Images of Richmond During COVID-19 Pandemic
- Photographed by Elaine Odell
Collected by Museum
This recording is about four minutes. There are two columns in the middle of the exhibit. Please stand in between the two columns. Please then turn to face towards the exhibit’s entry. You are facing the Museum’s label of this display.
The label reads: Signage has been a key communication tool during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, signs reminded people to remain 6 feet apart, shared details about openings and closing, and provided directions for safe and healthy access. They also provided uplifting messages during a traumatic experience. These images capture just some of the signs that appeared in the Richmond region during the early months of the pandemic.
There are 12 pictures in this display, each about the size of a sheet of paper. 3 photographs have been selected for further description.
Step to the right side of the column. The photograph on the top row is the first stop. This picture was taken at Market at 25th Street in Church Hill. It shows a section of 3 rows of black metal shelves in the aisle of a store. All three shelves are empty. A horizontal, rectangular paper sign is attached to the top row of the shelves. A message printed in black ink reads, “All bathroom tissue, limit 2, per person, per day.” Two more signs like the one just described are attached to empty shelves further away.
Step to the right again to the next side of the column. The next photograph described will be the second from the top. This picture shows the front entrance of Sub Rosa Bakery in Church Hill. To the left is a brick sidewalk leading away. In the center of the image is a tall black chalkboard sign leaning against a faded red column. At the top of the sign, handwritten white chalk words read “Open for online orders only”. To the left of the sign is a red metal fold-out table. The center of the sign shows a white arrow drawn facing towards the table. Words written next to the arrow say “We will place your order on this table once you let us know you have arrived.” At the bottom of the sign is the message that states “Thank you all for your cooperation, kindness, and patronage. We love you. Sub Rosa”. Large potted plants flank the doorway behind the sign. A rope is tied between them. Behind the rope is a young lady wearing a white cloth mask. She is opening a faded red door that has a large glass window.
Go ahead and walk right to the last side of the column. On the row second from the bottom is the last image that will be described. This picture was taken at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. A dark gray sign covers the right side of the image. It is in a shaded, outdoor area. The sign appears smooth and has a black metal frame. Light gray print covers the sign. The sentence “HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID-19” is written in capital letters. Beneath this line is an image of a light gray block. Five dark-gray silhouettes of people are scattered within. Thin arrows point in between the figures. The first sentence in the paragraph written further down the sign states, “As you enjoy VMFA’s sculpture garden, please practice social distancing.” Walking towards the left is a man wearing a blue bandana around his mouth and nose. To his left, a short tree in a vivid orange pot, colorful flowers, a pond with reeds, and tall leafy trees.