Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Boulevard and How It Grew - From Soldiers’ Home to the Home of World Class Museums

(Postcard image of the Old Soldier's Home - ca. 1910
now the grounds of the VMFA.)
From the Fan District Hub we learn about the following:

The Boulevard and How It Grew: From Soldiers’ Home to the Home of World Class Museums opens at the VHS on Sat., May 1.

Through twelve photographs, postcards, illustrations, and a map, the exhibition will give visitors a brief look at the 115-year-history of the block currently occupied by the VHS, the VMFA, the Robinson House, the Confederate Chapel, the United Daughters of the Confederacy building, and the Robert E. Lee Camp Memorial Park .

“This exhibition documents the steady evolution of the museum block, showing that like Rome, it was not built in a day,” said Jeffrey Ruggles, VHS curator of prints and photographs and curator of The Boulevard and How It Grew exhibition. “Because there are buildings still standing that date back over a century, there is often confusion among visitors and residents about who owns and runs which structure. I hope that this exhibition helps clear up some of that confusion by showing how each part of the puzzle developed. I also hope that visitors realize that the institutions that occupy this block are significant in ways that reach far beyond the city of Richmond, and even the state of Virginia.”

The exhibition tells how the thirty-four acres of farmland that was purchased from the Robinson family in 1884 developed into buildings that house extensive collections and impressive exhibitions related to world art and Virginia history. The Boulevard and How It Grew closes at the VHS on July 18, 2010.

Admission to the exhibition is free.

“This block has been in transition for most of its existence,” said Paul Levengood, VHS president and CEO. “We are glad that the construction is almost finished and visitors will be able to experience two world-class museums free of charge. Art and history — the defining filters for studying civilization within feet of each other.”

– The information above was provided by Jennifer M. Guild with the VHS - thanks to the Fan District Hub for bringing this exhibit to our attention.

- Ray B.

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