A Landscape Saved: The Garden Club of Virginia at 100
This exhibition celebrates the efforts in preservation and horticulture made by the Garden Club of Virginia during its 100-year history. Its members have encouraged appreciation of the landscape, advanced its horticulture, and championed the preservation of the land. They have monitored the roadways of the state, and as the first conservation organization in Virginia, they were early advocates for the formation of the state parks system. The achievements of GCV have bettered the lives of all Virginians and of all Americans who travel in or through Virginia.
At its founding in 1920, the Garden Club established a mission to celebrate and conserve the natural beauty of Virginia, and to challenge the public and future generations to join its preservation efforts. In this largely chronological presentation, the club’s values and goals are shown to have been remarkably consistent for a century. Today, when environmental issues have risen to new levels of concern, GCV’s leadership role in preservation efforts remains as relevant as ever.
The Garden Club of Virginia is now a partnership of 3,400 community and civic leaders active in 48 garden clubs across the state.
Header image: Falling Spring Falls. Photo courtesy of Scenic Virginia and Warren Faught.
Wed Jul 1 2020, 10:00am – Sun Nov 1 2020, 5:00pm
Daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Highlighted objects from A Landscape Saved: The Garden Club of Virginia at 100
A Landscape Lost: Tom Creek, Wise Country, about 1910-20
At the start of the 20th century, mining operations in Wise County were undertaken with no restrictions to protect the landscape. Period photographs of sites such as Tom Creek provide shocking evidence of the losses. Disregard for nature extended well beyond Virginia and prompted a national preservation movement.
The mass-produced Model T Ford, introduced in 1908, was so affordable and popular that it generated highway construction everywhere. Even as early as 1920, Virginia roadways had become blighted by billboards. A major project of the Garden Club of Virginia for decades was the redemption of those landscapes. The club achieved considerable success—as proven by the beauty of today’s Virginia highways.
Photograph courtesy of Garden Club of Virginia.
A Landscape Saved: The Stratford Hall Garden, 2020
Beginning in 1930 and continuing today, the Garden Club of Virginia has recreated the Stratford Hall garden. This image records a very recent restoration based not on speculation but on both archaeology and actual Virginia garden designs of the colonial period.
Photograph by Matt Peterschmidt.