"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
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Immerse yourself in Virginia's history by visiting one of our exhibitions.


The Story of Virginia
Happy #PresidentsDay2019 from #VMHC! Register for a special tour Saturday 2/23 1:30pm “George Washington: Man Behin… t.co/cJNcvNwuC8

Upcoming Exhibitions

Learn about upcoming exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

The League of Wives: Vietnam’s POW/MIA Allies & Advocates
March 2, 2019 – September 3, 2019

President Nixon meets with the newly formed National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia at the White House in 1972.  Courtesy of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and MuseumFeaturing artifacts, photographs, and oral histories, this exhibition illustrates the dramatic story of how the spouses of American servicemen bucked government protocol and challenged the traditional role of “military wife.” These courageous women led by Sybil Stockdale on the West Coast, Jane Denton, Louise Mulligan, and Phyllis Galanti on the East Coast, and later Helene Knapp in the Interior West organized to form the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia. Working with Congress and the Nixon administration, they demanded accounting for their husbands and successfully pursued their safe return after years of imprisonment and torture by the North Vietnamese. Learn more.

Curated by 2017 Dole Archives Curatorial Fellow Heath Hardage Lee and based on her upcoming book, The League of Wives:  a True Story of Survival and Rescue from the Homefront (2019, St. Martin’s Press). The League of Wives was organized by the Dole Institute of Politics and made possible by Harlan and Alice Ann Ochs in honor of Larry Ochs.


Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality
JUNE 19, 2019 – March 1, 2020

Painting, "Slave Hunt" by Thomas Moran, 19th century (accession  number: 2000.161)This exhibition will explore the African American experience in Virginia from the arrival of the first Africans in English North America in 1619 to the present day. Throughout this 400-year-long history, African Americans have played a pivotal role in shaping America’s national identity and culture. This exhibition focuses on key Virginians and Virginia events that defined the meaning of American democracy, equality, and justice. Learn more.

Collections Drive

Brochure, 1955 NAACP Freedom Day. (Accession number 2003.234.5) In conjunction with this exhibition and with our ongoing commitment to tell the stories of all Virginians, we are asking for the public’s help to build the museum’s collections to better preserve the complex experience of African Americans in Virginia.

We are particularly interested in items that represent:

  • African American achievements in Virginia politics, business, culture, and other arenas in the 20th and 21st centuries

  • life under Jim Crow segregation

  • the Civil Rights Movement

  • expressions of black pride

  • the recent fight against persistent racism and injustice as seen in the Black Lives Matter movement and Charlottesville protests

If you have objects (such as documents, letters, family mementos, personal effects, and images) that you would like to share with the museum, please contact Dr. Karen Sherry, Curator of Exhibitions, at (804) 342-9683 or ksherry@VirginiaHistory.org


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