This Week in Historic Alexandria (8.10.17) | News Release | City of Alexandria

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This Week in Alexandria History

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 3.20.13 PM.pngOn August 9, 1974, a day after his resignation as President of the United States, Richard Nixon departed from the White House for his home at San Clemente, California. Vice President Gerald R. Ford, who lived on Crown View Drive in Alexandria, was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States. After taking the oath of office, President Ford spoke to the nation in a television address, declaring, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.”


Saturday, August 12 –  The Art of History
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
See the Centennial of the Everyday through an art history lens! Take The Art of History, a 60-min tour of the special summer exhibit as you learn from museum staff about how history and art merge to create a rich tapestry of Alexandria history. Each work in the exhibit is grounded in local history while connecting to contemporary art approaches. Reminiscent of Fred Wilson’s Mining the Museum, the Centennial of the Everyday draws on how art can be used to highlight the complex narratives embedded in history. Tickets are priced at $15 per person. Tours are at 10 a.m. and 12 noon. Reservations are required.  For more information, please call 703.746.4242.

Saturday, August 12 –  “Beyond the Battlefield” Walking Tour
Outside The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, 201 South Washington Street 
This guided walking tour of Civil War sites in Historic Old Town is sponsored by the Lee-Fendall House and Gardens. Participants will see locations and stories associated with soldiers, citizens, and the enslaved, including the occupation of Alexandria and emancipation. Stops on the tour will include locations featured in the recent PBS drama, “Mercy Street.” The tour will last approximately 2.5 hours and the tour route is approximately 1.75 miles.  Tickets are $15 in advance through Eventbrite, or $20 the day of the program. Tour space is limited, so the purchase of tickets in advance is highly recommended. The tour will begin at 10 a.m. outside The Lyceum at 201 South Washington Street. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and bring bottled water. FREE for Lee-Fendall House Members! For more information, please visit www.leefendallhouse.org or call 703.548.1789.

photo: Book Cover "Outlander"Sunday, August 13 – Apothecary Museum Geek Tours: An Outlandish Tour
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 105-107 South Fairfax Street
In this one hour specialty tour, explore herbal medicines featured in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series of novels from cascara to dauco seeds. Adults only recommended. Tickets are available online.at $15 per person, advance purchase strongly recommended as space is limited. 12 noon to 1 p.m. For more information, please call 703.746.3852.

Sunday, August 13 – Gadsby’s Tavern Museum’s Family Tours
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
Treat your family to special “Family Tours” led by Junior Docents grades 4-7. Tours included a hands-on activity and the opportunity for children to connect with history through peer tour guides. Admission: $5 adults, $3 children ages 5 to 12, and 4 and under are free. No advance registration required. 2 to 5 p.m. Family tours begin June 25 and end Labor Day weekend. For more information, call 703.746.4242.

Sunday, August 13 – Opening Reception: Seduction | Leslie
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Join us for the opening reception of Seduction | Leslie Nolan. Free! 4 p.m. For more information, please visit www.nvfaa.org or call 703.548.0035.

photo: Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic AssociationSunday, August 13 – In Concert: Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association
The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, 201 South Washington Street
Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association Annual Chamber Music Series featuring Tyler Castrucci, trombone; William Neri, viola; Molly Jones, cello; and piano. Music by David, Schulhoff, Bizet, Crespo, Persichetti, & Piazzolla. Donations graciously accepted – suggested donation $10. 3 to 4:30 p.m. For more information call 703.799.8229 or visit wmpamusic.org.

Now on Exhibit – Shield of Earth:  Defending the Heart of the Union 
Fort Ward Museum, 4301 West Braddock Road
This new exhibition that features objects, photographs and documents from the Fort Ward Museum collection related to the Defenses of Washington.  The exhibition covers both the formidable task of building the defense system, which made the Federal capital one of the most protected cities in the world, and some of the men who were assigned to duty in the Washington area.   Highlights of the exhibition include military passes issued by Provost Marshal’s Office, construction tools, and original photographs of some of Washington’s defenders, including a profile of Francis E. Brainerd, a soldier in the 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery who was stationed at Fort O’Rourke, not far from the present-day site of the Huntington Metro Station.  Items related to how the forts protected Washington’s vital transportation resources are also featured, such as a ship’s lantern, rail section from the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and colored lithograph of Soldier’s Rest in Alexandria.  Several original drawings of forts by soldiers stationed at those sites are on view, and a construction report dated February 1865 details work projects such as completion of new officers’ quarters at Fort Ward.  Other unique items featured are a sketch showing where President Lincoln came under fire during the Battle of Fort Stevens, a field desk belonging to an officer in the 107th New York Infantry, and an 1862 map of the Defenses of Washington published by the engineer E.G. Arnold.   The exhibition will continue through 2017. Free! Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.   For more information, please call 703.746.4848 or visit www.fortward.org.

