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New Valentine Exhibition Chronicles Richmond’s Response to Seven Deadly Diseases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2018

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

                                                                

New Valentine Exhibition Chronicles Richmond’s Response to Seven Deadly Diseases

Stories of life-saving progress collide with racial and social disparities in Pandemic: Richmond

RICHMOND – A new exhibition exploring the storms of disease that have swept through the city of Richmond will debut at the Valentine on May 10.

Richmond Influenza Vaccines, 1976, photo by Wallace Huey Clark, V.85.37.2477

Pandemic: Richmond identifies stories of both loss and survival as Richmonders fought silent, invisible enemies, including the 1918–1919 influenza, smallpox, tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid fever, polio and HIV/AIDS. Drawing on the Valentine’s expansive archival collection, this exhibition reveals how these seven diseases ravaged communities while prompting life-saving advances in health care.

“This exhibition gives the Valentine the opportunity to show the true scope and impact of disease throughout Richmond’s history,” said Curator of Archives Meg Hughes. “In addition to the past, Pandemic: Richmond looks at disease today and will hopefully inspire visitors to take an active role in determining how Richmond will address future outbreaks.”

The exhibition also confronts issues of access and inequality. Throughout Richmond’s history, the impact of disease has fallen disproportionately on African Americans, the poor, the enslaved and the disadvantaged. Pandemic: Richmond aims to examine and share these important stories.

“This exhibition uses disease as a way to discuss progress, community, bigotry and modernity in Richmond,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “From the laudable scientific achievements to the uncomfortable truths about who did and did not receive care, Pandemic: Richmond tells a nuanced story that is equal parts frightening and hopeful.”

Pandemic: Richmond was developed with collaborating scholar Elizabeth Outka, an associate professor of English at the University of Richmond and author of the upcoming Raising the Dead, a book about modernist literature and the flu pandemic in Britain and the United States.

“Disease often receives less attention than military conflict but pandemic outbreaks from smallpox to AIDS/HIV have profoundly shaped the city’s history and the lives of its citizens,” said Outka.

The exhibition will be on view at the Valentine from May 10, 2018 to February 24, 2019.

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About the Valentine
The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond stories for more than a century. Through collections, exhibitions and programs, the Valentine provides residents and tourists the opportunity to discover the diverse stories that tell the broader history of this important region. The Valentine offers major changing exhibitions, which focus on American urban and social history, costumes, decorative arts and architecture. https://thevalentine.org/

New Valentine Exhibition Recognizes Women’s Advancement through Fashion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2018

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

New Valentine Exhibition Recognizes Women’s Advancement through Fashion

Photo courtesy Jay Paul/Richmond Magazine

Day ensemble worn by Nathalie L. Klaus, 1972, Cotton voile, V.88.237.12a,b, Hanae Mori, Courtesy Jay Paul/Richmond magazine

RICHMOND – A new exhibition exploring fashion as central to the professional, creative and social advancement of women in Richmond will debut at the Valentine on April 26.

Entitled Pretty Powerful: Fashion and Virginia Women, this unique exhibition will explore how fashion offered Richmond women of diverse backgrounds and experiences an accepted professional path with prospects for personal agency.

“In this deep dive into the history of Richmond women working and living in fashion, the Valentine’s costume and textiles collection has revealed one treasure after another,” said Kristen Stewart, the Nathalie L. Klaus Curator of Costume and Textiles. “The styles in Pretty Powerful: Fashion and Virginia Women are as stunning as the stories are inspiring. “

Pretty Powerful emphasizes the role Richmond women have played in bringing greater awareness to the city and its industries. From the 19th century to the present day, this exhibition highlights how women designers, producers and consumers of fashion have sought their own means of empowerment, using their talents and expertise to help shape the cultural landscape of Richmond in the process.

“This exhibition is a perfect example of the Valentine’s dedication to sharing unique and timely Richmond Stories,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “As we continue to grapple with the nationwide discussion about the experiences of women in professional settings, Pretty Powerful provides a compelling narrative of empowerment, accomplishment and success.”

Pretty Powerful: Fashion and Virginia Women will be on-view at the Valentine from April 26, 2018 to January 27, 2019 in the Nathalie L. Klaus Gallery on the lower level.

