Treasures of Virginia

Daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Mr. & Mrs. Gerald F. Smith, Jr. Gallery

This gallery features a rotating display of extraordinary items related to individuals or events that shaped the identity of our state and nation.

A gallery with blue walls, objects in display cases, and lettering that reads Treasures of Virginia

Admission: Included with Museum Daily Admission

Square feet: 400

Number of artifacts: 7

About the Exhibition: The objects in this gallery inspire awe, while also prompting reflection about what we treasure as individuals, as communities, and as a society.  

Highlights: Artifacts of note include a writing desk used by Lynchburg poet and civil rights activist Anne Spencer (1882-1975);  a personal diary kept by George Washington (1732-1799) during his first term as president; a flight jacket worn by Tony Dowd (1924-2015) while serving as a B-24 bomber tail gunner in China during WWII; the lunch counter from Richmond’s F.W. Woolworth Store where Black civil rights activists staged a sit-in to protest racial discrimination in 1960; The Virginia Declaration of Rights penned by George Mason (1725-1792) in 1776 which was part of the state constitution when Virginia claimed independence from Britain; and more!

Treasures of Virginia Featured Artifacts

A brown leather jacket with sewn patches on the front and a flapped pocket on the bottom left and right sides
Flight jacket worn by Tony Dowd (1924-2015) while serving as a B-24 bomber tail gunner in China during WWII

From the VMHC Collection, 2020.9.1.

A gray stone tablet with writing engraved into it
Celeron plate placed by French explorers along the Ohio River in 1749 to claim land for the French king in an area also claimed by the British crown

From the VMHC Collection, VMHC 1849.1.

Inside the Exhibition

A museum visitor looks at a lunch counter installation and photograph
A museum visitor looks at a Washington's Diary in a display case