August 16, 2022

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!”

Harris and Kearney Co-Author Article for White House History Journal

Photo by Bruce White for the White House Historical Association.

Photo by Bruce White for the White House Historical Association.

James Monroe Museum Director Scott Harris and Curator Jarod Kearney are the authors of “Articles of the Best Kind:” James Monroe Furnishes the Rebuilt White House, in the current issue of White House History, the journal of the White House Historical Association. Featuring illustrations of artifacts in the museum’s collection that were used in the White House, the article describes Monroe’s efforts to obtain suitable furnishings for the President’s home as part of the building’s restoration after the War of 1812. The style standard set by Monroe greatly influenced later renovations of the White House undertaken in the administrations of Theodore Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Bill Clinton. Copies of the White House History magazine are available for sale in the James Monroe Museum Store.

Harris Serves as Seminar Fellow

James Monroe Museum Director Scott Harris was among 42 museum professionals from across the United States and three other countries participating in the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries Leadership Seminar held at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, June 23-27.  Dynamic, engaging, highly interactive by design and interspersed with team and individual problem-solving exercises in leadership and management, this intensive five-day certificate program allows participants to learn from one another and be guided and inspired by nationally-recognized scholars drawn principally from Kellogg’s renowned faculty.  As a Seminar Fellow, Harris will benefit from an expanded knowledge base and a valuable professional network to help guide development of the James Monroe Museum.  The Association of Academic Museums and Galleries is the leading educational and professional organization for academic museums, galleries, and collections.

James Monroe Museum to Join National Sing-Along, June 14

On Saturday, June 14, the James Monroe Museum will join the largest group sing-along of the national anthem in history, as part of the National Museum of American History’s “Raise It Up! Anthem for America” celebration.

The James Monroe Museum will hold a "Raise it Up!" party on Flag Day. Photo from iStock.

The James Monroe Museum will hold a “Raise it Up!” party on Flag Day.
Photo from iStock.

“Raise It Up!” parties will be held across the country at 4 p.m. that day to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the American flag. The James Monroe Museum is currently the only gathering place in the Fredericksburg area for the event.

At the museum, participants will perform the Star Spangled Banner on kazoos. Participants will gather at 3:45 p.m. to receive their free kazoos, and the sing-along will begin at 4 p.m. An ice cream social will follow the sing-along.

Reservations are recommended at auphaus@umw.edu or (540) 654-1123. For more information about the celebration or to find a full list of sing-along locations, visit http://anthemforamerica.smithsonian.com/.

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.

James Monroe at War Video

Learn about James Monroe’s involvement in the American Revolution in this video created by Scott Harris, director of the James Monroe Museum:

UMW to Host James Monroe Life and Legacy Symposium

The University of Mary Washington will host “James Monroe: Life and Legacy,” a two-day symposium presented by The Papers of James Monroe and the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library. The symposium will take place on Friday, Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411, and on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Monroe Hall, Room 116.

Leah Tams (right) is one of the UMW students who will present at the James Monroe symposium. She is pictured with Jarod Kearney, curator of the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library.

Leah Tams (right) is one of the UMW students who will present at the James Monroe symposium. She is pictured with Jarod Kearney, curator of the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library.

The symposium will examine the life, legacy and interpretation of the fifth president of the United States through eight lectures and presentations by a variety of scholars. Presenters also will include UMW historic preservation students Peyton Brown, Heather Marshall and Leah Tams, who will present artifacts from the James Monroe Museum. The symposium will conclude on Saturday with the 26th annual Monroe lecture, a presentation by historical interpreter Dennis Bigelow.

The event is free and open to the public. More information, as well as a complete schedule of symposium speakers and presentation times, can be found at http://academics.umw.edu/jamesmonroepapers/events/.

Two UMW-Affiliated Museums Welcome Military This Summer

This summer, Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont and the James Monroe Memorial Museum and Library will offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families as part of a nationwide initiative. Blue Star Museums, which runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day, is a collaborative effort between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense. Since its start in 2010, the initiative has grown to include more than 2,000 museums and historic sites across the country. “Like others of his generation, James Monroe not only served his country, he helped create it,” said Scott Harris, director of the James Monroe Museum. “He fought with courage and distinction in the Revolutionary War and suffered a near-fatal wound at the Battle of Trenton. For the rest of his life he had nothing but praise and respect for veterans. It is therefore especially appropriate for the museum that bears his name to be one of the Blue Star Museums.” The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. military – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps – and up to five family members. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. “Gari Melchers Home and Studio is delighted to participate in the Blue Star Museum program to honor and thank those who serve us so well both here and abroad,” said David Berreth, director of Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont. “We hope that our quiet corner of the world will offer respite and inspiration to service members and their families throughout the summer.” For a complete list of participating museums, visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, dedicated to supporting, connecting and empowering military families. The organization hosts numerous morale and empowerment programs, including Books on Bases, Blue Star Museums, Operation Honor Corp, Blue Star Careers and Operation Appreciation. Blue Star Families also works directly with the Department of Defense and senior members of local, state and federal government to bring the most important military family issues to light. For more information, visit http://www.bluestarfam.org. The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies and the philanthropic sector. For more information, visit www.arts.gov. Gari Melchers Home and Studio is a 28-acre estate and former residence of the artist Gari Melchers and his wife Corinne. The property, which is operated by the University of Mary Washington, is both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. Located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, Va., a quarter mile west of the intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 17, it is open daily with an admission charge. The museum also serves as the official Stafford County Visitor Center.  For directions and other information, call (540) 654-1015 or visit the museum website at www.GariMelchers.org. 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.