FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2010
Images available upon request.
Contact: Jennifer M. Guild, Senior Officer for Public Relations and Marketing
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2010 Exhibit and Event Calendar
Cold War Crisis: The U-2 Incident
Through May 30, 2010
On May 1, 1960, an American U-2 reconnaissance plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. Francis Gary Powers—a civilian pilot from Pound, Va., flying for the Central Intelligence Agency—was unable to activate the self-destruct mechanism, and the plane crashed largely intact. Because the U-2 was specifically designed for covert surveillance, Powers was tried and convicted as a spy and sentenced to ten years imprisonment. Upon his return to the U.S. in 1962, Powers was cold-shouldered by the CIA for having failed to destroy the plane or kill himself, but a Senate committee fully exonerated him. Powers, who died in 1977, was posthumously awarded several medals for his service and for never disclosing any classified information. This exhibition about Powers's life and service was organized by The Cold War Museum, founded by Powers's son Francis Gary Powers, Jr.
Heads and Tales
Through December 30, 2010
This exhibition features material from the vast Virginia Historical Society portrait collection. The paintings presented tell poignant stories about five people—a woman who inspired the English poet Alexander Pope; a royal governor who was murdered by a mob; a Federalist politician struggling against the tide in Jeffersonian Virginia; a patron of the arts who made his fortune as a robber baron in the Gilded Age; and a Virginia suffragette, freethinker, and political radical. Their tales are told by analysis of components of their pictorially complex portraits.
Memories of World War II: Photographs from the Archives of The Associated Press
May 9–August 1, 2010
This traveling exhibition features more than 120 black-and-white photographs from the archives of the Associated Press (AP). The images displayed represent all theaters of World War II and the home front and highlight scores of pictures not seen in decades. Photographs range from the classic Iwo Jima flag-raising in 1945 to Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, British and American troops hitting Normandy beaches on D-Day to Russian women laying flowers at the feet of four dead GIs who helped liberate them from a slave labor camp. Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Winston Churchill, actor James Stewart, Josef Stalin, Gen. Douglas McArthur, Queen Elizabeth and many more are also captured in dramatic images taken by wartime cameras.
Bizarre Bits: Oddities from the Collection
June 12, 2010–February 13, 2011
Bizarre things have crept into the Virginia Historical Society's collections since its founding in 1831. These peculiar, perplexing, or even grotesque objects provide insight into the hopes, fears, assumptions, and practices of the past that are foreign to us today. Historical items range from the bullet that killed the first Confederate officer, nails from the part of the Capitol that collapsed in 1870, a list of knights at an 1865 Virginia joust, fungus carved with the likeness of R. E. Lee on Traveller, "Junior Partner" cigarettes in their original pack featuring an image of a child, a 6,000 year old piece of wood from the Canary Islands, and a silhouette cut by an armless Virginia woman with her mouth. Personal items include pieces of James Madison's hair, letters telling of fingernail clippings sent by a nineteenth-century naval officer to his wife as tokens of endearment, and a smallpox scab taken from an infant in 1876.
Virginia Rocks: Rockabilly Music in the Old Dominion
August 28–December 30, 2010
Rockabilly was one of several musical styles of "Rock-and-Roll," the catch phrase for youth music of the post-World War II era. Rockabilly was an energetic blend of blues and country powered by dramatic solo singers, fast-walking bass runs, strong guitar licks, catchy lyrics, and bold stage movements. Numerous Virginia bands and singers embraced the rockabilly style—and a few even gained national recognition—but their affect on Virginia's cultural legacy has been largely overlooked by historians and musicologists. This exhibition—organized by the Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College—includes Virginia artists who recorded 45-rpm rockabilly records, performed on radio "dance party" television shows, and played for thousands of teenagers in dance halls and school gyms in the 1950s and early 1960s. The exhibition explores the rise of rockabilly as a then-radical departure from established popular music and an early chapter in the phenomenon of youth rebellion, the place of rockabilly in the larger youth culture of the pre-Beatles era, and the demise of the genre in the early 1960s as the music and movie industries invested in the softer sound of "teen idols." It includes photographs, rare audio and video recordings, stage costumes, a jukebox, and musical instruments.
