Richmond, VA

Virginia Museum of History & Culture: Re-imagined and reopened with 50% more exhibition space

Watchful Eye

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Courtesy of Virginia Museum of History & Culture

After a project investing $30 million to renovate the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC), it has reopened.

The Richmond-based museum underwent the most extensive and transformative renovation in the institution’s nearly 200-year history, according to a museum press release. And the museum, which houses over 9 million objects, is offering a dramatically renewed, innovative and welcoming experience that presents history "through a fresh and accessible lens."

The renovation involved nearly two-thirds of the VMHC’s 250,000-square-foot building and included a grand two-story entrance atrium, an immersive orientation theater and approximately 50% more exhibition space, the museum added.

Some of that space is being used for Our Commonwealth, a marquee long-term exhibition that serves as “the centerpiece of the museum’s new offerings."

Covering the five major regions of Virginia, “the exhibit will launch audiences on a memorable and scenic journey with living murals —large-scale, changing digital projections —and custom soundscapes that will immerse them in the arts, culture, food, music, industry and people of each region,” an info sheet from the museum says.

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Commonwealth HallCourtesy of Virginia Museum of History & Culture

There’s a Smithsonian-organized exhibit called American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith, which runs until December 31. This exhibit features objects connected to Virginians “who, through extraordinary leadership and creativity, have worked to shape the future of both our state and our nation,” the info sheet says.

An exhibit called Taking Aim is teased with this explanation on the website:

For centuries, Virginians have relied on firearms to advance their best and worst impulses—to put food on the table, to protect themselves, to enforce or defy the law, to defend or conquer territory, and to liberate some and enslave others.

This exhibit “features the stories of craftspeople, inventors, soldiers, and even lawbreakers as told through firearms,” and is ongoing.

What about the museum’s green space? It’s been enhanced.

The research library? That’s “entirely new.”

And so are the café and museum store.

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VMHC's new cafeCourtesy of Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Oh! And if you visit, are you thinking of visiting the Virginia Fine Arts Museum on the same day?

Well, a connector was added between the two museums to make that easier.

VMHC is open daily from 10 – 5. Tickets for children 5-years-old and younger are free. For youth through age 17, the price is $5 and adult tickets are $10. Military, seniors and those in groups of $10 or more pay $8.

Get your tickets online here.

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