On this page you will find links to press releases and announcements. Click on the links below to view news relating to a specific year.
Richmond, VA — First and second place winners from the District 4 history contest in Charlottesville will advance to compete with hundreds of students in the statewide contest known as Virginia History Day on April 21, 2018, at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture in Richmond. Virginia History Day, a massive history competition for students in grads six through twelve, is directed in conjunction with the National History Day Contest.
Richmond, VA — The Virginia Museum of History & Culture has named eleven prominent and influential Virginia historians and community leaders to a new advisory committee that will consult on an upcoming major exhibition on 400 years of African American history—from the arrival of the first Africans in English North America in 1619 to the present day. The museum is also announcing a new initiative to collect items related to this important story. Opening in June of 2019, this exhibition reflects the museum’s commitment to representing all Virginians and sharing their diverse stories.
Richmond, VA — The Virginia Historical Society was established in 1831 and has operated as such for the past 187 years. But, this year marks a big change for one of the Commonwealth’s oldest cultural institutions. Moving forward, its Boulevard headquarters will be called the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.
Richmond, VA—The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) will host one of the biggest centennial commemorations of World War I (1914 to 1918). WW1 America—the largest traveling exhibition about the Great War—opens on February 17, 2018. Hundreds of original artifacts will be on display. Important personal narratives illustrate the story of the war overseas, and its dramatic impact on the home front. A second exhibition opening the same day, The Commonwealth and the Great War, will highlight the Virginia experience. Through both exhibits, visitors will discover the world-altering impact of the war and how it shaped American culture today. WW1 America and The Commonwealth and the Great War are proudly supported by lead presenter The Boeing Company.
Richmond, VA — It is time to pull out your legwarmers and shoulder pads as the Virginia Historical Society presents A Material World: Photographs of the 1980s from the Richmond Times-Dispatch. See portraits of Americans like Oprah Winfrey, Ronald Reagan, and L. Douglas Wilder from the neon decade that brought us the 24-hour news cycle, Music Television (MTV), and the first Macintosh computer. The exhibition opens to the public on Saturday, November 18, 2017, and admission is free. A 1980s-themed costume event and concert will kick-off the exhibition. After being on display through March 4, 2108, at VHS, the exhibition will travel to museums nationwide.
Richmond, VA — The Virginia Historical Society will host one of the largest commemoration programs for the centennial of World War I (1914 to 1918). In a conflict that redefined the world, our nation, and the Commonwealth, more than 100,000 Virginians served and nearly 4,000 lost their lives. To remember this critical time during an important anniversary, the VHS will welcome a major exhibition, WW1 America—the largest traveling show about the Great War in the nation. The exhibit will open on February 17, 2018, and the VHS will be the only WW1 America venue on the east coast.
Richmond, VA —In recognition of Virginia Craft Beer Month, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) will host its first-annual “BrewHaHa” craft beer festival on Saturday, August 5, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. The event will feature samples inspired by historical recipes (some found in the VHS archives), selections from local breweries, and a VIP exclusive tasting and discussion by Virginia beer historians and brewers from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Richmond, VA — In celebration of the 241st anniversary of American independence on July 4, 2017, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) will host a full day of patriotic festivities (with extended hours, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), including a large-scale citizenship naturalization ceremony, the opening of a new exhibition, a community concert, and much more.
Learn more about the Independence Day Celebration at the VHS
Learn more about Washington: The Myths and the Man
Richmond, VA — There is more fun to be had at the Virginia Historical Society (VHS). As a result of the overwhelmingly positive public response to Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s, the history museum has announced it will extend its stay. The special exhibition that opened in February will now remain open until December 31, 2017, to meet public demand. To mark the occasion, the VHS commissioned Richmond native, sculptor and founder of MCS Design and Production Inc., Allen Jessee to produce an enormous, one-of-a-kind Gumby. Installation on the front steps of the museum will take place Monday, May 15. Gumby is 18 feet tall and weighs approximately 300 pounds. Gumby was on display May through December 2018 at the museum. Gumby and the Slinky are no longer on display.
Learn more about "Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s"
Richmond, VA — First and second place winners from the Virginia District 5 National History Day contest in Fairfax will go on to compete with hundreds of Virginia students on Virginia History Day at the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) on April 22, 2017, in Richmond.
