Landscapes of Virginia

An exhibition of diverse landscape paintings that showcase the variety of terrain and climate that characterize Virginia’s distinct geographical regions.

Valley & Ridge - "The Passing Storm, Shenandoah Valley" by Alexis Fournier, 1924

The geography of Virginia has shaped the history of the state and the nation. A mild climate and navigable rivers attracted Native Americans and the first European settlers to the Tidewater. Fertile soil fueled a prosperous economy, and the Chesapeake Bay and the rivers that feed it connected Virginia and its agricultural products to the world. The landscapes of the Piedmont, Valley, and Blue Ridge inspired Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a virtuous rural society. Virginia’s importance and location midway between North and South brought the federal capital to the banks of the Potomac and made it the bloodiest battleground of the Civil War. The harbor of Hampton Roads allowed military buildup in the twentieth century and the export of coal and lumber from both southwestern counties of the Valley and the Appalachian Plateau. Geography continues to play a pivotal role in Virginia’s politics, society, and economy.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Elis Olsson Memorial Foundation and the Robins Foundation.

Potomac Marsh by Max Weyl
Potomac Marsh

By Max Weyl,  about 1900. Purchased with funds provided by Lora M. Robins. (VMHC 1997.178)

Blue Ridge Mountains - "Afternoon, Hawks Bill River, Blue Ridge Mountains" by John Ross Key, about 1908
Afternoon, Hawks Bill River, Blue Ridge Mountains

By John Ross Key, about 1908. Purchased with funds provided by Lora M. Robins. (VMHC 1998.91)

Coastal Plain (Tidewater) - "Washington's House — Mount Vernon" by Victor De Grailly, about 1845
Washington's House, Mount Vernon

By Victor de Grailly, about 1845. Purchased with funds provided by Lora M. Robins. (VMHC 1994.116.2)

Virginia Scene by Richard Norris Brooke
Virginia Scene

By Richard Norris Brooke, about 1910. Purchased with funds provided by Lora M. Robins. (VMHC 1996.28.6)