photo: Centennial of EverydayNow on Exhibit – Relics to be Removed
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
Discover a series of contemporary artistic installations by Baltimore artists Stewart Watson and Lauren Frances Adams tucked in among the historic spaces. Centennial of the Everyday reflects their research on the history of women, enslaved peoples, and nameless citizens whose stories are often overshadowed by other more famous figures from our region.  Using traditional materials but with modern techniques, the artist team illuminate the domestic material culture of the past. This project is part of the Time & Place initiative, which explores the intersection of contemporary art with Alexandria’s rich and multifaceted history and is a partnership of the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts with the Office of Historic Alexandria.  Open during regular museum hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday and Monday, 1 to 5 p.m., and part of regular museum admission: $5 adults, $3 child ages 5 to12. For more information, call 703.746.4242

Now on Exhibit – Centennial of the Everyday
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
Many are familiar with the historic ballroom at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, yet the woodwork is a copy; the original is located at Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) in New York City. Relics to be Removed explores the 1917 removal of the historic ballroom and places this decision into a national context. Learn and connect with the story through photos, text and recreated, touchable pieces.  Open during regular museum hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday and Monday, 1 to 5 p.m., and part of regular museum admission: $5 adults, $3 child ages 5 to12. For more information, call 703.746.4242

photo: Costmes of Mercy StreetNow on Exhibit – Costumes of Mercy Street
The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, 201 South Washington Street
This new exhibition highlights several costumes worn by characters in the PBS series Mercy Street, set in Civil War era AlexandriaOpen Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m.   For more information call 703.746.4994, or visit

Now on Exhibit – Alexandrians Fight the Great War
The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, 201 South Washington Street
This new exhibition traces the experiences of local people during the first World War. The homes, hospitals, factories and shipyards of wartime Alexandria come back to life through the use of rare images, archival and modern-day video clips, quotes from participants, original objects including weapons, period music, and scale models. Open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m.   For more information call 703.746.4994, or visit

photo: Book Cover - Before the Spirits are Swept AwayNow on Exhibit – Before the Spirits are Swept Away: African American Historic Site Paintings
Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe Street 
This exhibition, featuring 20 of Sherry Sanabria’s African American historic site paintings, is made possible by the Sanabria family, who generously donated 23 of her paintings to the Alexandria Black History Museum. Sherry, who had a studio at the Torpedo Factory Arts Center, passed away in 2014.  Her family has made it their mission to find homes for her paintings where they will be appreciated and preserved. This incredible donation permits museum staff to use the paintings to explore slavery, interpretation, and preservation of African American sites in Virginia. These paintings are part of Sanabria’s “Sites of Conscience” series, which has as its focus African American heritage, prisons, concentration camps, and mental hospitals. The Sites of Conscience series takes viewers to places of horror, places of pain and suffering, places we want to forget, but never should.

Robert Sanabria, Sherry’s husband, feels this series “… demonstrates the widespread practice of bondage in the American South and the determination of the enslaved to survive and maintain their connection with their creator. It is especially fortuitous to have these works together where they will be valued and available for the appreciation of generations to come….”

Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am to 4 p.m., Sunday and Monday: Closed.  Free, but donations are appreciated. For more information, please call 703.746.4356.

Now on Exhibit – Their Fates Intertwined: The Lees of Alexandria in the War of 1812 
Lee-Fendall House and Gardens, 614 Oronoco Street 
A new exhibit on the experiences of the Lee family in Alexandria during the War of 1812 examines the contributions of Alexandria’s citizens during the conflict that led to the writing of our national anthem through the lives of this iconic Virginia family. For more information, please visit www.leefendallhouse.org or call 703.548.1789

On Sale Now

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 3.21.54 PMOn Thursday, August 17, at 7 p.m. come to The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum at 201 South Washington Street to hear the lecture Americans at War:Experiencing World War I by Dr. Jennifer D. Keene.  The lecture coincides with the opening at The Lyceum’s newest exhibit, Alexandrians Fight the Great War to commemorate the 100th anniversary of America’s entrance into the Great War.  Dr. Keene will address the question, “How did ordinary men and women experience World War I?” The Great War meant separation, combat, and loss for millions. Yet for others the war offered a chance for social advancement, adventure, and victory. Americans were part of this global story, experiencing the tragedy and triumph of World War I – a war that few Americans remember. Jennifer D. Keene is a professor of history and chair of the History Department at Chapman University. Tickets for this lecture are now available at $10 per person.

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