Curator Conversations: Reconsidering Columbus in Richmond

Time Period
16,000 BCE to 1622 CE
1925 to Today
Media Type
Politics & Government
Dr. Karen Sherry

In this series, VMHC curatorial staff bring exclusive member-only programs to you on a variety of interesting topics. To see upcoming events in this series, please visit

Reconsidering Columbus in Richmond (October 10, 2022): In the summer of 2020, demonstrators tore down Richmond’s statue of Christopher Columbus, which they viewed as a symbol of the oppression and massacre of Indigenous Americans. While some cheered, others lamented the removal of a long-standing national hero and source of Italian American pride. The installation of this statue in 1927 was similarly controversial, although for different reasons, and—like the events of 2020—thrust Richmond into the national spotlight. Join VMHC curator Karen Sherry to explore the complicated history of the Columbus monument and Columbus Day celebrations, as well as how their meanings have evolved over time. Also get a preview of a recent acquisition to VMHC’s collection that tells a rich, multilayered story of the origin of Richmond’s statue.