The Valentine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Valentine Richmond History Center)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Valentine
Valentine Museum, Valentine Richmond History Center
Valentine Museum, Hall and Gallery, Richmond, Va. (16835930281).jpg
Entrance stairwell, postcard c.1910
LocationRichmond, Virginia
TypeHistory Museum & National Historic Landmark
Collection sizeMultiple
DirectorWilliam J. Martin, Director
PresidentJohn C. Stanchina, Chairman
  • David Voelkel, Elise H. Wright Curator of General Collections
  • Meg Hughes, Curator of Archives
  • Kristen Stewart, Nathalie L. Klaus Curator of Costume & Textiles

Coordinates: 37°32′30.3″N 77°25′52.7″W / 37.541750°N 77.431306°W / 37.541750; -77.431306

Mann S. Valentine and the Artist, oil on canvas, William James Hubard, 1852. Collection of the Valentine

The Valentine is a museum in Richmond, Virginia dedicated to the history of the city. Founded by Mann S. Valentine II 1898,[1] it was the first museum in Richmond.[2] The Valentine offers exhibitions that focus on "American urban and social history, costumes and textiles, decorative arts and architecture."[3] The Valentine also includes the 1812 neoclassical Wickham House, a National Historical Landmark.[4] In 2014, the Valentine completed a $4.1 million renovation of its public exhibition galleries, lobby, museum store and education center.


Mann Valentine's Meat Juice Fortune[edit]

Funds for the original museum artifacts came from wealth amassed selling Valentine's Meat Juice

The funds for the museum were provided by Mann S. Valentine II, who made his fortune with Valentine’s Meat Juice, a health tonic made from beef juice invented as early as 1870.[5] In 1874, Mann Valentine published "A Brief History of the Production of Valentine's Meat Juice Together With Testimonials of the Medical Profession."[6] This document included recommendations from Medical College of Virginia professors and doctors (e.g., J.B. McCaw and Hunter McGuire), University of Maryland medical professor Richard McSherry, Columbia University gynecology professor Theodore Gaillard Thomas, New York Board of Health resident surgeon Walter Reed, D.W. Yandell, president of the American Medical Association, various members of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane, a report by the American Pharmaceutical Association, and a report by pharmaceuticals inventor E. R. Squibb regarding the use of Meat Juice in various settings in the U.S. Army. According to Style Weekly, the beef juice's "health claims were at best dubious."[7] Mann and his sons earned their fortune from the Valentine Meat Juice Company.[8]

Valentine Family collects art and artifacts and create a museum[edit]

During the late 19th century, the Valentines[9] began to collect in the fields of archaeology, anthropology, fine arts and decorative arts. Mann laid the foundation for the museum in 1892; when he died in 1893, he provided the original bequest for the Valentine Museum, leaving his collection of art and artifacts, the 1812 John Wickham House[10] and a $50,000 endowment.[11] Their collection of art and artifacts was the foundation of the exhibitions, when the Valentine Museum opened in 1898. Part of the original intent of the founding of the museum was to display these archeological artifacts in perpetuity,[12] after the family was embarrassed by an archeological hoax in North Carolina.[13][14] When it opened, the Valentine Museum was the first private museum in the City of Richmond[4]

Edward Valentine, sculptor and president of the museum for over 30 years[edit]

Mann S. Valentine II's brother Edward Virginius Valentine also had an interest in history and was a well-known sculptor. One of the main early attractions of the Valentine Museum was its cast collection—casts of famous ancient sculptures from around the world.[15] In 1898, Granville Valentine published a list of hundreds of casts owned by the museum.[16] Edward Valentine served as the museum’s first president from the opening until his death in 1930. According to the museum website, Edward Valentine left a large collection of sculpture, papers, furniture and memorabilia to the museum in his will.[17]

Museum changes and renovations[edit]

In 1924, the museum asked Charleston Museum director Laura Bragg to consult on a reorganization, which got under way four years later.[18] It was the museum's first major renovation and expansion, and as part of the process the museum purchased three rowhouses adjacent to the Wickham House for the purposes of holding artifacts. The museum then renovated the Wickham house to reflect the circa 1812 period when the first owner, John Wickham and his family lived there.[19]

In the 1950s, the Board of Trustees focused their mission by emphasizing the subtitle,"A Museum of the Life and History of Richmond," [20] to the Valentine Museum. The subtitle continued into the 1960s [21]

