the wonderful world of veena.

25 September 2014

veen on the road: the museum of the confederacy.

As you can tell, Tuesday was a busy museum-going day for me in Richmond: first the Poe Museum, then the Virginia Holocaust Museum, and finally the Museum of the Confederacy.

I think we have pretty well established that I am a history nerd of pretty epic proportions. Specifically, I've always been fascinated by wars, by learning about the reasons for fighting and the ripple effects that wars have had throughout the years.

In school the two events that most held my interest were the Civil War and the ensuing end of slavery as well as World War II and the Holocaust. And I got to visit museums dedicated to each in Richmond.

For a number of years, Richmond was the capital of the Confederate States of America, and the building that served as Jefferson Davis' home and the headquarters of the Confederacy still stands in the city. Adjacent to it is the Museum of the Confederacy, so you can stroll through the current exhibit and book yourself on a tour of Davis' home - the "White House of the Confederacy" - which is exactly what I did.

The Museum itself was only alright: I found it to be really small for the $10 admission, and the exhibit that was currently showing wasn't that interesting for me. My understanding was that the exhibit rotates, but I could very well be mistaken about that.

I did, however, enjoy my visit to the White House of the Confederacy. My tour guide was very informative, and although the group seemed a little larger than was comfortable [about 25 people], he did a great job of keeping everyone together and of being concise in his explanations and descriptions.

During the tour - it lasts about 30-45 minutes - we learned about the creation of the Confederate states, Davis' life and his appointment to the Presidency, and the Davis family and their life in Richmond as we navigated our way around the building. There are a number of original pieces as well as a lot of replicas strewn throughout the home, and it was interesting to learn about the history of how some of the items were reclaimed. The tour was nice and short and interesting and to-the-point, and I would definitely encourage people to take the tour [which you can do separate from visiting the museum itself. hindsight].

some information:
  • find it at 1201 e clay st, richmond, va 23219
  • open 10am-5pm daily, except for major national holidays
  • museum admission is $10; i think i paid $13 or so to visit both the museum and the white house]
  • no photography inside the museum or the white house
  • if i were to do it again, i would skip the museum - depending on what the current exhibit was - and just do the house tour
  • you can also do a 3-site pass -- the museum, the house, and a visit to appomattox for $20. i would have loved to be able to do all three, but i unfortunately did not have enough time
My final verdict: worth it if you are a history buff, especially if you are particularly interested in southern history.

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