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About the Valentine

The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond stories for more than a century. Through collections, exhibitions and programs, the Valentine provides residents and tourists the opportunity to discover the diverse stories that tell the broader history of this important region. The Valentine offers major changing exhibitions, which focus on American urban and social history, costumes, decorative arts and architecture. https://thevalentine.org/

About the Valentine Costume and Textiles Collection
The Costume and Textiles Collection at the Valentine comprises over 30,000 dress, accessory and textile objects made, sold, worn or used in Virginia from the late 18th century to the present day. The largest of its kind in the American South, this collection enjoys an international reputation among fashion and textile scholars.

76 Years of Neighborhood Tours!

The Claiborne Robins, Jr. Director of Public Programs Liz Reilly-Brown discusses the history of the Valentine’s neighborhood tours.

FIC.031797; “Carrington Row Tour”; Oct 28 1967; The Richmond Times-Dispatch

In the fall of 1942, the Valentine and historic preservation champion Mary Wingfield Scott launched a series of walking tours exploring Richmond. The Valentine had recently opened the exhibition Old Richmond Neighborhoods, a project that grew out of Scott’s efforts to document the city’s vulnerable historic neighborhoods and architecture. These early walking tours brought Richmond citizens together to explore their city, visiting areas such as Gamble’s Hill, Church Hill, Oregon Hill, Jackson Ward and Hollywood Cemetery.

Tours were among the methods utilized by Scott to spread the gospel of historic preservation. Scott educated residents about important examples of architecture and historic places in their own backyards, sites she believed were in need of saving from ongoing threats of demolition, disrepair and development.

V.85.37.4033; “Group Tours Restoration Project in Church Hill”; 1972; The Richmond Times-Dispatch

Thus, the Valentine’s tour program was born (though not always offered consistently and stewarded for a time by Historic Richmond Foundation). Today, the museum continues Scott’s work by providing Richmonders with opportunities to explore their city by foot, bus and bike, with the goal of sharing diverse stories of Richmond residents and exploring the ever-changing landscape.

In my personal experience organizing the tour program, some of the most rewarding moments have occurred spontaneously as tour takers share their own stories. On a tour of Battery Park last spring, our group discussed the shifting demographics of the neighborhood in the last seventy years, and two attendees recalled their personal experiences during school desegregation. They soon discovered that they were former elementary school classmates, one white and one black.

2018 will mark 76 years since the first Valentine walking tours, and we have many exciting things in the store for the coming season.  Favorite tours will be back, such as Hollywood Cemetery, our downtown City Center Walks and beloved areas like Church Hill, Jackson Ward and Scotts Addition. New additions to our tour program will take attendees to different parts of the city and provide new perspectives, such as a stroll along the Floodwall exploring the history of Richmond and the James River, a walk through the Broad Street Arts District, a tour and work day at Evergreen Cemetery and an exploration of Carytown’s LGBTQ+ history.

We hope that by continuing to explore our city and unearth the important stories of its residents, we honor the legacy of Mary Wingfield Scott, and the numerous people who have contributed to the diversity, culture and history of Richmond.

On behalf of the Valentine, I invite you to join us for tours, April through December. More info can be found at thevalentine.org/tours.

Liz Reilly-Brown is the Claiborne Robins, Jr. Director of Public Programs at the Valentine

Time Travelers: Free Admission to 19 Historic Sites in Richmond

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2018

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

Time Travelers: Free Admission to 19 Historic Sites in Richmond

Tourists and locals alike are invited to discover the area’s treasures spanning 400 years of fascinating history, including historic homes, museums and other one-of-a-kind attractions. Nineteen of the Richmond region’s historic sites will offer visitors a “Passport” to time-travel during a special admission-free weekend, March 24-25.

Each site will offer complimentary admission to visitors who show a Time Travelers Passport, available via download from the participating locations’ websites (see below). This special offer equates to savings of more than $65 per person. (Some restrictions may apply.)

Participating locations include:

Agecroft Hall & Gardens
Agecroft Hall, home to Richmond’s Tudor house, was first built in England in the 1500s, then transported across the ocean and rebuilt in Richmond in the 1920s. Today it is a museum furnished with art and artifacts from 17th century England. Take a 30-minute guided tour, stroll the manicured gardens overlooking the James River, explore the Sunroom Exhibit, get hands-on in the Tudor Kitchen and shop in the museum store. Located just west of Carytown at 4305 Sulgrave Road in Richmond, Agecroft Hall & Gardens will be open Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sun. 12:30-5 p.m. For more information, call 804-353-4241 or visit www.agecrofthall.org.