In 1954, the museum rescued the 1840s era Bransford-Cecil house and moved it from 5th street [22] to East Clay street.[23][24]

On May 20, 1969, the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission nominated the Valentine Museum buildings to be on the National Register of Historic Places based on the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act.[25] The Valentine Museum received this designation on June 11, 1969 [26]

In the 1970s, a major renovation and expansion was undertaken to add a new wing to accommodate more artifacts and increase exhibition space for the public. The Row Houses that served as the primary museums space were renovated and expanded as well.[24]

In 1985, the Valentine famously revitalized by hiring Frank Jewell[27] and took other steps to make the museum more professional and gained the museum national attention [28] The museum worked with several historians to create the Richmond History Project. This raised the museum's stature in the national museum circuit owing to its method of forcing visitors to confront more controversial aspects of the city's history, such as racism.[29][30][31] In 1988, the Museum worked with Mary Tyler McGraw, formerly of the Afro-American Communities project at the National Museum of American History[32] to develop an exhibit called "In Bondage and Freedom" and engaged scholars with knowledge of social and Afro-American history.[33] Under Jewell's leadership, many of the museum's exhibits were reviewed by scholarly history journals.[34]

In 1994, a 10-year restoration of the 1812 John Wickham House, formerly called the Wickham-Valentine House was completed.[35] Additionally, Jewell's Valentine Riverside initiative (expanding the museum to a second site at Tredegar Iron Works) had brought the museums finances to its knees.[36] Jewell resigned in 1995 and was replaced by Bill Martin.[37][38]

In October 2000, the museum initiated an identity change in for the institution to better reflect its role within the community. With a reputation as Richmond’s history center, the name was changed to Valentine Richmond History Center.[39]

In August 2014, the museum changed its name to the Valentine and adopted the subtitle "Richmond Stories." In October 2014, the Valentine completed renovations to its public exhibition galleries. The renovations features more accessible gallery spaces and a new education center, lobby, and multi-purpose room.[40]

In July 2015, the Valentine took over management of the First Freedom Center.[41]

Permanent collection[edit]

The museum is broken out into several permanent exhibits that cover different topics, such as Richmond's history, culture and government, sculptures from Edward V. Valentine and the Wickham House collection. A "Signs of the Times" exhibit displays vintage business signs and a "Costume and Textile" exhibit shows vintage clothes.[42]

Rotating exhibitions[edit]

The Valentine has several rotating exhibitions that include photographs, clothes and textiles and historical based exhibits that impacted Richmond in a significant way.

  • A History of Richmond in 50 Objects,[43] opened on February 14, 2014 in the Massey Gallery located on the main floor of the museum.
  • History Ink: The Tattoo Archive Project,[44] opened on November 2, 2012 and closed on March 31, 2013, focuses on the rising popularity of tattoos in American culture and locally in Richmond.
  • The Waste Not, Want Not: Richmond’s Great Depression, 1929-1941, exhibition was on display from October 2009 until September 2010. It demonstrated life in Richmond during the Great Depression.[45]
  • In February 2011, the museum invited the public to submit original captions for up to 100 random images from the Valentine’s Richmond Times-Dispatch Collection.[46][47] The winning captions appeared alongside their respective photos, along with the actual captions that ran in the Richmond newspapers. This exhibition was on display at the Valentine and the Richmond Times-Dispatch until September 2011.
  • In 2011, The Inaugural Gowns of Virginia’s First Ladies [48][49] displayed nine gowns worn at inaugural balls or receptions held in honor of the new Virginia Governor.


