September 19, 2017

Museums Offer Free Holiday Admission

While you are unwinding during the holiday break, bring the whole family for a visit to the James Monroe Museum and to Gari Melchers Home and Studio!

belmont-home-for-the-holidays-2Both sites are extending free admission to include the immediate family members of current University of Mary Washington faculty and staff during the break, from Dec. 17 to Jan. 2. We hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to visit this wonderful pair of cultural resources administered by UMW.

Gari Melchers Home and Studio is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The James Monroe Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays, but will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission for current faculty, staff and students is free throughout the year at both sites, so we hope to see you often! For more information please visit us online at http://garimelchers.umw.edu/ and www.jamesmonroemuseum.org.

James Monroe Museum Exhibits Political Memorabilia

Political memorabilia spanning centuries is the focus of a timely new exhibit at the James Monroe Museum. The museum will welcome visitors on Friday, Sept. 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a preview reception for the exhibit, “Conduct in the Public Service: Artifacts of Politics and Government from the Collection of the James […]

James Monroe Museum Hires First Public Programs Coordinator

The James Monroe Museum is pleased to announce that Lynda Allen was recently chosen as the institution’s first Public Programs Coordinator.  The new staff position is responsible for all of the Museum’s interpretive events, educational programs and facility rentals. Programs are offered on a variety of topics throughout the year, and tours for public and private schools and other groups serve audiences from the Fredericksburg region, Virginia, and a growing number of other states.  The Museum’s garden is a popular rental venue for private functions including weddings, parties and other social gatherings.

Ms. Allen was hired in September 2013 as the Museum’s Office and Store Manager, in which capacity she oversaw office administration, trained Museum Guides in admissions and store operations, and oversaw product development and sales activity. During her tenure the Museum Store experienced significant growth in the quantity and diversity of products, and in sales volume.  One of her key accomplishments was publication of the Museum’s engaging children’s book, Let’s Visit James Monroe, which highlights artifacts in the collection through the experience of a visiting family interacting with historical characters including James Monroe, Napoleon Bonaparte and enslaved African Americans.

Prior to joining the Museum staff, Ms. Allen was administrator of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fredericksburg and taught at Odyssey Montessori, also in Fredericksburg.  After earning a B.A. in communication studies at Virginia Tech and an M.A. in film and video from American University, Ms. Allen worked in independent feature and documentary films as a production manager, music supervisor, producer and director.  A prolific writer, she has published eight works of poetry, prose and nonfiction.

Ms. Allen begins her new duties on Aug. 10.  Efforts are underway to fill the vacant Office and Store Manager position, which will be advertised later this month.

The James Monroe Museum is a National Historic Landmark owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia and administered by the University of Mary Washington.  Founded in 1927, it is the nation’s largest repository of artifacts and documents related to the fifth President of the United States.  For hours of operation, directions, and other information, call (540) 654-1043, or visit www.jamesmonroemuseum.org.

 

 

Harris Discusses Monroe on Radio Show

Scott Harris, director of the James Monroe Museum, was recently interviewed for the Dave Nemo Show discussing President James Monroe’s popular national tours in 1817, 1818 and 1819. The Dave Nemo Show is broadcast nationwide on Sirius XM Satellite Radio Channel 146, which is the “Road Dog” channel that principally targets long-haul truckers.

James Monroe Museum Acquires Previously Unknown Portrait of Fifth President

A previously unknown portrait of James Monroe—Revolutionary War hero, legislator, diplomat, Virginia governor and fifth president of the United States—will be exhibited for the first time on Saturday, April 25 at the James Monroe Museum.

James Monroe Portrait

James Monroe Portrait

The newest addition to the James Monroe Museum’s collection, the portrait will be on display for the celebration of the fifth president’s 257th birthday, which will feature live music and treats from 1 to 3 p.m. The celebration is free and open to the public.

The unsigned oil portrait depicts Monroe in 1820, roughly halfway through his two-term presidency that was called the “Era of Good Feelings.”

The painting was sold at a New Jersey auction in 2013 as a “portrait of a stately gentleman,” not identified as Monroe. In late 2014, it was purchased by Michael Meyer, owner of Meyer Fine Art in Yonkers, New York and brought to the James Monroe Museum for analysis and consideration of purchase. The museum purchased the Monroe portrait in March 2015 for $16,000, using private funds administered by the University of Mary Washington Foundation.  To offset this expenditure the museum is seeking institutional and individual donors, all of whom will be recognized as sponsors of the purchase.

The James Monroe Museum is a National Historic Landmark owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia and administered by the University of Mary Washington. Founded in 1927, it is the nation’s largest repository of artifacts and documents related to the fifth president of the United States.

