About the Exhibition: The Lost Cause was a widespread effort by former Confederates after the American Civil War (1861–1865) to justify and glorify the Confederacy. The Lost Cause manifested in different ways over many generations—from history textbooks to street names to various forms of memorialization. As with most of their counterparts, the monument and murals displayed in this gallery, as well as the gallery itself, tell us more about the intentions and values of the people who created them than about the historical subjects they depict.
About the Artifacts:
- Commissioned by the Confederate Memorial Association and executed by Charles Hoffbauer, the Confederate Memorial Military Murals were unveiled at the Confederate Memorial Institute in 1921. The Virginia Historical Society acquired them when it acquired the CMA in 1946 as its new home. The murals have remained on exhibit in the south wing of the former CMI building until the present time.
- The Edward Valentine sculpture of Lee stood as one of Virginia’s entries in the National Statuary Hall Collection at the U.S. Capitol from 1909 until 2020, when it was given to the VMHC by the Commonwealth of Virginia.