On November 1, 2013, the Valentine’s contractors Kjellstrom+Lee broke ground for the Valentine renovations which include new spaces for galleries and special events, an education center, gift shop, and lobby.
The ambitious renovation seamlessly merges the 1812 John Wickham House and gardens; the Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio, and three 19th-century row houses. Where barriers stood in late 2013, an open design now offers visual access from room-to-room; building-to-building, and galleries to streetscape.
The new galleries have clear sight lines with views into the 1812 John Wickham House and Valentine Garden, the Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio, and onto to Clay Street, once home to Richmond’s wealthiest and most powerful residents.
This is Richmond, Virginia exhibition is made possible by a grant from Altria Group and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Sara D. November Education Center
Sara D. November
Sara D. November was a successful 20th-century painter whose work was exhibited at the 1939 World’s Fair and internationally. Highly involved in education at the Valentine Museum, she taught art classes and developed exhibits. In 1932, when she was teaching an art class at the Valentine Museum, she received a telegram that her self-portrait had been accepted by the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Her influence on Richmond art and culture was legendary: she helped to develop the forerunner of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Richmond Academy of Arts. Her son, Neil November and his wife, Sarah Belle November, have generously supported the Valentine and countless cultural centers in Richmond. Sara November’s self-portrait will be seen by 10,000 students as they enter the education center for cultural programs in the next school year.
Klaus and Reynolds Costume and Textile Galleries
The Valentine’s Costume and Textile Collection, comprising about 40,000 pieces, enjoys an international reputation and is cited in some of America’s most influential fashion history books. It is one of the largest collections of its kind in the U.S., and features both rare costume and flat textiles. While the Valentine’s primary collection concentrates on Richmond-related objects, the Costume and Textile collection’s focus is broader, including items worn, used, made or sold in Virginia from the 1600s to the present. The Valentine textile collection is considered by scholars to be the “unofficial” costume and textile collection of Virginia.
Nathalie L. Klaus
Nathalie Klaus, for whom the Valentine’s Costume and Textile Gallery is named, was an avid collector of designer fashions and a longtime supporter of the Valentine. Mrs. Klaus was one of the early members of the Valentine Museum Guild. Phil Klaus, Natalie’s husband, was President and CEO of the successful Richmond Dry Goods Company. Today, the Klaus family business continues with CWD Kids (Children’s Wear Digest), led by Jim Klaus, a former board chairman of the Valentine.
Richard S. Reynolds Foundation
The Reynolds section of the Nathalie L. Klaus and Reynolds Family Costume and Textile Galleries is named in gratitude to the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation, dedicated to strengthening communities and supporting future generations. The Richard S. Reynolds Foundation was established in Richmond in memory of the successful tobacco and metals entrepreneur of the same name. Over the years, the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation has provided operating support, capital improvement assistance, funding for summer camps and endowment support. Recent Reynolds endowment gifts will expand public showings of the Valentine’s extensive costume and textile collection and support a new position for the costume and textile curator.
Stettinius Community Galleries
Wallace Stettinius, former chairman and CEO of Cadmus Communications Corp. and a community service activist, has offered business advice to non-profit institutions in every corner of Richmond, including Court End’s Valentine. Leadership Metro Richmond awarded Stettinius the Venison Arête Award for making a difference in the Richmond community, believing in the future of the region and giving unselfishly of his time and talent. He is an inductee in the Richmond Business Hall of Fame; serves on countless boards of directors, and lectures to public groups, colleges and universities.The Stettinius Community Galleries recognize organizations and individuals who have supported the Valentine, many of whom were recruited by Stettinius.
Henry Fleishman Stern, a developer and builder who created the Innsbrook corporate center and many Richmond area subdivisions, apartment complexes and hotels, started out working in his father’s Richmond millinery business. Stern gifted the Valentine with an endowment upon his death in 2011 to support a community gallery to interpret Richmond culture. He was an active member of many civic boards and a regular supporter of the Valentine, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Jewish Community Federation.