Virginia Museum of History & Culture reopens to the public after two year renovation with new exhibits and programs

A magnet held in the foreground with a VMHC on it.
The Virginia Museum of History & Culture rebranded with this name in 2017. | Photo by RICtoday

The Virginia Museum of History and Culture is welcoming Richmond back into its 250,000 sqft facility with more than just a new paint job. After two years of renovation, the ~200-year-old museum returns with renovated classics, new exhibits, explorations + even snacks for anyone to enjoy.

The lobby of VMHC
The Virginia Museum of History & Culture has a gift shop just to the left of right of this photo. | Photo by RICtoday

For history buffs…

The Story of Virginia,” an existing exhibit in the North Gallery, takes visitors through a timeline of VA history from 1607 to around the mid-1970s. It was updated with new displays, artifacts + cultural finds from across the commonwealth. 

Treasures of Virginia” is a rotating collection of artifacts, including George Washington’s diary from his first term as president + the Thalhimer counter where the Richmond 34 protested segregation in 1960, on loan from the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.

For families with students…

Commonwealth Explorers” is VMHC’s new way to present historical experiences to its youngest visitors. The whole room is decorated with native animals, wildlife, local exports + a few famous faces. Plus, there’s a shelf of colonial costumes, recreations, and old-school toys to enjoy.

For all Virginians…

The beginning of the "Our Commonwealth" exhibit
The five regions of VA are Tidewater, Central Virginia, Northern Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley + Southwest Virginia | Photo by RICtoday

Our Commonwealth,” the largest of the new exhibits, is tied to the culture of the five distinct regions of our state including right here in Central VA. It explores the food, music, nature, industry + the people who make every part of the Old Dominion so unique.

American Democracy: A Giant Leap of Faith” is an exhibit on loan from the Smithsonian about the history of voting, featuring the efforts of Virginians who fought to make voting a right for all citizens.  

For those with special interests…

VMHC is introducing two new “pocket galleries,” made from former closet space. There, visitors can find “Uncommon Strength: An Archeological View of Resilience” and “Taking Aim,” which show off the tools of archeological digs + describe what kind of guns a Virginia farmer, hunter, soldier or spy would use across the centuries.

Coming soon…

Cheers, Virginia” will celebrate the centuries of craft brewers, distillers, and fermenters who have captured the identity and soul of Virginians through their glasses. It will open in the Susan & David Goode Gallery on Sat., Aug. 6.  

If history isn’t your thing, the coffee shop by the North Sheppard Street entrance is open to the public. To start, it will offer pastries, sandwiches, and local java. Eventually, it will start selling local ales + wine.

The entrance to the museum's coffee shop.
The coffee shop is open for museum hours only. | Photo by RICtoday

The museum will officially reopen this weekend (Sat.-Sun. From 9 a.m.-5 p.m.) with free admission, live music, vendors, food, games + special speakers

Can’t make it? Regular admission is $10 for adults, $5 for those under 18, and $8 for active military, veterans + older adults (65+).