Organized Labor in Virginia
September 4–December 30, 2010
This exhibition tells the story of unions in Virginia and reflects their evolution over time, from pre-union contracts and precursor groups in the last quarter of the nineteenth century to the introduction of "right-to-work" in middle of the twentieth century. The exhibition focuses not only on industrial actions, but also on lobbying by unions for improved pay, benefits, working conditions, and social legislation. A dozen small narratives encapsulate the larger story of coal, railways, tobacco, and textile workers. Examples include the 1886 Knights of Labor national convention; the 1903 Richmond–Petersburg streetcar strike; the 1934 Tubize Artificial Silk shut-down in Hopewell; and the would-be Vepco strike of 1946 averted by the actions of Gov. William Tuck. This exhibition is made possible by presenting sponsors Geoff McDonald & Associates and the Virginia A.F.L.-C.I.O., with additional support from Injured Workers Pharmacy, International Association of Machinist & Aerospace Workers, Teamsters Joint Council No. 83, Michie Hamlett Lowry Rasmussen & Tweel, PLLC, and International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia
February 4, 2011–December 30, 2011
From 1861 to 1865 Virginia stood at the center of a military and social revolution. How we define freedom, liberty, patriotism, and nation today is directly related to the diverse experiences of the individuals who participated in the war. Using original objects, interactive technology, and state-of-the-art audiovisual programs, this 3,000-square-foot exhibition encourages visitors to consider how a single event, separated by 150 years can influence and address the questions of today—what was gained, what was lost, what was undecided, and what was left for us to resolve? An American Turning Point is a signature program of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission and is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Sites and Stories: African American History in Virginia
The Manassas Museum – Manassas, Virginia
Through May 31, 2010
This exhibition tells stories about people and events related to African American historical sites listed in the Department of Historic Resource's Guidebook to Virginia's Historical Markers (2007). Virginia Historical Society photographs and objects illustrate more than twenty stories from across the Commonwealth.
DAYTIME BANNER LECTURES:
Daytime Banner Lectures begin at 12:00 p.m. and cost $6/adults, $5/seniors 55+, and $4/students and children under 18. Lectures are free for VHS members and to Richmond Times-Dispatch readers with a Press Pass coupon. Seating is offered on a first-come first-served basis. Reservations are not required.
April 22 "War: A Short History," Jeremy Black
May 27 "A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke," James Horn
June 10 "Take Care of the Living: Reconstructing Confederate Veteran Families in Virginia," Jeffrey W. McClurken
July 22 "Memories of World War II," Brig. Gen. John W. Mountcastle (USA, Ret.)
September 23 "Grand Avenues: The Story of Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the French Visionary Who Designed Washington, D.C.," Scott W. Berg
October 7 "Virginia Environmental Endowment: Leadership, Leverage, and Legacy," Gerald P. McCarthy
October 13 "Secretariat," Kate Chenery Tweedy
November 4 "Steel Drivin' Man: John Henry, the Untold Story of an American Legend," Scott R. Nelson
EVENING BANNER LECTURES:
Evening Banner Lectures begin at 7:00 pm and cost $6/adults, $5/seniors 55+, and $4/students and children under 18. Lectures are free for VHS members and to Richmond Times-Dispatch readers with a Press Pass coupon. Seating is offered on a first-come first-served basis. Reservations are not required.
May 27 "A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke," James Horn
Gallery Walks begin at 12:00 pm and cost $6/adults, $5/seniors 55+, and $4/students and children under 18. Walks are free for VHS members. Reservations are not required.
April 21 "Cold War Crisis: The U-2 Incident," Francis Gary Powers, Jr.
