Valentine launches ‘Monumental’ exhibit

There's so much more to Richmond's monuments than Monument Ave.

A “monumental” display examining Richmond’s public monuments will open on July 4 at The Valentine. The exhibition is called “Monumental: Richmond’s Monuments (1607-2018)” and will feature images, objects and multimedia.

Washington Monument - Valentine - 12ATThe project will start with the Newport Cross and conclude with the planned Emancipation Monument on Brown’s Island.

David Voelkel, the Elise H. Wright Curator of General Collections, says he’s excited to bring historical context to a subject that is repeatedly debated across the nation and in Richmond.

“Our goal is to allow the public to make up their own minds about the role these monuments play in our community in 2018,” said Voelkel.

Valentine Director Bill Martin emphasized that his institution seeks to “engage, educate and challenge a diverse audience.”

“This exhibition examines the context of these structures to discover exactly what they meant to us in the past and what they mean to us today, and the Valentine is committed to serving the community as a space to have uncomfortable but necessary conversations about our city’s complicated history,” said Martin.

The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond stories for more than a century. For more on this exhibit, head over to

Be sure to check out the “Pretty Powerful” exhibit while you’re there!