Feeling Groovy

Surprise! (and this one is really interesting!)

One more discovery was made last week as walls were being removed.  An unfamiliar (and kind of groovy) graphic panel was revealed behind a ramp leading into our education center.

What is this odd combination of designs?

Providing hands-on educational experiences for the region’s schools has always been at the heart of the Valentine’s mission.  From the 1960’s through the 1980’s, the Valentine’s Junior Center (supported by the Junior League of Richmond) provided innovative science and art education programs to complement the museum’s long-standing history programs.  As you look at the wall, you can almost hear the punk rock and disco music of the era.

From the swirl of a galaxy to an artist’s palette, from a capital of an architectural column to a fish from the James River, the simplified design reminds us of the arts, science, nature and history programs that were offered in the education center.  (We even had an active bee colony on display!)

It is hard to imagine today, but when this panel was installed in the 1970’s there wasn’t a Science Museum of Virginia, a Children’s Museum, a Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, a Black History Museum or even a Maymont Nature Center.

What an amazing growth in our museums and the cultural assets in our region!

As the educational resources have expanded over the decades and as new museums have opened, the Valentine has continued to adapt and innovate.  This tradition and commitment to engagement in public education will continue as we plan to open the Sara D. November Education Center this coming fall.

Are you curious about our progress? Join us for a Hard Hat Happy Hour happening every Wednesday from 4:30-6:00 p.m. You can contact me for more information or RSVP online and let me know you’ll be coming by.

If you would like to help keep us calm and hammering on, you can support the History Center on our secure donation page at /give.

Bill Martin, Director