April 28 "The Story of Virginia: The Struggle for Civil Rights," Lauranett Lee
May 26 "Memories of World War II: Photographs from the Archives of The Associated Press," Paul A. Levengood
July 14 "Bizarre Bits: Oddities from the Collection," William M. S. Rasmussen
September 8 "Organized Labor in Virginia," Jeffrey Ruggles
Free Family Day Open House
The Virginia Historical Society offers a day full of games, historical demonstrations, trivia contests, register-to-win opportunities, music, crafts, children's activities, behind-the-scenes tours, food tastings, and much more! This event takes place from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission and all activities are free.
ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES:
For more information, or to register for any adult education classes, please visit www.vahistorical.org.
Exploring the Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville Campaigns
April 22 and 29
"Thunder on the Rappahannock: The Fredericksburg Campaign" will explore the context of the Fredericksburg Campaign, its conduct by Ambrose Burnside, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and James Longstreet, and the unique impact of the battle on a civilian population trapped in the vortex of combat. Chancellorsville would prove to be Gen. Robert E. Lee's most remarkable—and perhaps most costly—victory of the Civil War. "Lee's Greatest Victory: The Chancellorsville Campaign" will focus on the conduct of this much-acclaimed engagement with special emphasis on the experiences of the common soldiers who fought the battle along with the generals who won and lost it. This class is taught by A. Wilson Greene Executive Director of Pamplin Historical Park. This class takes place from 5:30 to 7:00 pm and costs $50 for VHS members and $60 for nonmembers.
Richmond's Old West End: From Belvidere Street to the Belt Line
May 13 and 20
This class will discuss the architecture and history of The Fan District, the West of the Boulevard area, and Monument Avenue. These neighborhoods were "modern" street-car related residential areas created to house Richmond's expanding middle and upper classes. They are the last intensely urban districts built before residential development became totally suburbanized in the middle of the 20th century. They represent the final and most sophisticated development of this type of densely packed urban neighborhood, which characterized Richmond from 1800 to 1929. The entire district is well preserved and retains its houses, schools, churches, shops, and restaurants. Architectural historian Robert P. Winthrop will discuss how Richmond's finest architects and contractors worked to make Richmond's Old West End the city's most desirable neighborhood, and how it functions today much as it did a century ago. This class takes place from 5:30 to 7:00 pm and costs $50 for VHS members and $60 for nonmembers.
The Civil War on the James River
So who exactly was Matthew Fontaine Maury, and what is his statue doing on Richmond's Monument Avenue? The Maury statue testifies to a largely forgotten chapter of Richmond's Civil War history: the naval defense of the Confederate capital. Headquarters for the Confederate Navy Department, Richmond was also home to the James River Squadron and the site of one of the South's most prolific shipbuilding operations and a sprawling "naval-industrial complex." This course will introduce students to Richmond's naval history and, more generally, to the Confederacy's "brown water" navy. Dr. John M. Coski is historian and director of library and research at the Museum of the Confederacy. This class takes place from 5:30 to 7:00 pm and costs $25 for VHS members and $30 for nonmembers.
First Virginians: Native Americans before European Contact
November 11 and 18
Through images of excavations, learn how archaeologists "read the soil" and recover artifacts. See images of artifacts, replicas, and artist's renderings, and learn about this immense period of Virginia history that lies beneath our feet. This two-part series will be presented by Keith T. Egloff, retired assistant curator at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, who has been conducting Native American archaeology throughout Virginia since 1977. This class takes place from 5:30 to 7:00 pm and costs $50 for VHS members and $60 for nonmembers.
CHILDREN'S EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING:
For more information, or to register for any of the children's educational programming, please contact Caroline Legros at (804) 342-9652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Story of Virginia Family Hour
June 4 & 8 and July 9 & 23
Families of all ages may visit the Virginia Historical Society for an educator-led tour of the award-winning The Story of Virginia: An American Experience exhibition. Learn about Virginia's 16,000-year history and explore how the Commonwealth has changed and evolved over its centuries of existence. This tour takes place from 3:00 to 4:00 pm and is free and open to the public.