  1. ^ Bridges, Kim. "The Valentine Richmond History Center". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  2. ^ "Valentine Museum". Retrieved 2015-05-17. In 1898, the house became the Valentine Museum, the first museum in Richmond
  3. ^ "History & Mission". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  4. ^ a b "Richmond: A Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  5. ^ "Richmond Magazine". Retrieved 2015-05-17. " Ann Maria Gray Valentine lay ill at her family's house at 9 N. Second St. on the last day of 1870. Physicians could do no more. But her husband, Mann Satterwhite Valentine Jr., was in the basement with a chemistry set, using his sheer determination and rudimentary knowledge from college courses to concoct a mixture to revive his wife.... Mann's elixir worked, and Maria recovered. When news spread to Richmond's 51,000 residents, he learned that there was great demand for the stuff. Mann put his seven sons to work, mixing, bottling and shipping — and Valentine's Meat-Juice was born
  6. ^ Mann Valentine II. "A brief history of the production of Valentine's meat juice, together with testimonials of the medical profession". Library of Congress (under call number 9155258). Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  7. ^ "Style Weekly". Retrieved 2015-05-17. the physician of President James Garfield prescribed [Valentine's Meat Juice] to help the 20th president recover from a bullet wound received during an assassination attempt.
  8. ^ Kollatz, Harry (2009-02-20). "Valentine's Meat-Juice". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  9. ^ Debra L. Gold (2004). The Bioarchaeology of Virginia Burial Mounds. University of Alabama Press. [Mann] Valentine, and his brother Edward V. Valentine, as well as four of his five sons were involved in archaeology and artifact collection
  10. ^ "Wickham Valentine". Retrieved 2015-05-17. As his personal collection grew, Mann envisioned a museum devoted to history, art, and culture and began in 1892 to go about establishing just such a place. Upon his death the following year, he bequeathed both the house and his personal collection of art and artifacts to the people of Richmond, along with an endowment.
  11. ^ "Wickham Valentine House 1969 Final Nomination" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-17. "At his death in 1892, the house, along with his collection and a %50,000 endowment, was left as a museum for the city of Richmond
  12. ^ Debra L. Gold (2004). The Bioarchaeology of Virginia Burial Mounds. University of Alabama Press. In 1892 the family founded the Valentine Museum in richmond to display their collections.
  13. ^ "UNC-RLA Archaeology of NC - history of NC Arch". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  14. ^ H. Trawick Ward; R. P. Stephen Davis (1999). Time Before History: The Archaeology of North Carolina. University of North Carolina Press. Unfortunately Mann Valentine became the victim of an elaborate hoax... When the fraud was finally exposed, an embarrassed Mann Valentine decided to get out of archaeology altogether and afterward devoted his museum to displaying the fine arts of Richmond
  15. ^ Alan Wallach (1998). Exhibiting Contradiction: Essays on the Art Museum in the United States. University of Massachusetts Press. Kent's activities underscore the popularity of cast collections at the turn of the century ... examples... institutions such as the Valentine Museum in Richmond Virginia (which put a large collection of casts on display in 1898)
  16. ^ Description of casts in the Valentine Museum from Original Marbles. 133. Valentine Museum. 1898. Numbered from 25000 (page 7) to 26734 (page 113)
  17. ^ "Edward Valentine served as its first president from its opening until his death in 1930. In his own will, he left an incredible collection of his sculpture, papers, furniture and memorabilia to the museum that still bears his family name". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  18. ^ Allen, Louise Anderson. A Bluestocking in Charleston: The Life and Career of Laura Bragg. University of South Carolina Press, 2001.
  19. ^ Carol Kammen; Amy H. Wilson, eds. (2013). Encyclopedia of Local History. AltaMira Press UK. The Wickham House, an 1812 National Historic Landmark now part of the Valentine Museum, Richmond Virginia, in many ways reflects the changing attitudes toward historic house museums throughout the twentieth century. Founded as the Valentine Museum in 1892, by 1928 the museum had purchased three rowhouses adjoining the Wickham house and renovated the interiors of those houses for gallery and storage space
  20. ^ ""As director of Richmond's Valentine Museum for the past 11 years, Petersburg-born Mrs. Robert W. Claiborne has witnessed -- and brought about -- an expansion of the institution and its services. Styling itself "a museum of the life and history of Richmond", the Valentine Museum is a part of the present life of its city."". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  21. ^ Museum, Valentine. "The Valentine Museum Bulletin, Spring-Summer 1962 by Valentine Museum - Paperback - 1st Edition - 1962 - from Yeomans in the Fork and". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  22. ^ "The third section of the museum, the Bransford-Cecil house, was moved to its present site from its original location on N. 5th Street.
  23. ^ [1] Archived May 18, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ a b Slipek, Edwin (2015-05-09). "Be Mine | Arts and Culture | Style Weekly - Richmond, VA local news, arts, and events". Style Weekly. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  25. ^ "National Inventory of Historic Places : Valentine Museum" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  26. ^ National Register of Historic Places listings in Richmond, Virginia contains the date June 11, 1969 as well as the reference number #69000329