The American Civil War Museum – White House of the Confederacy
Best known as the Confederate executive mansion for Jefferson Davis and his family from 1861-1865, the house provides an ideal opportunity for exploring the full breadth and memory of the Civil War in Richmond. In its 200 year history, the house has served many roles: a private residence for Richmond’s influencers, a headquarters of U.S. occupying forces during Reconstruction, the Richmond Central School, The Confederate Museum, and now the fully restored White House of the Confederacy. All tours are guided and space is limited. As part of the house’s bicentennial, a special themed Lincoln & Davis tour begins at 1:30pm. Located at 1201 East Clay Street in Richmond, The American Civil War Museum’s White House of the Confederacy will be open Sat.-Sun. from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 804-649-1861 or visit www.acwm.org. Please note: Time Travelers Passport Holders will only receive free admission to the White House of the Confederacy house tour.

 The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design
The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design elevates awareness of the transformative power of architecture and design. We envision a society that appreciates, supports, and embraces exemplary architecture and design … past, present, and future. The Branch Museum is located in the historic Branch House, a Tudor-revival house that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was completed in 1919 by architect John Russell Pope for John and Beulah Branch. The Branch Museum is located at 2501 Monument Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23220. We are open Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 4pm, and Sunday 1pm – 5pm. We can be reached at 804-644-3041 ext 151, on our website at www.branchmuseum.org, or via email at frontdesk@branchmuseum.org

Chimborazo Medical Museum (Richmond National Battlefield Park)
Chimborazo became one of the Civil War’s largest military hospitals. When completed it contained more than 100 wards, a bakery and even a brewery. Although the hospital no longer exists, a museum on the same grounds contains original medical instruments and personal artifacts. Other displays include a scale model of the hospital and a short film on medical and surgical practices and the caregivers that comforted the sick and wounded.  The site is located at 3215 East Broad Street in Richmond, Virginia and is open for free seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call (804) 226-1981 or visit www.nps.gov/rich.

Clarke-Palmore House
The Clarke-Palmore House Museum is located high atop historic Marion Hill in Henrico County. The museum interprets the lives of the Palmore family who lived on this small farm in 1930. Like other families living through the Great Depression, the Palmore family struggled to make a living during tough economic times. Self-sufficiency and frugality were the norm. The museum will be open Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 4 p.m. and is located at 904 McCoul Street in Henrico.  For more information call (804) 652-3406 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.

Courtney Road Service Station
The 1920s were the boom years for the construction of gas stations in the United States due to an increase of cars, improved roads and low gas prices. Many were built in the “House with Canopy” design like the Courtney Road Service Station, a style that was a 1916 Standard Oil Company prototype. In 1938, the Barlow family owned the station. The station was operated by Mr. Millard G. Wiltshire and sold Sinclair Gasoline and Oil Products. The station is located at 3401 Mountain Road in Glen Allen and will be open Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 4 p.m. For more information call (804) 652-1455 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.

Dabbs House Museum
The Dabbs House, built in rural eastern Henrico in 1820, gained attention as Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s field headquarters during the summer of 1862. Learn about the history of the house from its use as a residence for the Dabbs family to its tenure as Henrico’s police headquarters from 1941 to 1971 and then as a police station until 2005. Visitors can tour the 1862 field headquarters and browse the exhibit galleries. Dabbs House Museum will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and is located at 3812 Nine Mile Road in eastern Henrico. For more information call (804) 652-3406 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.

The Edgar Allan Poe Museum
The Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia has been interpreting the life and influence of Edgar Allan Poe for the education and enjoyment of a global audience since 1922. The Museum’s collection of diverse items relating to Poe’s life and writings is the most comprehensive in the world and its programs reach thousands of scholars, students, teachers, and literary enthusiasts every year. Visit poemuseum.org for more information about our exhibits and upcoming events.

The John Marshall House
The John Marshall House, built in 1790, was the home of the “Great Chief Justice” for forty-five years. Listed on the National and Virginia Historic Registers, the John Marshall House has undergone remarkably few changes since Marshall’s lifetime. The property remained in the Marshall family until 1911.  The John Marshall House will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday and is located at 818 East Marshall Street in Richmond. For more information, call (804) 648-7998 or visit www.preservationvirginia.com/marshall.

Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
Businesswoman. Leader. Civil rights activist.  Maggie L. Walker was all of these things, and more.  A tour of her home highlights her achievements and reminds us of the obstacles she overcame to emerge as an inspirational figure in the early twentieth century.  The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site is located at 600 N. 2nd Street in Richmond, Virginia, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with tours of her home available daily, and is free of charge.  Reservations are suggested for groups of six or more. For more information and for tour times, call (804) 771-2017 ext. 0 or visit www.nps.gov/mawa.

Magnolia Grange, Chesterfield County Museum and 1892 Historic Jail
Built in 1822 by William Winfree, Magnolia Grange is a handsome Federal-style plantation house named for the circle of magnolia trees that once graced its front lawn. Noted for its distinctive architecture, the mansion contains elaborate ceiling medallions, as well as sophisticated carvings on mantels, doorways and window frames. The house has been carefully restored to its 1820s look and feel. The Chesterfield Museum is a reproduction of the colonial courthouse of 1750. Its collections tell the history of Chesterfield County from prehistoric times through the 20th century. Exhibits include early Indian culture, artifacts from the first iron and coal mines in America, which were in Chesterfield County, early household and farming tools and a country store of the late 19th century. The Old Jail, built in 1892, includes a changing exhibit downstairs “Mobilizing for War” on display through November 2018, a centennial exhibit focusing on the history of the establishment of Camp Lee to train and equip troops for WWI. Upstairs, visitors may view cells as they were when they housed their last prisoners in 1962. Magnolia Grange, the County Museum and Historic Jail will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.  Magnolia Grange is located at 10020 Iron Bridge Road; the County Museum and Jail are located nearby at 6813 Mimms Loop in Chesterfield. For more information, call Magnolia Grange at (804) 748-1498, the County Museum and Historic Jail at (804) 768-7311 or visit www.chesterfieldhistory.com.

Maymont
Maymont, a 100-acre American estate, was the home of New South business leader James Dooley and his wife Sallie from 1893 through 1925, and an extraordinary gift to the city of Richmond. Marvel at the 21 restored rooms that offer an unusually complete depiction of upstairs-downstairs life in the Gilded Age. The opulent upstairs interiors are adorned with Tiffany stained glass, frescoed ceilings and other sumptuous detailing, and filled with original furnishings and artwork. Downstairs service rooms tell the story of household tasks and technology and the challenges of working in domestic service during the Jim Crow era. The surrounding landscape features Italian and Japanese gardens, magnificent trees and a carriage display, as well as Virginia wildlife exhibits, a Farm and the Robins Nature & Visitor Center. Located at 1700 Hampton Street in the heart of Richmond, Maymont Mansion will be open Sat.-Sun. 12-5 p.m. (Grounds are open 10 a.m.-7 p.m.) For more information, call 804-358-7166 ext. 310 or visit www.maymont.org.

Meadow Farm Museum at Crump Park
Meadow Farm, one of the last remaining 19th century farms in Henrico County, is an 1860 living historical farm focusing on rural Virginia life just before the upheaval of the Civil War. Costumed interpreters provide insights into the lives of Dr. John Mosby Sheppard, the owner of Meadow Farm, his family and those who were enslaved at the farm. Explore the farmhouse, barn, doctor’s office, blacksmith’s forge, kitchen, fields and pastures. Meadow Farm Museum will be open 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and is located at 3400 Mountain Road in old Glen Allen. For more information call (804) 652-1455 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.

The Valentine and the 1812 Wickham House
The Wickham House, built in 1812, is a spectacular example of 19th-century Federal architecture and displays some of the country’s finest examples of interior decorative painting. Listed as a National Historic Landmark, the Wickham House, built by John and Elizabeth Wickham, illustrates the lives of one of Richmond’s most prominent families. The Wickham House was purchased by Mann Valentine, Jr., and in 1898 became the first home of the Valentine Museum. It is managed and operated by the Valentine. All tours are guided. The Valentine and the 1812 Wickham House will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and is located at 1015 East Clay Street in Richmond. The Valentine’s current exhibitions, Valentine Garden, Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio and the Valentine Store will be open as well. For more information, call (804) 649-0711 or visit www.thevalentine.org.