For more information about the museum’s hours of operation and directions, call 540-654-1043 or visit www.jamesmonroemuseum.org.

James Monroe Museum Affiliates Attend Workshop

JMM Staff & Former Bowleys 12.5.14University of Mary Washington students and alumni with connections to the James Monroe Museum had an impromptu reunion at a recent Virginia Association of Museums workshop on event planning held at Gari Melchers Home and Studio.

Theresa Cramer and Gabrielle Lindemann are the current Bowley Scholars at the James Monroe Museum. They were joined at the workshop by former Bowley Scholars Bill Backus, Historical Interpreter, Prince William County Historic Preservation Division; Christine Clements, Curatorial Assistant, Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail; and Candice Roland, Library Clerk, Virginia Historical Society. Former Monroe Museum student aide Sarah Palenik, who is now Membership and Office Manager for the Gari Melchers Home and Studio, also took part in the workshop.

The Lt. Gen. Albert J. Bowley Scholarship funds academic-year and summer internships at the museum, giving students hands-on experience in artifact collections management, education, and public programs. Student aides work as paid museum guides.

James Monroe Museum Director Scott Harris, who attended the workshop along with Membership and Special Events Coordinator Adele Uphaus-Conner, was very pleased by the participation of students and alumni who worked at the museum.

“The James Monroe Museum is proud to support UMW’s educational mission through internships and student employment,” said Harris. “The University’s majors in historic preservation and history, and the interdisciplinary museum studies minor, provide excellent academic training. When a superior course of study is augmented by practical experience, graduates are better prepared to enter the workforce.”

The James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library is a National Historic Landmark owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia and administered by the University of Mary Washington. Founded in 1927, it is the nation’s largest repository of artifacts and documents related to the fifth President of the United States. For hours of operation, directions, and other information, call (540) 654-1043, or visit www.jamesmonroemuseum.org.

Harris Featured on WMST Radio Program

Scott Harris, director of the James Monroe Museum, was interviewed by Dan Manley, host of “Mornings on Main,” a show on WMST Radio in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. Harris discussed the James Monroe Museum, the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg and bluegrass music.

UMW to Host Ghost Walk, Oct. 24-25

The University of Mary Washington Historic Preservation Club will host the 30th annual Ghost Walk on Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25. The haunted tours of downtown Fredericksburg will leave every 15 minutes from the James Monroe Museum at 908 Charles St. The tours run from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday IMG_0018and from 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday. The hour long tours stop at about a dozen sites throughout historic Fredericksburg, including the Masonic Cemetery, Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop and Kenmore Plantation. Members of the Historic Preservation Club and other UMW students act out stories based on the book “The Ghosts of Fredericksburg and Other Environs” by L.B. Taylor Jr. Reservations are highly recommended for groups over 8 and can be made in advance by email at umwghostwalk@gmail.com, or tickets can be purchased the night of the tour at Market Square. The cost is $6 for adults; $4 for UMW students, UMW staff, and military; $3 for children ages 6-12; free for children age 5 and under. For more information or to register, call the Historic Preservation Club at (540) 654-1315.

James Monroe Museum to Host Forum on Virginia Governors

The James Monroe Museum and Library will host a public forum on Wednesday, Oct. 22 that focuses on the development of the role of Governor in Virginia since 1799. “From Monroe to McAuliffe: The Evolution of the Office of Governor of Virginia” will trace the history of the Virginia governorship and analyze the development of the office from the time James Monroe held the title to today.

Gerald_L_BalilesThe forum features a panel of experts, including  The Honorable Gerald Baliles, 65th  governor of Virginia; Stephen J. Farnsworth, UMW professor of political science and international affairs and director of the UMW Center for Leadership and Media Studies; Daniel Preston, editor of the Papers of James Monroe; and Scott Harris, director of the James Monroe Museum.

The event will be held at the University of Mary Washington in Lee Hall, Room 411 at 7 p.m. The forum is free and open to the public. Contact the James Monroe Museum and Library at (540) 654-1043 for more information.

Welsh Festival Brings Culture and Fun to Fredericksburg

The 25th Annual Fredericksburg Welsh Festival at the James Monroe Museum drew a crowd of nearly 2,000 people on Saturday, Sept. 20. The event features traditional music, dancing, arts, crafts, storytelling, language lessons and children’s activities.

“The day was a great success, a testament to the hard work of the Welsh Society of Fredericksburg and the James Monroe Museum’s staff and volunteers,” said Scott H. Harris, director of the James Monroe Museum. “All in all, it was a great event, part of a nexus of fun and culture between UMW and Historic Fredericksburg!”