You probably know his work even if you don't know his name. Edward Virginius Valentine (1838-1930) was a prominent sculptor whose works included the Recumbent Lee statue at Washington & Lee University,and the statue of Thomas Jefferson at the Jefferson Hotel. His studio is one of only four surviving 19th century sculpture studios in the United States that is open to the public. A visit to this restored studio offers a glimpse into the mind of the artist and into his times. Learn more.
A guided tour of the Wickham House, a National Historic Landmark, allows guests to explore aspects of life in the early 19th century. The Wickham House was purchased by Mann Valentine Jr. and in 1898 became the first home of the Valentine Museum. In the public first-floor rooms, ornate decorations helped the Wickhams and their slaves present a picture of leisure and refinement. Exhibited on the second floor are artifacts from the descendants of the family that first inhabited the house. The self-guided Wickham House basement examines the slaves' private spheres. Learn more.
This exhibit surveys three centuries of Richmond's history, from the time of its settlers to its emergence as a commercial and capital city. Biographies of prominent figures from Powhatan to Maggie Walker enhance this overview of the city's economic, political and social history. Learn more.
Looking beyond the authority of "experts," such as museums and professional historians, this exhibition illustrates how every person creates, through personal experience, his or her own usable history. The exhibition explores the Valentine family's collecting enterprises, Valentine's Meat Juice, and ways in which the History Center's interpretation of Richmond's history has evolved.
Vintage neon signs and photographs from Richmond businesses illustrate commercial growth and advertising trends, as do other artifacts mounted outdoors.