Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Valentine Richmond History Center Wastes Not on an Exhibit that Wants Not.

"Prize Room in  a Richmond Tobacco Factory"
image by John DeGroot (1915-1995)  from the October 22, 1939 
issue of the Richmond Times-Dispatch's Sunday Magazine and Book Review section. 
(click for larger view - then click on image again for an even Larger view)

The following excerpt from the Valentine Richmond History Center website  concisely summarizes their important new exhibit:
Waste Not Want Not: Richmond's Great Depression, 1929-1941 shows life in Richmond during the Great Depression, which lasted from October 1929 until the U.S. entered World War II. In the midst of calamity, Richmond residents joined other Americans in an explosion of political, organizational and cultural creativity. The exhibition tells this story with objects, images, ephemera, and costumes from the History Center’s collection.
Through images and artifacts the exhibit shows a very different City from the one we know today, but one from which we are not that far removed.  As a child with parents born in 1929 and the nephew of a businessman who survived the depression with the creed “waste not, want not,” I realize how close Great Depression is to my own time.
The most memorable elements are the great collection of Richmond Depression-era paintings that are seamlessly woven into the exhibit. The Valentine Richmond History Center has a superb painting collection that it should do more to show off in its permanent and rotating exhibitions. I am sure that many of us would enjoy a permanent on-line exhibit of its painting collection.
Oh, I do digress. 
Dr. Edward Ragan, a new curator at the Valentine (see his interview in Style about the exhibit) has finely crafted a must-see exhibit that will remain up through September 10, 2010.
We hope that a book on this important era of Richmond History might be forthcoming from Dr. Ragan and look forward to his next exhibit at the Valentine. 
- Tyler P.

1 comment:

HEK said...

This is an excellent show! If nothing else for the girl on girl boxing at the Miller & Rhoads employee picnic, and the young women in their latest Jantzen swimming one-pieces. The gents are all in their summer whites, and though it's the bottom of the Depression, everybody looks smashing. What we can't see if there are darned holes in the pockets. Quite something.