  27. ^ Martin A. Melosi (1993). Urban Public Policy: Historical Modes and Methods. The Pennsylvania State University -- This work was originally published as a special issue of Journal of Policy History (vol. 5, no. 1, 1993)). The policies of the Valentine Museum since its revitalization in 1985 under Jewell's direction provide a partial example of the scholarly preoccupations and communication strategies these tasks require
  28. ^ ""Projects such as "Why the South Lost the Civil War," "In Bondage and Freedom: Antebellum Black Life in Richmond," "Jim Crow: Racism and Reaction in the New South," as well as exhibits on Jewish life in Richmond, women, the impact of tobacco and its advertising and religion turned heads nationally". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  29. ^ Kenneth L. Ames; Barbara Franco; L. Thomas Frye (1992). Ideas and Images: Developing Interpretive History Exhibits. American Association for State and Local History : Alta Mira Press.Imp
  30. ^ "Museum, Media, Message - Eilean Hooper-Greenhill". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  31. ^ Eilean Hooper-Greenhill (1995). Museum, Media, Message. Routledge. Richmond's Valentine Museum has launched several pathbreaking shows and is planning others. The exhibit Race Relations in Richmond, 1945-85 broke a taboo on public analysis of a most sensitive issue and inaugurated a series of shows devoted to exploring the role of race in the city's past, present, and future
  32. ^ Warren Leon; Roy Rosenzweig (1989). History Museums in the United States: A Critical Assessment. University of Illinois Press. "During this same period, the Valentine engaged Marie Tyler-McGraw, formerly of the Afro-American Communities Project at the National Museum of American History, to aid in the creation of "In Bondage and Freedom." This exhibit on Richmond blacks during the decades before the Civil War opened in February 1988.
  33. ^ Marie Tyler-McGraw (2007). African Republic: Black and White Virginians in the Making of Liberia. University of North Carolina Press.
  34. ^ "Frank Jewell dies at age 65 - Entertainment". 2012-01-21. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  35. ^ "Valentine Richmond History Center - Outdoors". 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  36. ^ "Just a few years shy of its 100th anniversary, the Valentine Museum found itself on the brink of financial collapse in the fall of 1995. Sixteen months after opening a second location, known as the Valentine Riverside at Tredegar Iron Works, the museum faced the reality that its expensive "experiment" was a flop. The Valentine was more than $10 million in debt, and its tour vans were in jeopardy of being repossessed. A city sheriff's deputy in charge of assessing the Valentine's collection for possible bankruptcy proceedings left in tears, upset that the city's history museum was probably going bust". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  37. ^ "Mr. Jewell also led the museum to add a second campus called Valentine Riverside in 1994 at the old Tredegar Iron Works site, part of a project to develop Richmond's riverfront. Riverside eventually overextended the museum's resources, became embroiled in controversy, closed about a year after it opened and led to his resignation. The Riverside site later became home of the American Civil War Center and a U.S. Park Service visitors center". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  38. ^ "Even though the Valentine Riverside featured laser light shows, an ice rink and carousel ride, at the cost of $22 million, it shut down in September 1995. When it closed, Martin, who joined the Valentine staff in 1994, assumed the role of acting executive director". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  39. ^ "The new project at the Valentine is part of a $20 million long-range plan that tracks back to a name change in 2000 from Valentine Museum to Valentine Richmond History Center". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  40. ^ "Valentine Museum opens a new view of city life - Fine Arts And Theater". 2014-10-18. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  41. ^ Brent Baldwin. Valentine Museum to Take Over First Freedom Center (Opening and commemoration of historic site for Friday, Jan. 16.) Style Weekly Magazine, Jan 9, 2015.
  42. ^ "Permanent Exhibitions". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  43. ^ "A History of Richmond in 50 Objects". 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  44. ^ "History, Ink - The Tattoo Archive Project | Style Weekly - Richmond, VA local news, arts, and events". 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  45. ^ Griset, Rich (2015-05-09). "Waste Not, Want Not | Theater | Style Weekly - Richmond, VA local news, arts, and events". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  46. ^ "What in The World Is Happening in RVA? - Entertainment". 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  47. ^ "Art of Hans Gassman - UR Downtown - University of Richmond". 2014-08-25. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  48. ^ Vozzella, Laura (2012-09-11). "Portraits of Va. first ladies: prim to va-va-va voom - Virginia Politics". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  49. ^ Slipek, Edwin (2015-05-09). "Picture of Politics | Cover Story | Style Weekly - Richmond, VA local news, arts, and events". Retrieved 2015-05-17.

External links[edit]