Edward V. Valentine was born on November 2, 1838, the youngest of Mann and Elizabeth Valentine’s nine children. He began his education at the private Richmond Academy.
His interest in art led him to work with a family friend, artist William James Hubard, and to take classes in anatomy at the nearby Medical College of Virginia. In 1859 at the age of 20, Valentine left for Europe to work with several artists, including German sculptor August Kiss, until 1865 when he returned home to Richmond.
Valentine established a sculpture studio in an old carriage house (link to studio story) and made money making popular busts and sculptures of Confederate generals for public display and racist caricature statues that were sold for private home decoration. His work helped to spread the Lost Cause myth (link to Lost Cause story).
It was in this studio where Valentine would make the majority of his works, including the Recumbent Lee for Washington and Lee University (then Washington College), the classical sculpture Andromache and Astyanax based on a Greek epic poem that was displayed at the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893, and the statue of Jefferson Davis for the Davis Monument on Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA (torn down by protestors in 2020).
He served as the first president of the Valentine Museum (opened 1898), which was founded by his brother, Mann S. Valentine II. Edward Valentine died in 1930 and is buried in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery.
Please explore our new exhibit Sculpting History: Art, Power, and the ‘Lost Cause’ American Myth.
|Authors||Valentine Museum Staff|
|Work Title||Edward V. Valentine|
|Published||October 6, 2023|
|Updated||November 16, 2023|
|Copyright||© 2023 The Valentine Museum|