Richmond, VA — Expect the fun to spiral out of control when an upcoming special exhibition springs to life with the biggest Slinky ever seen at the Virginia Historical Society (VHS). Richmond native, sculptor and founder of MCS Design and Production Inc., Allen Jessee produced this massive and moveable work of art to mark the opening of Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Installed in the VHS lobby, Mr. Jessee’s creation has a 48 inch diameter, weighs 150 pounds and can extend to 100 feet in length. The Slinky was on display at the museum February through December 2018. The Slinky and Gumby are no longer on display.
Richmond, VA — The Virginia Historical Society is proud to be recognized as a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator, America’s premier independent charity evaluator. Only the most fiscally responsible organizations receive the coveted 4-star designation. Of the fourteen charitable organizations in the Richmond area to receive this honor, VHS ranks first among arts and cultural institutions, and ranks fourth overall.
Richmond, VA — Today, the board of trustees of the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) announced the appointment of Jamie O. Bosket as the next President and CEO of the VHS. The announcement comes after an exhaustive six-month national search led by the executive committee of the VHS board.
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced additional appointments to his Administration today. The appointees will join McAuliffe’s Administration focused on finding common ground with members of both parties on issues that will build a new Virginia economy and create more jobs across the Commonwealth. Andrew H. Talkov of Richmond, Vice President for Programs, Virginia Historical Society, has been appointed to the Capitol Square Preservation Council.
On October 15, 2016, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) will present The Private Jefferson: From the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society in the Virginia Sargeant Reynolds gallery. The exhibition is sponsored by Altria Group with additional support from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and the Elmon T. Gray Fund for Virginia History. The exhibition was to be on display through January 15, but has been extended through January 22, 2017. Admission to the exhibition is free for VHS members and free for children twelve years of age and younger.
Effective August 15, 2016 our policy for using the research library will change. VHS members will continue to use the library free of charge. And, we will extend our academic memberships ($50) previously reserved for students and teachers, to library researchers who are non members.
At a luncheon on July 13, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) presented awards to nine individuals who have made significant contributions to research, education, and the mission of the Society.
October 15, 2016, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) and Altria Group will present The Private Jefferson: From the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society as a new special exhibition in the Virginia Sargeant Reynolds gallery. Admission to the exhibition is free for VHS members.
The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) is restoring skylights in the 1912 portion of their headquarters on the Boulevard. The clear and yellow glazed glass panels, more than one hundred years old, have been carefully removed and transported to New Jersey for restoration by Femenella & Associates.
A drive through a Civil War battlefield, a walk in the footsteps of a founding father, a bike ride on a strategic railroad line, and a dinner in a colonial warehouse are all experiences that northern VA residents take for granted on a daily basis. When it comes to the richness of our national and regional history, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) has long been devoted to sharing the wealth. In the last decade, thousands of Fairfax public school students visiting the Story of Virginia in the VHS museum galleries in Richmond have experienced 16,000 years of time travel in two hours in this one of a kind exhibition.
The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) is excited to announce that it will prescreen the first episode of the third season of AMC’s hit series TURN: Washington's Spies, a Revolutionary War–era drama filmed in Virginia and based on the Alexander Rose novel of the same name. Along with the screening, the VHS will host a tasting of Blue Bee Cider’s “Hewe’s Crab,” as a part of its “History On Tap” program. The event will take place on Monday, April 25, at 6:00 p.m.
The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) is pleased to announce that TowneBank will sponsor the next VHS special exhibition, Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The nationally touring exhibition kicks off at the VHS on May 28, 2016. The exhibition will be on display through September 4 in the Virginia Sargeant Reynolds Gallery.
The newest addition to the Virginia Historical Society's (VHS) selection of special exhibitions, The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design, will be on display February 20 - April 17, 2016.
The Virginia Historical Society’s Story of Virginia Capital Campaign has reached and surpassed its goal of $38 million, it was announced today by the Society’s board of trustees.
The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) is proud to announce that its film, Virginia Voices, won a gold medal CINDY award in the short film category (any film under 60 minutes). The Cinema in Industry (CINDY) Awards recognize professionals who create exceptional media content. A gold medal is the top prize and the short film category is the most competitive. Virginia Voices also won special achievements in directing and editing.
The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) is proud to announce that its new firearms gallery will be named the Cecil R. Hopkins Gallery, in recognition of a major grant from the Cecil R. and Edna S. Hopkins Family Foundation and in memory of Mr. Hopkins, who established Green Top Sporting Goods in Hanover County, Virginia, in 1947.
