Other Exhibitions and Displays | Virginia Museum of History & Culture
"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
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Other Exhibitions and Displays

MENDING WALLS RVA 

A Special Pop-Up Exhibition on display from July 1-September 7, 2020
Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Reserve your tickets to visit the museum.

Mending Walls logoThis new pop-up exhibition and community collaboration features selections from the past VMHC exhibition, Fresh Paint: Murals Inspired By The Story of Virginia, with new reflections from the artists. Also included will be a new hub for the Mending Walls RVA Project led by artist Hamilton Glass.

One of the most visible signs of recent protests and unrest is the graffiti found on monuments, plywood-covered windows, and other public and private property. This inspired Richmond mural artist Hamilton Glass to start the Mending Walls RVA project – assembling a diverse group of artists to create public artwork as a tool to promote empathy and to connect us at a time when it is most needed. History has the same power.

This exhibition features paintings by artists participating in Mending Walls. Inspired by their motto, “We Need to Talk…,” this artwork, combined with the stories of our past told throughout this museum, offer an opportunity to begin understanding how we arrived at this moment and start conversations about our future.

Artists included in this exhibition include: 

Jowarnise Caston (@jowarnise)

Drawing inspiration from African textile design, contemporary fashions, and urban culture, Caston explores the human condition related to race, social class, and culture through art. Best known for her naturalistic portraits of women in eloquent poses, she often focuses on the female African American experience. Her work has been exhibited at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, the Meredith Gallery (Virginia State University), and at the Medical College of Virginia.

Nico Cathcart (@nicocathcart)

A painter and muralist from Toronto, Ontario currently living in Richmond, Cathcart strives to discuss Intersectional Feminism and Conservation in her highly colorful works that often feature local flora and fauna, as well as the female form. Cathcart is a veteran of many Richmond street art festivals and her work appears in cities across the Unites States and has been shown in many galleries and museums including the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, MASS MOCA, and La Bodega Gallery (San Diego). 

Hamilton Glass (@hamglass)

Despite working in the architecture field for seven years, his passion for public art pushed Glass to start a career as an artist. His work is usually distinguished by the use of architectural elements with bright vivid colors and sharp lines. 

Glass’s work focuses around using public art to build up communities and create spaces in which the community members feel they have a stake in their surroundings. He believes in the power of art, which can hold communities together, and increase equity around access to the arts.

Ian Hess (@ian.c.hess)

In his work, Hess explores the beauty of brokenness expressed through the shattered, graceful, and failed myths of yesterday. Applying the Japanese philosophies of Wabi Sabi—acceptance of transience and imperfection—and Kintsugi which treats breakage as beauty—he reinvents aspects of these categories into forms adorned by the textures and expressions of our time. As the Creative Director of Endeavor Studios—a 5-year running Studio Art Gallery run by artists for artists—Hess seeks to unite a broader community within Richmond.

Austin Miles (@auz_can)

Originally from Durham, North Carolina, Miles grew up inspired by Ernie Barnes’s distorted figures and the stories his paintings told about African American culture. Her work has been shown in Richmond; Atlanta; Washington, D.C., and Cusco, Peru. Miles was the recipient of the Amendment Art and Literary Journal Art Award for her painting Enough. Introduced to mural painting in 2017, she realized the positive impact that murals can provide for a community while collaborating on Richmond’s first mural created by and specifically for black girls.

Noah Scalin (@noahscalin)

Scalin is the creator of the Webby Award—winning project Skull-A-Day and the collaborative science fiction universe and performance art project League of Space Pirates. He was the inaugural artist-in-residence at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business, and his fine art has been exhibited internationally with installations in Times Square and the Mutter Museum (Philadelphia). Scalin’s work was recently featured in an Old Navy television commercial. He is the author of six books, and a sought-after public speaker on creativity.

 


Arming the Commonwealth

People have relied on weapons to advance both their best and worst impulses—to put food on the table, to protect themselves, to enforce or defy the law, to defend or conquer territory and treasure, or to liberate some while enslaving others. See weapons and accoutrements crafted in Virginia or used by its people to achieve those goals. Learn more.

Silver in Virginia

See silver produced in Virginia's major urban centers and small towns and explore the variety of craftsmanship and styles during the 18th and 19th centuries. Learn more.


Carole and Marcus Weinstein Learning Center Displays

History: It's About Time

Time and history: a short definition could read that “history” is the study of continuity and change over time, but what is time? Time is simultaneously an everyday practical consideration as well as a complex and abstract concept. People originally tracked time by observing the passage of seasons and other elements of nature, but by the modern era, increasingly complex schedules required precise measurement of the hours and minutes in the day, creating the need for clocks and watches.

The pieces in this small display are examples of the time keeping devices within the collections of the Virginia Historical Society.

Stone Bits to Computer Chips

What is technology? At the root of the word is the Greek term, techne, meaning “art, skill, trade, craft,” but a more contemporary definition was provided by sociologist Read Bain who wrote in 1937 that, “Technology includes all tools, machines, utensils, weapons, instruments, housing, clothing, communicating and transporting devices and the skills by which we produce and use them.” Although today the word technology most often implies the use of computers, Bain’s definition reminds us that technological innovation has been occurring since the dawn of humanity. When prehistoric people learned how to control fire they created a technology that allowed them to stay warm, see in the dark, and cook food, making it easier to digest.

During thousands of years since the advent of stone tools, successive waves of technology have ushered in agricultural, industrial, and digital revolutions that drastically altered the way people live and work. The items displayed here are a small sample of the things that made those changes possible. Some were profound in their impact while others were mere novelties, but no matter how dated they look to us today, they were once considered the cutting edge.

The Siege of Yorktown, 1781

Department of Historic Resources - The Siege of Yorktown, 1781 display caseBritish General Charles Cornwallis, trapped at Yorktown by American troops under the Marquis de Lafayette, joined by the army of George Washington and the French Admiral de Grasse’s 3,000 troops, decided to sink his own fleet in order to produce wreckage that would protect against attack from the French fleet. The Betsy was one of those ships. It was excavated in the 1980s through the efforts of the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. No weapons, except for one gun carriage, were found on the ship, but many supplies were there. These included more than 10,000 musket balls, small and large barrels, beams, pieces of hull, planks, bottles, jars, ceramics, furniture pieces, and personal items such as shoes and buttons. This exhibit displays a sampling of what divers found.


Outdoor Artwork

The War Horse

On September 17, 1997, the Virginia Historical Society unveiled The War Horse, a memorial to the horses and mules killed during the Civil War, designed by Tessa Pullan of Rutland, England, and given to the historical society by Paul Mellon of Upperville, Virginia. The life-size bronze sculpture is on display at the South entrance to the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.


Robins Family Forum

Virginia Voices

Virginia Voices is the first state-specific, crowdsourced film of its kind. For more than a year the Virginia Historical Society collected stories from people in more than fifty locations across the commonwealth. The resulting film is a snapshot of Virginia as told by the people who live and work here.