“An Unfinished Museum: 125 Years of the Valentine” Showcases the Museum’s Dedication to Evolving with the Richmond Community

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June 23, 2023

Christina Swanson, MA
Director of PR & Marketing


RICHMOND, VA – On Friday, June 30th, 2023, the Valentine will open its newest exhibition, An Unfinished Museum: 125 Years of the Valentine. This captivating showcase, featuring photography from the museum’s collection, invites visitors to delve into the rich history of the Valentine and its ever-evolving role in serving the dynamic needs of the Richmond community.

In 1930, Laura Bragg, the acting Director of the Valentine, expressed her dismay at plans to delay the reopening of the 30-year-old Valentine Museum following a major reorganization and expansion. Bragg wrote to then-President Granville Valentine, stating, “A finished museum is a dead one,” and urged that the museum open as planned that October. Inspired by her forward-thinking vision, An Unfinished Museum pays homage to Bragg’s profound insight, reflecting the Valentine’s dedication to adaptability and growth throughout its history.

“Over the decades, the Valentine has adapted its collecting and programming to address the needs of the Richmond community. To remain vital, museums must be living institutions that change with the times – the Valentine has done this time and time again over its history,” says Meg Hughes, Deputy Director of Collections and the curator for this exhibition.

The opening of An Unfinished Museum also marks the beginning of a series of events that celebrate the Valentine’s 125th anniversary year. This includes the completion of an expansion project that adds new collection storage and public access spaces, the opening of an innovative exhibition in the Edward Valentine Studio, and a 125th Gala in Spring of 2024.

“Our 125th anniversary year is not only a celebration of our past accomplishments but also an opportunity to reaffirm our dedication to preserving and sharing Richmond’s history for generations to come,” says Valentine Director, Bill Martin, “Together, we honor the past, embrace the present, and envision an exciting future for the Valentine.”

An Unfinished Museum will run from June 30, 2023 – September 2, 2024. The Valentine offers free admission every Thursday and, in honor of An Unfinished Museum, will also offer free admission on Saturday, July 1, 2023.

For more information about this exhibition, including ticketing and visiting hours, please visit the Valentine’s website at thevalentine.org or call, 804.649.0711.


The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond’s 400-year history for over a century. Located in the heart of historic downtown, the Valentine is a place for residents and tourists to discover the diverse stories that tell the broader history of this important region. thevalentine.org


Press Contact
Christina Swanson