A mead recipe from 1802 found within the collections of the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) has inspired Black Heath, Richmond’s first meadery, to make thirty gallons. “History On Tap: The Queen Bee,” a ticketed tasting event, will be held at the VHS on Tuesday, September 8, at 6:00 p.m. The evening will include an informal discussion about mead-making in Virginia, and the making of Queen Bee, featuring Bill Cavender, owner of Black Heath Meadery. Keith Tignor, State Apiarist, will speak about beekeeping and honey. Dr. Levengood will speak about the importance of the VHS’s collections. Tickets cost $18 for VHS members and $20 for nonmembers.
On July 9 at noon, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) president emeritus Charles F. Bryan, Jr., will deliver a Banner Lecture entitled “The History Crisis in America: Myth and Reality” and will launch his new book, Imperfect Past: History in a New Light. Tickets to the lecture are $6/adults, $5/seniors and $4/students and children. Admission is free for VHS members and Richmond Times-Dispatch readers with a Press Pass Coupon.
On Friday, May 15 at 8:30 a.m., Virginia Historical Society staff will move an early nineteenth century high-style carriage one side of the building to another.
The Created Equal Film Series is now in its second year at the Virginia Historical Society. It focuses on themes related to civil rights, human rights, and social justice in American history. Over the course of 2015, the VHS will show four films that encourage audiences to explore these topics and their significance in contemporary American society.
USPS features The Battle of Five Forks painting from the VHS on a stamp. The Battle of Five Forks stamp is a reproduction of a painting, circa 1885, by French artist Paul Dominique Philippoteaux (1846-1923). The painting, donated in memory of Peter Charles Bance, Jr. by his mother and father, is in the collections of the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond.
The VHS will host fifteen films as part of the Richmond International Film Festival. Four of the films have strong Virginia ties. For a complete list of films and to purchase tickets, visit rvafilmfestival.com.
A recipe for hard cider found within the collections of the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) has inspired Blue Bee Cider to make a fifty gallon barrel-full in Manchester. “The VHS hopes this experimental cider will create a thirst for history and stir up further interest in our ‘History On Tap’ program. Recipes in the VHS’s collections are accessible to anyone who wishes to do research on the topic,” said Dr. Paul Levengood, President and CEO of the VHS.
A recipe for home-brewed beer found within the collections of the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) has inspired Ardent Craft Ales to brew a test batch in Scott’s Addition. The VHS hopes this experimental brew will create a thirst for history.
The Virginia Historical Society is proud to announce the donation of campaign records and materials concerning the service of the Honorable Elliot S. Schewel in the Virginia Senate (D) – Senate District 23 (1976–1995).
The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) is stepping into the world of film, through a new project called "Virginia Voices." The VHS urges Virginians to submit their short videos to www.virginiavoices.org. Uploading is simple and quick and every submission will be promptly acknowledged.
The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) will host a Virginia baseball memorabilia collection drive on Saturday, February 8, 2014 from noon to 1:00 p.m. Special guests Kathy and Richard Verlander, parents of All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander, will jump start the drive with a notable contribution to the VHS collection: a game-worn 2009 All-Star jersey signed by Justin Verlander and a 2011 no-hitter commemorative plaque, framed and numbered by Highland Mint.
The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) welcomes the following new members of the board of trustees for 2014: Susan S. Goode of Norfolk; Thomas G. Snead, Jr., of Richmond; and J. Harvie Wilkinson III, of Charlottesville. In addition, E. Claiborne Robins, Jr., of Richmond begins his term as chairman of the board, and John R. Nelson of Richmond begins his term as vice chairman.
The VHS received a $15,000 grant from The Charles Fund, Inc., to support the development and implementation of HistoryConnects programs for Charlottesville City and Albemarle County Public Schools during the 2014-15 school year. HistoryConnects—an award-winning VHS interactive education initiative—reaches learners across the globe using internet technology. The grant represents the second partnership between the VHS, the two school systems, and The Charles Fund, a private organization based in Charlottesville. This money will be used to build on the successful local history boxes utilized during the 2012-13 school year.
The VHS was recognized with an honorable mention Pinnacle Award for the 2012–13 school year. The award was presented to the society for its HistoryConnects program by the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration, which helps schools by advancing learning through videoconferencing and collaborative technology. The VHS, one of only two organizations in Virginia to win the award, received the honor in the first year it was eligible.
On Saturday, September 28, the VHS is hosting a Quilt Documentation & Discovery Day. This event, organized and run by volunteers from the Virginia Consortium of Quilters, is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Owners are encouraged to bring up to three Virginia-made quilts crafted before the year 2000. Consortium volunteers will photograph and record information about the pieces and any information known about their maker(s). The Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg will include the documentation in their statewide quilt database. The event is free and open to the public.
