The Wickham House is inspiring us all

Where else but in the Wickham House?  Once one of – if not – the most unique, sophisticated, and groundbreaking houses in Richmond’s exclusive Court End neighborhood, the Wickham House still fosters and attracts cutting-edge artistic creativity from all over the world 200 years after it was designed and built.

“Wickham House 200: Inspiring New Art Two Centuries Later,” a pioneering project organized by the Valentine Richmond History Center in partnership with the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of the Arts, aims to promote the installation of contemporary artwork throughout the Wickham House, a National Historical Landmark, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.

Five young, talented, and inspired VCU students from three different countries – Lili (United States), Rachel (United States), Raewyn (New Zealand), Sacha (United States), and Sohail (Pakistan) – have been working on a wide variety of artistic projects that analyze and respond to the historic dwelling and its unique contents, former inhabitants and visitors in a meaningful, appealing, and, most importantly, respectful way.

They are just now putting the finishing touches on their pieces and installations, which, in a week from today, will be sharing space with Duncan Phyfe’s furniture, Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of Elizabeth Wickham, Argand lamps, Pembroke tables, Charlotte Wickham’s harp, and Robin’s (the family’s enslaved butler) bed.  The prospect of these pieces coexisting together in the same space couldn’t be more exciting.

Open on Friday, November 2, 2012 and continuing through the spring of 2013, this exhibition promises to be one of the most “inspirational” events Richmond’s First Fridays Art Walk.

“From the Window” by Raewyn Martyn (in process)

Marina Mellado
Collections Intern
Valentine Richmond History Center