Patch Day Program for Girl Scouts
June 19 and August 14
Girl Scouts now have the opportunity to earn a signature Virginia Historical Society patch. To qualify, scouts must participate in three programs. The first program takes place in The Story of Virginia exhibition where scouts will use replica artifacts to learn more about girls' and womens' lives during each period in Virginia history. The second program teaches scouts about primary sources. Scouts will review letters, diaries, scrapbooks, and photographs related to the history of Girl Scouts in Virginia. The last program includes a game show in which scouts will be challenged to recall the people, places, and events introduced to them in the first two activities. The Patch Day program takes place from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm and costs $5 per child (does not include price of patch).
VIRGINIA HOUSE EVENTS:
Virginia House, owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society, is located at 4301 Sulgrave Road in Richmond's Windsor Farms neighborhood. For more information, or to register for any of the Virginia House events, please contact Tracy Bryan at (804) 353-4251 or email@example.com.
Mother's Day Tea and Tour
Spend an afternoon at two famous Richmond Tudor homes! Your visit begins with a guided tour of the great rooms of Virginia House followed by a walk through the gardens to Agecroft Hall. Your visit concludes with tea on the terrace and a guided tour of the great rooms of Agecroft Hall. This event takes place from 3:00 to 5:00 pm and costs $22.50 for VHS members and $25 for non-members.
Jr. Ambassador Passport Travels Summer Camp
This camp introduces participants to a variety of international cultures and customs. During the week-long educational program, campers ages 9–11 will explore the culture, food, geography, and music from countries where Alexander Weddell (Virginia House owner and resident from 1928–1948) served as a diplomat. Each day focuses on a different country and campers will compare and contrast customs and traditions. At the end of the week, campers will receive a passport certificate and share what they have learned with family and staff at a special party. Reservations are required. Camp takes place from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm daily and costs $135 per VHS member's child or grandchild and $150 for non-members.
Go Green! Summer Camp
This summer camp, sponsored by Virginia House and Agecroft Hall, introduces participants to a variety of educational and hands-on activities. During the week-long program, campers ages 9–11 learn about recycling, composting, eco-friendly gardening, rain barrels, and native plants. The week concludes with a party hosted by the camp participants for family and staff, during which camp projects are presented and certificates distributed. Camp takes place from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm daily and costs $135 per VHS member's child or grandchild and $150 for non-members.
Diggin' in the Dirt Summer Camp
This summer camp, sponsored by Virginia House and Agecroft Hall, introduces participants to a variety of educational and craft activities. During the week-long program, campers ages 7–9 learn how to identify leaves and trees, create garden stakes and pinwheels, and record weather conditions and their garden adventures in a nature journal. The week concludes with a Mad Hatter's tea party hosted by the camp participants for family and staff, during which craft projects are presented and certificates distributed. Camp takes place from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm daily and costs $135 per VHS member's child or grandchild and $150 for non-members.
Harvest Tea and Tour
Your afternoon includes a tour of Virginia House followed by a stroll through the fall gardens. While you enjoy tea, sandwiches, and sweets on the terrace, learn how to harvest herbs and include them in your tea at home. Participants will even have a chance to sample herb-infused treats and develop their own tea blend. This event takes place from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and costs $15 for VHS members and $17 for non-members.
Gingerbread Tea and Tour
December 4 and 11
Celebrate the holidays and create a new family tradition! Design and build your own gingerbread house using gingerbread pieces, snow-like frosting, gumdrops, candy canes, and other colorful treats. Cider and cookies will be served as Virginia House staff talk about holiday traditions in the Tudor home. This event takes place from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and costs $15 per family for VHS members and $17 per family for non-members.
