The definition of the word “museum” is changing, and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) in Winchester is one good example of how.
With four major galleries, changing exhibitions, a café and museum store, the MSV has all the classic attributes of a conventional museum. But they also have seven acres of water-feature gardens, a variety of musical performances, youth workshops and other special events for kids, lectures on many topics, extensive community involvement, classes on making holiday ornaments and wreaths, hands-on adult programs, and the only working farm in the City of Winchester. Oh yes, a trail system on its 214 acres is envisioned.
Located a scenic hour and forty-minute drive from Washington, DC, the MSV system also includes Rose Hill Park, a few miles from the main museum, which is operated jointly with the Frederick County Parks and Recreation Department.
Much of the collection includes 18th and 19th Century fine art and furniture once owned by Julian Wood Glass Jr. (The Museum is on land originally owned by Winchester founder James Wood.) You can also find paintings, flintlocks, miniatures, ceramics, folk art, baskets, silver, textiles—and that is just the beginning.
The MSV’s schedule for this fall and winter includes a number of exhibits and events that appeal to a wide variety of art lovers. A few highlights:
Virginia Watercolor Society 30th Annual Exhibition, Now Through January 7, 2018
In the Changing Exhibitions Gallery and featuring nearly 80 juried works, the Virginia Watercolor Society 38th Annual Exhibition showcases beauty, experimentation, innovation, and creativity in contemporary watercolor. “Along with bringing an impressive display of watercolor art to our community,” says Corwyn Garman, MSV Director of Exhibitions, “hosting the Virginia Watercolor Society 38th Annual Exhibition provides an opportunity to present a comprehensive slate of related programming at the MSV for all ages.”
Under the Appalachian Sky, The Paintings of Barry Vance, Now through June 24, 2018
Presenting 32 paintings, three drawings, and four sketchbooks of the region from Barry Vance. Examples include Shenandoah National Park, Harrisonburg’s vanished Star Gables Motor Court, Belle Grove Plantation, Indian Alley in Old Town Winchester, and the South Branch of the Potomac River. In addition, several paintings depict lesser-known small towns, including Sugar Grove, West Virginia, and Doe Hill, Virginia. According to Garman, “Under the Appalachian Sky is the third in a new series of solo exhibitions presented in the Museum’s Shenandoah Valley Gallery and featuring contemporary representations of the region. Vance’s work is particularly appealing,” Garman notes, “because his paintings depict the Valley as one might see it in a dream, melding multiple viewpoints, different time periods, and familiar places into imaginative landscapes.”
Virginia Gourd Show and Sale, November 18-19
Celebrate the craftmanship and interesting history behind gourd art! Meet the gourd art experts in the Virginia Lovers’ Gourd Society in this annual show, sale, and gourd competition held for the first time at the MSV. The Virginia Lovers’ Gourd Society will present gourd artisans, a gourd competition, and raw gourds for your own crafting purposes. Gourd artisans will also be on site to sell a wide variety of artisan gourds.
Hear my Voice: Native American Art of the Past and Present, February 17, 2018 Through July 15, 2018-
Based on the notion of dialogue, Hear My Voice: Native American Art of the Past and Present explores conversations between Native American artists and their art across centuries, a continent, and 35 indigenous cultures. The works illustrate the ways in which Native American art speaks of a shared knowledge and shared history while also being incredibly diverse in subject matter and medium. Organized into three themes, or types of dialogue, the exhibition explores how Native American artists relate to the natural world, their community, and the outside world and how those relationships affect their identity and work.
Holiday Concert Series
The popular series returns in December. Free to MSV Members, this year’s line-up of afternoon concerts features the Yesterday Swing Orchestra on December 9, tenor Jackson Caesar singing holiday music from his new CD on December 16, holiday tunes Dixieland style from the Dixie Rhythmband on December 17, and traditional Christmas music from the Clarke County Community Band’s Brass Quinteton December 23.
Learn more the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley and study the event schedule.