Thirty-three researchers were awarded a stipend to conduct research at the Virginia Historical Society. Of the winners, two reside in Virginia, twenty-seven come from across the United States, and four from countries abroad: Australia, Scotland, England, and France. These scholars benefited from access to the society’s extensive holdings for up to two weeks. Most conducted their research from June to August 2013, making the VHS library a busy and active area during the summer months. Topics studied ranged from kidnapped free blacks to Pocahontas as a folk heroine, Revolutionary War veteran masculinity to maritime trade, and literary illustration to political friendships.
At a luncheon in July 2013, the Virginia Historical Society presented awards to eleven individuals and one group who have made significant contributions to research, education, and the mission of the society. The VHS presented eleven different 2012 awards to teachers, a collector, a historian, students, a volunteer, and staff. All of the award winners helped the VHS fulfill its mission of connecting people to America’s past by telling the unparalleled story of Virginia.
On Saturday, August 3, 2013, the Virginia Historical Society opened The Great Western Virginia Cover-Up: Historic Quilts & Bedcovers. The exhibition presents more than thirty bedcovers—spreads, quilts, coverlets, blankets, and a rare bed rug—made in western Virginia between 1800 and 1950. Organized by the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum of Ferrum College, the show examines patterns, methods, and fabrics passed down through generations of Virginia families. The show is on display for free at the VHS until January 5, 2014.
On June 29, 2013, the Virginia Historical Society, in partnership with the Virginia General Assembly's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, opened Revolutions: Songs of Social Change, 1860-65 and 1960-65. The exhibition uses more than thirty objects to explore music that defined the Civil War and civil rights eras. Show highlights include Pete Seeger's banjo head, an original copy of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and 1859 handwritten version of Dixie. The exhibition is on display until January 5, 2014.
May 2013 - VHS Displaying Zouve Exhibition During City-wide Civil War & Emancipation Day
On April 6, 2013, the VHS will participate in Civil War & Emancipation Day, the signature event of The Future of Richmond's Past. On that day, more than 25 participating sites will offer free admission, as well as special programs, displays, and tours. For that day only, the VHS is presenting Who Are You Wearing?: The Civil War Zouave Fever, a small exhibition featuring recently-acquired and rare items belonging to Charles Hopkins, a Civil War Zouave unit soldier who fought and died in Virginia during the war. This is the first time the collection has ever been publicly displayed.
A new exhibition at the Virginia Historical Society showcases nearly fifty photographs of U.S. presidents from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama. The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office, a traveling National Geographic show, features both iconic and rarely seen images of American presidents through the eyes of their official photographers. It is on display at the VHS through July 8, 2013.
On March 26, 2013, representatives from The Woman’s Club of Petersburg delivered boxes holding more than 100 items to the Virginia Historical Society. The materials—dating back to 1917—document meetings, activities, and leaders of the one-hundred-and-sixty-year-old organization. Once VHS archivists have processed the deposited collection, the documents will be made available for research in the society’s library.
The Virginia Historical Society welcomes five new trustees who will serve through 2018: Charles L. Cabell; Cordel L. Faulk; William H. Fralin, Jr.; George C. Freeman III; and William C. Wooldridge. The VHS board is made up of twenty-one trustees, six honorary vice chairmen, and one regional vice chairman.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and First Lady Maureen McDonnell declared 2013 the commonwealth’s “Year of the Historic Home." Richmond’s most renowned historic homes and museums will come together in a collaborative effort to open their doors admission-free to the public. Exclusively during the weekend of March 23 and 24, 2013, seven participating sites—Agecroft Hall, the John Marshall House, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, Virginia House, the White House of the Confederacy, Wickham House, and the Wilton House Museum—will offer complimentary admission to visitors who have a printed Time Traveler Passport from the Year of the Virginia Historic Home website.
Former Virginia Historical Society trustee and long-time supporter Hugh Vernon White, Jr., passed away in August 2012. To honor his memory and celebrate the many contributions Mr. White made to the VHS and the law firm, Hunton & Williams LLP and a number of its present and former partners are establishing the Hugh V. White, Jr., Outreach Education Fund.
On February 11, 2013, the Virginia Historical Society unveiled twenty-three silver sulfide prints by award-winning naturalist photographer and Farmville, Va., native Jack Jeffers. The images mark the start of the second rotation of the popular exhibition End of an Era: The Photography of Jack Jeffers.