Holiday Tea and Tour
December 9 and 10
Spend an afternoon at two famous Richmond Tudor homes! Your visit begins with a guided holiday tour of the great rooms of Agecroft Hall followed by a walk through the gardens to Virginia House. Your visit concludes with tea and a guided tour of the festively decorated Virginia House. This event takes place from 3:00 to 5:00 pm and costs $22.50 for VHS members and $25.00 for non-members.
The Story of Virginia, An American Experience
This 10,000-square-foot exhibition includes more than 1,000 objects and covers 16,000 years of Virginia history from prehistoric times to the present. Adult and child-friendly interactive features include a cartoon-based computer game on Virginia history, hand-held story phones with additional exhibit information, and question-and-answer games throughout.
Virginians at Work
This exhibition tells the story of how Virginians have made a living and why jobs have changed. Focusing on people rather than on abstract principles, the exhibition follows four broad categories: A Colonial Economy (1600–1780); A Commercial Economy (1780–1865); An Industrial Economy (1865–1945); and A Service Economy (1945–2006). Hundreds of objects help explain these economic revolutions and entice visitors to explore how Virginians before us spent their working days.
Silver in Virginia
This exhibition includes over 400 pieces of silver not only produced in such major urban centers as Alexandria, Norfolk, and Richmond, but also works crafted in small towns like Dumfries, Fincastle, and Waynesboro. Also included are images of Virginia silversmiths themselves and place settings using silver and ceramics.
The Virginia Manufactory of Arms
This exhibition presents weapons made in Richmond from 1802 through 1821. Born of the anti-federalist suspicion of a national military establishment, the state manufactory supplied the Virginia militia with flintlock muskets, pistols, swords, and rifles—examples of each are on display.
Arming the Confederacy
The little-known story of the Confederacy's success in producing its own weapons is shown through objects from the Maryland-Steuart Collection, considered the world's finest collection of Confederate-made weapons and accoutrements. The collection includes more than 150 Confederate-made rifles, carbines, muskets, pistols, dirks, and more.
Four Seasons of the Confederacy: Murals by Charles Hoffbauer
French mural artist Charles Hoffbauer was commissioned by the Confederate Memorial Association to paint a series of Civil War murals, which were unveiled in January 1921. The murals follow the changing seasons and include Spring Mural, depicting Thomas Stonewall Jackson reviewing his troops in the Shenandoah Valley; Summer Mural, portraying a fictitious gathering of Confederate commanders; Autumn Mural, showing J. E. B. Stuart leading his cavalrymen on a foray through Virginia woods; and the series ends with the Winter Mural, illustrating the misery of an artillery battery in retreat through the snow, its equipment shattered and its men on the verge of exhaustion.
Making the Murals: Studies by Charles Hoffbauer
(note mural exhibition information above) Charles Hoffbauer, who later worked in the animation department at Walt Disney Studios, left hundreds of pastel, watercolor, oil, and pencil sketches on paper and canvas, as well as photographs and the clay models that he used to create his famous murals, Four Seasons of the Confederacy. This exhibition shows the techniques Hoffbauer used to produce the large-scale paintings that progress through the seasons of spring to winter, from the opening years of the Civil War to its close.
Solving History's Mysteries: A History Discovery Lab
This interactive exhibition, co-organized by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, offers a broad variety of hands-on activities and focuses on the process of discovery, how we learn, and the important role historic architecture and archaeology play in defining our communities and culture.
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10 am–5 pm and Sunday 1 pm–5 pm.
Admission is free.
For more information, please call (804) 358-4901 or visit www.vahistorical.org.
(As of April 15, 2010. Calendar subject to change)
For more than 178 years, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) has been the steward of our state—and often national—history. Headquartered in Richmond, the VHS features award-winning exhibitions that are entertaining and educational for visitors of all ages. Although designated the Official State Historical Society, the VHS is a privately funded non-profit organization that relies on contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations to sustain its operations. Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10 am–5 pm and Sunday 1 pm–5 pm (shop and museum galleries only). Admission is free. For group tour information, call (804) 342-9652. For more information, call (804) 358-4901 or visit www.vahistorical.org.