The Valentine First Freedom Center
The Valentine First Freedom Center houses 2,200 square feet of exhibits that delve into America’s experience of religious liberty from its European antecedents through today. It is located on the site where Thomas Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom was enacted into law by the Virginia General Assembly in 1786. Outside, a 27-foot spire, a limestone wall etched with the enacting paragraph of the Statute, and a 34-foot banner of a seminal Jefferson quote imprint the importance of the “first freedom” on all who come upon that busy corner. The Valentine First Freedom Center is located on the corner of South 14th & Cary streets and will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Parking is available on the street or in public pay lots.  For more information, call (804) 649-0711 or visit www.thevalentine.org/firstfreedomcenter.

Virginia Randolph Museum
On November 8, 1970, the Virginia Randolph Home Economics Cottage was dedicated as a museum in memory of Virginia Estelle Randolph, a pioneer educator, a humanitarian, and a creative leader in the field of education. The structure, built in 1937 was declared a National Historic landmark in 1976. She secured a teaching position with the Henrico County School Board and opened the old Mountain Road School in 1892 and taught for 57 years. The museum will be open Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 4 p.m. and is located at 2200 Mountain Road, Glen Allen. For more information call (804) 652-1475 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.

Walkerton Tavern
Walkerton was built by John Walker for use as a tavern in 1825. The 2 ½ story brick structure is architecturally notable for a second-story, hinged, swinging wall that can be moved to accommodate large gatherings. As well as a tavern, it has served as a voting precinct, hotel, and a post office at some point in the 19th century. The tavern will be open Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 4 p.m. and is located at 2892 Mountain Road in Glen Allen. For more information call (804) 652-1485 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.

Wilton House Museum
Overlooking a placid stretch of the James River, Wilton House has been welcoming guests since constructed in the 1750s as the centerpiece of a sprawling tobacco plantation by the Randolph Family of Virginia. Here, friends, relations, and weary travelers such as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette were welcomed. An impressive example of 18th-century Georgian Style architecture, Wilton House boasts its original and richly detailed paneling and a collection of fine and decorative arts from the Colonial and early Federal eras. When development threatened Wilton House in the 1930s, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Virginia purchased and restored the property. Wilton House Museum will be open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday and is located at 215 South Wilton Road in Richmond. For more information, call (804) 282-5936 or visit www.wiltonhousemuseum.org.

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Valentine School Programs: Fall round up!

Student Programs and Tours Manager Marisa Day provides an overview of some of the exciting and innovative student programs the Valentine will be offering this fall.

How does the Valentine continue its mission to educate, engage and challenge a diverse audience? Through our robust selection of school programs, of course! This past fall, our Valentine educators and tour guides served nearly 7,000 students in the Richmond metro region through museum programs, outreach visits and walking and bus tours. All of our programs are led by our wonderful educators who use their love of history and interactive components to encourage students and teachers to explore Richmond’s story – past and present.

A few of the programs the Valentine will be offering this school year includes:

Let’s Make History: Inspired by the wallpaper recently installed in the McClurg Bedroom and supported by funding from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, this new program explores the creation of home décor found in the 1812 Wickham House. Students discuss 19th century design and create an actual print with woodblocks based off the wallpaper design in the 1812 Wickham house and made by Jake Urbanski of Studio TwoThree. Students and teachers have enjoyed engaging with the museum in a new way and trying their hand at an artisanal skill. For more information on this program, click here.

Jake Urbanski of Studio TwoThree walking students through the printmaking activity.

History Makers in Richmond: Mapping the Monuments: In this program, first and third graders learn about a number of Richmond history makers (Maggie Walker, Thomas Jefferson, Arthur Ashe and others) who shaped local and national history. This field trip also includes a visit to Edward Valentine’s sculpture studio where educators discuss the process used to create and construct monuments. The program culminates with an opportunity for students to design their own monument.

Students exploring the Edward Valentine sculpture studio.

Our Changing Community: Who doesn’t want to play games in a museum? In this program students tour the 1812 Wickham House, play games and participate in activities to learn about how the lives of children in Richmond has changed over the last two centuries.

Students playing historical games as part of the Our Changing Community program.

Nuestras Historias: Latinos in Richmond School Visits: This fall, with programming created and coordinated by our curator Wanda Hernandez, the Valentine has been offering student visits of Nuestras Historias: Latinos in Richmond, the region’s first bilingual exhibition. Recently, students from JR Tucker’s ELL and Spanish Immersion programs toured Nuestras Historias in Spanish and English and participated in activities that encouraged them to think critically about different moments in U.S. history that involved or impacted people of color, including Mendez v. Westminster and Brown v. Board of Education.