On February 9, 2013, at 1:00 p.m., the Virginia Historical Society is hosting the first public screening of “The Making of Lincoln.” This documentary—one of the five films that make up the 2013 Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Southern Film Festival—gives a behind-the-scenes look at Lincoln, the award-winning feature film by Steven Spielberg that focuses on President Abraham Lincoln’s role in the abolition of slavery. After the screening, members of the production team will participate in a panel discussion about the feature. In addition to showing the documentary, the VHS will be holding a Lincoln movie memorabilia collection drive during the event.
Former Virginia Historical Society trustee and long-time supporter William Willis Berry passed away in April 2012. Soon after Berry’s death, Carole and Marcus Weinstein, on behalf of Weinstein Properties, established a VHS endowed fund in his memory. The Dominion Foundation also made a contribution to the William Willis Berry Educational Fund. Along with funds from VHS board colleagues, staff, and members, plus friends and family in the community, the endowment now includes more than half a million dollars that will be used to assure an enduring stream of income to support educational initiatives at the VHS.
At the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference meeting, held in Richmond October 25-27, 2012, the Virginia Historical Society was recognized for Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names. The Conference’s Arline Custer Memorial Award Committee presented the VHS with the 2012 C. Herbert Finch Online Publication Award, which included a $250 gift, for its work on the slave name database.
As a hobbyist and collector of American presidential memorabilia, Dr. Allen Frey has assembled a chronological, visual summary of every U.S. presidential election. The online exhibition, Getting the Message Out: Presidential Campaign Memorabilia from the Collection of Allen A. Frey, features more than 100 images of presidential campaign memorabilia. There is a page dedicated to each election that includes a concise summary of the major features of the election.
At a special luncheon on July 18, 2012, the Virginia Historical Society presented nine awards to individuals who have made significant contributions to research, education, and the mission of the society.
As part of the National Endowment for the Humanities sponsored event, Emancipation Nation: Celebrating Freedom on Constitution Day, the VHS and The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar are co-presenting an Emancipation Nation Watch Party. This event—modeled on gatherings of slaves and abolitionists held on the eve of the Emancipation Proclamation becoming law on January 1, 1863—features a live-streamed panel of five leading Civil War scholars at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Following the program, VHS historians will discuss Virginia’s connections to Emancipation.
Twenty-five researchers from across the United States and three from France, Canada, and England were awarded a stipend to conduce research in the VHS library. These scholars benefit from access to the society’s extensive collections for up to three weeks, usually during the summer months. This year scholars are studying topics such as masculinity, plantation society, slave refugee camps, church property rights, and 18th century religion and medicine.
On August 11, 2012, the Virginia Historical Society will host four Negro League baseball players. Henry "Pistol" Mason, Joe "Pop" Durham, Mamie "Peanut" Johnson-Goodman, and Pedro Sierra will participate in an interview-style educational program answering questions about their Negro League ball-playing days and Civil Rights struggles. After the discussion, they will sign autographs and take pictures with visitors. In addition to meeting Negro League players, two Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball players will participate in the event.
In conjunction with Richmond’s citywide Civil War & Emancipation Day activities, the Virginia Historical Society will display an original congressional copy of the Thirteenth Amendment Resolution that ended slavery in the United States. The document will be on display April 14, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 15, 2012, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. only.
The Virginia Historical Society is hosting Richmond’s first Food Truck Court, a gathering of mobile catering vendors, for two weeks in April. Participating food trucks will offer gourmet chef inspired food, specialty beverages, and desserts. Patrons are invited to utilize the picnic tables and grassy courtyard located inside the VHS parking lot to enjoy their dining purchases.
The Virginia Historical Society is hosting a special educational program called With a Collector’s Eye: An Institute on Southern Furniture. The event will feature two sessions taught by guest instructor Sumpter Priddy III: New Perspectives: Lessons from the Antiques Market and The Maturing Field of Antiques Collecting in the South.
On February 20, 2012, the Virginia Historical Society opened a new exhibition featuring twenty-three silver sulfide prints by award-winning naturalist photographer and Farmville, Va., native Jack Jeffers. The images depicted in End of an Era: The Photography of Jack Jeffers feature Virginia’s rugged mountain people, weather-beaten structures, and well-hidden Appalachia landscapes. With the prints presented, visitors can read excerpts of stories Jeffers shares about what he saw in Virginia’s Blue Ridge region in the late 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.
On March 16, 2012, the VHS is hosting From the Earth: The Environment in Virginia's Past and Future. This free, day-long conference focuses on the historic relationship between Virginia's environment and its people. The conference is made possible by a generous grant from the Virginia Environmental Endowment.