Get Away: Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Learn more about our home state in this newly renovated and expanded Richmond museum.
Vmhc Our Commonwealth Gallery 2

The “Our Commonwealth” exhibit at the newly expanded Virginia Museum of History & Culture (Courtesy photo)

Located in Richmond, the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) reopened in May following a more than $30 million renovation and expansion that includes a new immersive orientation theater, grand two-story entrance, cafe, store and more. While VMHC had historically focused on Richmond, today’s artifacts, paintings and exhibits cover Virginia’s five major regions.

“History is very personal, and you should treat it as such. That is why we focus on specific people with specific experiences—and not just the famous people,” Jamie Bosket, the museum’s president and CEO, says about one of their guiding intentions.

The “History Matters” exhibit includes the 2018 Virginia Tech graduation cap of the first African American woman to graduate with a degree in nanoscience in Virginia, and the green Converse sneakers worn by Rainbow Minute radio show co-host Judd Proctor at his wedding to co-host Brian Burns in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in 2006—a time when same-sex marriage was illegal in Virginia.

Vmhc Exterior

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture (Courtesy photo)

In “Our Commonwealth,” you can learn the Slide Step, a popular Appalachian dance move, via video from Martha Spencer, a singer-songwriter and dancer from the Blue Ridge Mountains, and learn about an African American family whose Virginia roots go back nearly 300 years. Commonwealth Explorers is the place for kids to play and create their own museum exhibit.

Other exhibits include “American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith” (through Dec. 31), which examines the continuing story of America’s “of, by, and for the people” form of government; and “Cheers, Virginia!” (through Jan. 29, 2023), which celebrates the state’s craft brewing, distilling and fermenting industry.

The museum is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets range from $5 to $10 (see website for details) and can be purchased online or in person. // Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 428 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., Richmond, Virginia, 804-340-1800

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