Wanda Hernandez touring a school group through Nuestras Historias: Latinos in Richmond.

Of course these are only a selection of what we are excited to offer the students of the Richmond region. The Valentine Public Programs team is always willing to work with teachers to offer materials and programming that is relevant to the classroom curriculum and important to educating engaged and thoughtful citizens.  If you are interested in learning about ways that you can bring students to the Valentine (or bring our programs to your school) please visit our website, https://thevalentine.org/programs-tours/student/ or contact education@thevalentine.org.

Marisa Day is the Student Programs and Tours Manager at the Valentine

Typhoid Fever!

Curator of Archives Meg Hughes discusses our changing understanding of Richmond’s Typhoid outbreaks and Pandemic: Richmond, the Valentine’s upcoming exhibition 

In 2014, museum technician Laura Carr wrote about the digitization of a series of lantern slides donated by the Richmond Health Department to the Valentine in 1981. The slides depict efforts to eradicate typhoid fever in Richmond. At the time, we did not have a lot of information to share about the images. Happily, recent staff research has brought to light new details about this interesting collection.

V.81.99.48

The Richmond Health Department formed in 1906. One of its early initiatives (1907) was to investigate 433 cases of typhoid fever, creating the city’s first systematic study of infectious disease. In 1908, Dr. Ernest C. Levy (1868–1938), head of the Richmond Health Department, published the survey findings in The Old Dominion Journal of Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Levy discussed the generally declining rate of typhoid fever cases in Richmond from 1880 to 1907 but noted several outbreaks of the disease in 1881, 1884 and 1900.

V.81.99.50

One change in our understanding of the lantern slide collection relates to the overall city map that begins the series.

.81.99.01

We originally understood the solid circles to indicate cases of typhoid fever, in which case the disease appeared to concentrate within the heart of the city. This is not the case. In fact, the solid circles represent properties with city-supplied water. Hollow circles represent properties with water provided by wells or springs. While one cluster of outbreaks in Church Hill was determined to come from a typhoid-infected confectioner, the larger proportion of cases were from properties on the outskirts of the city, generally using water from wells or springs and lacking sewage systems. Viewing the circles with this new information completely changes one’s interpretation of the map.

V.81.99.01

Museum visitors will learn more about Richmond’s fight against typhoid fever and other infectious diseases in May 2018 when Pandemic: Richmond opens in the Valentine’s Lower Level. This exhibition explores the repeated storms of disease that have swept through the city. From influenza to cholera to polio to AIDS/HIV, Pandemic: Richmond investigates how Richmonders have fought silent, invisible enemies and tells their stories of both loss and survival

Meg Hughes is the Curator of Archives at the Valentine

Out of the Rat’s Nest and into the Bedchamber

The Elise H. Wright Curator of the General Collection David Voelkel provides an update on the new wallpaper installation that all began with a chance discovery in a rat’s nest. 

The Valentine has been working tirelessly to reinterpret for a new audience the restored interiors of the 1812 Wickham House to reflect the period before the 1839 death of John Wickham. Recent work has focused on the McClurg bedchamber. Originally the Wickham’s principal guest room, the McClurg Bedchamber became the home of Mrs. Wickham’s widower father Dr. James McClurg from 1816 until his death in July 1823.

This project began with an important discovery during the house restoration: a tiny fragment of wallpaper pulled from a 19th century rat’s nest (watch the Hidden History Segment from WRIC). The New York firm Adelphi Paper Hangings worked from this scrap coupled with another nearly-matching full section of wallpaper from Historic New England’s archives to create our “Wickham Stripe” wallpaper. Located in Sharon Springs, New York, Adelphi Paper Hangings is a small, artisanal manufacturer of historically accurate block printed wallpapers. The “Wickham Stripe” wallpaper was block-printed by Adelphi staff using custom-carved pear wood printing blocks and distemper paint on a special French-made paper which is hand-seamed using rabbit glue.

Wallpaper installation is an artisan craft that requires years of experience to become a master hanger. Adelphi recommended Brian Conn of Oceans Wallcovering LLC for our current project. We could not have been in better hands this past week as the paper literally rolled out and up onto our walls – a first in our restoration of the Wickham House!

