• 45°

Museum of History reopens

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) will re-open a portion of the museum to the public on Thursday, July 1. While an extensive capital improvement project continues, the museum will re-open with a limited number of galleries and begin offering in-person programs again.

“We are thrilled to welcome guests back to the museum in person,” VMHC president and CEO Jamie Bosket said. “We are continuing construction that will re-invent the VMHC with numerous new galleries, community gathering and education spaces and top-notch new guest amenities for all of our visitors to enjoy. While this project moves along, we welcome visitors to enjoy three outstanding exhibitions and participate in in-person programming again even as we continue to offer an extensive array of popular virtual programming.”

Opening on July 1, the Partners in History exhibition is a collaboration between the VMHC and the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia (BMHVA). In 2019 the VMHC and the BHMVA began a long-term partnership to share collections and resources to better connect more people to the story of Virginia. Through this partnership, various collections from the BHMVA are being housed at the VMHC and digitized to make them more accessible to the public. Staff from both museums are collaborating to select collections for cataloging and digitization, which will make many of these items and their remarkable stories discoverable for the first time. This timely exhibition will feature iconic artifacts from the BHMVA collections including a desk used by celebrated civil rights attorney Oliver W. Hill. It will also draw from the vast photographic archives of the BHMVA, which are a top priority for the digitization project. Examples include majorettes from Armstrong High School (1967) and a Maggie L. Walker High School football game (1964) that bring to life the Armstrong-Walker Football Classic. “The Classic” was an annual homecoming game held each Thanksgiving weekend from 1938 to 1979 between the Armstrong High School “Wildcats” and the Maggie L. Walker “Dragons.” Games were held at the old City Stadium and attracted nearly 40,000 fans every year.

The VMHC is also pleased to announce that as part of its opening week activities, and in celebration of the 245th anniversary of American Independence, the museum will again host a Citizenship Ceremony on July 4, with 30 candidates for citizenship taking the oath on the front terrace. This ceremony, held in partnership with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), will be officiated by the Honorable Roger L. Gregory, chief judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m.

The ceremony will be live streamed as access to the ceremony in person will be partially limited. Guests will be able to look on, however, from the museum’s front lawn. Timed admission to the museum will be available at the conclusion of the ceremony, and visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets ahead of time at VirginiaHistory.org.