The Valentine museum, located in downtown, features exhibitions and collections that share stories and milestones from Richmond, Virginia’s 400-year history.
Several permanent exhibitions explore the city’s integral role in American history, including the Valentine Sculpture Studio, the 1812 John Wickham House and the Valentine First Freedom Center.
The Valentine Sculpture Studio showcases the works of sculptor Edward Virginius Valentine (1838-1930), who is famous for creating the statue of Thomas Jefferson in the Jefferson Hotel. The studio, based in the setting where the artist created the pieces, features hundreds of Valentine’s works, photographs, tools and personal effects. Over the course of his 50-year artistic career, Valentine worked in clay, plaster, marble and bronze to produce portrait busts and public sculpture.
Built by John Wickham and listed as a National Historical Landmark, the 1812 John Wickham House is a classic example of 19th century Federal-style architecture. The house illustrates the lives of one of Richmond’s most prominent families. It was bought by Mann Valentine Jr., and in 1898 it became the first home of the Valentine Museum. Tours of the first and second floors of the house are offered with admission to the Valentine.
Exhibits at the Valentine First Freedom Center, located at S. 14th St. and E. Cary St., explore America’s experience of religious liberty throughout history up to today. The Valentine First Freedom Center is a nonprofit, non-sectarian and politically neutral organization that seeks recognition for the efforts of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the cause of religious freedom.
Temporary exhibitions on offer now include "Beard Wars" and "Classical Allure: Richmond Style." "Beard Wars," which was scheduled to take place during the final year of the American Civil War’s sesquicentennial commemoration, features local photographer Terry Brown’s portraits of members of the RVA Beard League, inspired by images of Civil War generals in the Valentine’s collection. "Classical Allure: Richmond Style" is the inaugural exhibition in the new Nathalie L. Klaus and Reynolds Family Galleries, and introduces classically inspired treasures from its costume and textiles collection.
Admission to the Valentine exhibition galleries, the Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio, and the 1812 John Wickham House is $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and students with IDs, and free for members of the military. Admission to the Valentine First Freedom Center is free. The Valentine is closed on Mondays, except for major Monday holidays.
For more information about the Valentine, visit www.thevalentine.org.