"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
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Immerse yourself in Virginia's history by visiting one of our exhibitions.


The Story of Virginia

Upcoming Exhibitions

Learn more about our upcoming exhibitions

WW1 America

The Commonwealth and the Great War

Inside Looking Out: The Art of Queena Stovall


WW1 America — February 17, 2018 THROUGH JULY 29, 2018

There is much we can learn about the challenges we face as a nation today by looking back at America 100 years ago. The World War I era—1914 to 1919—was as dynamic, violent, and colorful as any period in United States history. Americans were pulled between poles of fear and hope, between a deepening cynicism and a broadening optimism. This exhibition—featuring more than 100 objects, powerful multimedia presentations, and interactive experiences—focuses on the war as a transformational event that was always in dialogue, sometimes violently, with other social movements and upheavals, such as immigration and migration, racial conflict, women’s rights, labor struggles, challenges to civil liberties, and the meaning of citizenship.

WW1 America is part of a nearly year-long commemoration of World War I and its effect on Virginia and its citizens that will include a variety of public programs and a statewide memorial project to honor the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives during the conflict.

WW1 America was produced by the Minnesota Historical Society in partnership with the National Constitution Center, the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, the Oakland Museum of California, and the Bullock Texas State History Museum. The exhibition has been made possible in part by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.


The Commonwealth and the Great War — FEBRUARY 17, 2018 THROUGH NOVEMBER 18, 2018

Victory Edition 1919 War Gardening and Home Storage of Vegetables (VHS call number: SB321 N 3 1919)

The Commonwealth and the Great War tells stories of individual Virginians who carried the state’s proud military tradition to the battlefront. 100,000 of them served; 3,700 died. Many more were injured. Thirty-nine percent of the draftees in 1918 were African Americans. Hundreds of Virginia nurses and doctors followed soldiers to Europe. In this new exhibit, visitors will see a Red Cross uniform worn by Carrie Triplett Taliaferro Scott of Richmond and the naval uniform worn by Walter Alfred Clayton, Jr., of Crewe, who served on U.S.S. Batjan—a Dutch freighter used by the U.S. Navy to transport ordnance to France.

In addition, the VHS will coordinate a statewide veteran memorial project to honor the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives during this global conflict. Tributes to these fallen heroes will adorn the front of the museum from early 2018 through the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day on November 11, 2018.


Inside Looking Out: The Art of Queena Stovall — May 12, 2018 THROUGH October 14, 2018

Hog Killing, 1959 Emma Serena “Queena” Stovall Courtesy of Daura Gallery, Lynchburg CollegeLynchburg-area artist Emma Serena “Queena” Stovall (1887-1980) began painting at the age of 62, and became a well-known folk artist. Her meticulously detailed paintings document life in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and record the endless, life-sustaining chores of a country farm; the joys of family at home, work, and prayer; and the customs and events of her community. She is one of the American folk painters whose work is an invaluable visual history of a way of life that, because of social and economic changes, no longer exists. This exhibition features 40 of the 50 pieces of artwork she produced over the course of an 18 year career.

Inside Looking Out is curated by the Daura Gallery, Lynchburg College, with support from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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