This award-winning exhibition interprets 16,000 years of Virginia history from the earliest artifacts of Native Americans to Virginia at the beginning of the 21st century. In a 10,000-square-foot area, visitors can witness the cultural and historical transformations of the commonwealth as they travel from one gallery to another.
The exhibition is organized around the theme of changing identity—thus the use of the word "becoming" in most sections. For example, "Becoming Virginians" refers to the creation of a new culture in Virginia from three distinct traditions—English, Native American, and African. The term "Becoming Southerners," instead of "Antebellum Virginia," is used to describe a growing sectional identity centered around the institution of slavery. The exhibition reinforces the idea that most of Virginia history speaks to larger themes in the history of our nation. The exhibition concludes by asking what it means to be a Virginian today and challenges the visitor to consider the role of Virginia in the 21st century. The Story of Virginia is an American experience.
Each section of the exhibition is available in the virtual tour that appears on the main section pages of this web site. We have added images and captions for selected objects on display. Please check back as we will be adding more content to the virtual tour.
To navigate to other sections of the virtual tour, select the "Scenes" tab located at the lower left-hand corner of the viewer. You can then select from twelve different gallery scenes.
This web site was made possible by Altria Group, Inc.