilia are located in cases outside of the Stern Gallery.