In addition to measuring the McClurg Bedchamber to place the order for the correct amount of paper (always factor in an extra 15 -20% for pattern-matching and possible future repairs!), Conn advised the museum to thoroughly prepare the existing plaster walls by filling any holes or cracks, smoothing them down with sandpaper and applying an oil-based primer. Conn installed an acid-free liner paper over the newly painted and sanded walls to ensure the best results for the “Wickham Stripe” wallpaper.

Come see the final results in person during our free Court End Christmas Open House on Sunday, December 10 from noon to 5 p.m.!

David Voelkel is the Elise H. Wright Curator of the General Collection

Santiago’s T-Shirt

Wanda Hernández, Curator of Nuestras Historias: Latinos in Richmond discusses how DACA has impacted one of the individuals featured in the exhibition

Photo: Dan Currier

During the creation of Nuestras Historias: Latinos in Richmond, I interviewed over 60 Latinos in the Richmond area. One of the individuals I interviewed was Santiago, who shed light on the complexities of immigration policy and how it impacts his day-to-day life. At the time of the interview, Santiago was completing his last year at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. However, On September 5, 2017, Santiago received life-altering news.

While parents conversed at bus stops, kids loaded school buses and teachers prepared their classrooms, President Trump announced the discontinuation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive order issued by President Obama in 2012 to protect undocumented youth from deportation. The optimism that accompanied the new school year evaporated for approximately 800,000 DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers.

In order to qualify for DACA, the applicant has to be 30 years old or under, have arrived in the U.S. prior to the age of 16 and lived here for five consecutive years. Additionally, the applicant must be an outstanding citizen, maintain a clean criminal record, be in school or have graduated, or be a military veteran. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants met these rigorous requirements. Until 2012, a Dreamer’s legal status was a well-guarded secret for many Richmonders like Santiago.

In 2002, Santiago and his family immigrated to Richmond when he was 9 years-old. Undeterred by the change in scenery, language and culture, Santiago quickly adapted. He learned English after only about one year in the United States and fell in love with the universal language of numbers, math.

By the time he got to high school in Henrico County in 2008, Santiago was an exceptional student, a leader in various honor societies, a member of the robotics team and captain of the soccer team. However, unlike many teens, Santiago moved around due to immigration raids occurring in the area in the 2000s. He also contemplated whether he could, or even deserved to attend college. Without a nine digit number, Santiago was an undocumented teenager.

Hispanic College Institute t-shirt, ca. 2010, Gift of Santiago, photo: Terry Brown

While he was an active member of his school community, his classmates couldn’t understand the duality he faced every day. Thankfully, in 2010, Santiago encountered a network of immigrants and their allies, who were committed to supporting one another in personal, educational and professional endeavors. Santiago found his support system at the Hispanic College Institute (HCI), a week-long college preparatory conference for students across Virginia. Santiago described that for the first time, he felt a sense of familia, and grew close with others he could relate to. The mentors and friends he met that summer in 2010 gave him hope in a future he had thought would always be out of reach.

In June 2012, when Santiago graduated from high school, he benefited from DACA. While DACA did not allow him to receive federal financial aid, he did obtain a work permit and driver’s license. However, it was the encouragement Santiago received from his HCI familia that ultimately led him to pursue education at a four-year institution. In 2014, Santiago received a full scholarship to attend Virginia Tech, where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Engineering in May 2017.

Santiago’s story is represented in our exhibition Nuestras Historias: Latinos in Richmond through his HCI t-shirt.

There are organizations in Richmond, the Commonwealth and throughout the United States like the Hispanic College Institute that provide support and opportunity to deserving individuals, regardless of legal status. As many in our communities fear for the future and safety of our undocumented neighbors, there are stories like Santiago’s that remind us that the dream is not lost.

 

Wanda Hernández is the curator of Nuestras Historias: Latinos in Richmond and the Latino Programming Coordinator at the Valentine.

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Controversy/History Series

The Valentine’s Controversy/ History series explores contemporary and contentious challenges that impact the Richmond community, comparing historic debates with modern quantitative data and encouraging us all to be active citizens in planning for Richmond’s future.

Each event is co-hosted by Director Bill Martin and local radio/ podcast host Kelli Lemon, with expert speakers and a moderated, in-depth conversation among attendees.

Check back soon for the full schedule of 2018-2019 dates and topics!

Events

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