This 10,500 square-foot exhibition interprets 16,000 years of Virginia history and features more than 500 artifacts, maps, letters, and diaries ranging from the earliest stone tools shaped by humans to a satellite built by high school students in 2013. Objects in the exhibition are supplemented by images from the Virginia Historical Society's collection, soundscapes, video, and digital and hands-on interactives.
by Jamie O. Bosket and William M. S. Rasmussen
The story of Virginia is central to the American experience. Much of the early history of the U.S. was shaped by Virginians and the ideas most cherished by Americans were often inspired and contested in this state, with lasting consequences.
This books tells a fascinating story, sharing more than four hundred evocative objects from the Virginia Museum of History & Culture. There are moving contrasts — from the bell of St. John's Church where the patriot Patrick Henry proclaimed “give me liberty or give me death” to wrist shackles worn by people held in bondage, from decorative buttons that the Native American woman Pocahontas wore when presented to the English royals, to the buttons proudly worn by strong Virginia women campaigning for voting rights, and from a guide to farming annotated in George Washington's own hand to beer taps representing one of today's burgeoning agricultural industries.
Rare letters, remarkable documents, fine paintings, furniture, silver, maps, prints, guns, uniforms, period photographs, everyday and unexpected objects are arranged chronologically with brief explanations to provide their contexts.
This beautifully illustrated narrative of Virginia is a great resource for anyone interested in American history.
Hardcover, ISBN 970-1-911282-27-3, Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 2018.