Historic Cultural & Artsy

This Week in Historic Alexandria – 8/27/2018 | News Release | City of Alexandria

“Saving Spaces” Book Release with Author John Sprinkle

Lloyd House

7 p.m.
John Sprinkle’s new book, Saving Spaces: Historic Land Conservation in the United States, provides an overview of historic preservation in America. His case studies show the struggles and successful strategies for conserving historic buildings and landscapes such as Lloyd House in Alexandria. A book signing and reception will follow the lecture. $12 per person and $10 for OHA Museum members. Tickets may be purchased online at Alexandriava.gov/Shop.

For the latest Historic Alexandria related news and events, visit alexandriava.gov/Historic.

In August 1814, during the War of 1812, Alexandrians recognized their increasing peril as the British juggernaut inched its way northward, up the Potomac. With the exception of two institutions, the commercial banks of Georgetown, Washington and Alexandria agreed to loan the Government $200,000 for the purpose of providing a defense for the region. The Alexandria town and county militia were called out en masse in late August of 1814 and were ordered to cross the Potomac to take up a post between Piscataway and Fort Washington. They took with them nearly all the arms and artillery belonging to the town, leaving Alexandria defenseless. Thus, when the militia retreated to the Virginia countryside and Captain Dyson, commander of Fort Washington, blew up the fortress, Alexandria’s fate was sealed. On the morning of August 28, 1814, a committee led by Alexandria Mayor Charles Simms rowed south to meet the British Captain Gordon and request terms of surrender. Refusing to give conditions, Gordon and his fleet arrived at Alexandria’s waterfront in the evening. The next morning, the British lined up their gunboats (two frigates, the 38-gun Sea Horse and the 36-gun Euryalus; a “rocket ship”; three bomb vessels of eight guns each; and a two-gun schooner). They were “so situated that they might have laid [the town] in ashes in a few minutes.”

Apothecary Geek Tour: American Sign Language for September 9

Learn about the muggle botanical science that inspired the potions and herbology of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, and make your own magical sleeping potion! This tour will be conducted exclusively in American Sign Language. Only visitors fluent in ASL should attend this tour as there will be no English interpretation provided. Adults and children ages 8 and older welcome. Tour is from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and is recommended for adults only. Advance purchase is recommended due to limited space. Please arrive between 10:45-11:00 a.m. as the museum is not open to the public until 1 p.m. and the doors will be locked when the tour begins at 11 a.m.

September 1 Hamilton BFF and Frenemies Tour

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal Street

10-11a.m.

Hamilton’s world emerges through the rooms of Gadsby’s Tavern Museum.  Hear about Hamilton’s “BFF’s and Frenemies” who all came to the tavern—Washington, Lafayette, Jefferson, Madison, and Burr—alongside stories from the enslaved men and women working at the tavern, like Candas and Moses.  Grapple with the realities of early America and how these stories intertwined to start a new nation.

Offered every Saturday at 10 a.m. through Labor Day Weekend.  $12 per person, $10 GTMS/Volunteers. Guarantee your spot by purchasing tickets in advance through alexandriava.gov/Shop.


September 1 and 2 Freedom House Museum Open

Freedom House Museum, 1315 Duke St.

1-5 p.m.

Experience a powerful exhibit in the basement of the building, which was once part of a larger complex used by the slave trading firm Franklin and Armfield. Through first-person accounts of enslaved men and women and details from the business, encounter the harsh reality of the domestic slave trade and Alexandria’s role. For more information, please visit here.

Admission $5 per person.


September 1 The Alexandria Black History Museum Presents: Story Time for Little Historians

Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St.

11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Bring your little learners to the Alexandria Black History Museum for cultural stories and creative craft activities that introduce world history and folklore. Story time will take place every first Saturday of the month at 11 a.m. in the Watson Reading Room (located next door to the museum.) Explore our museum exhibits afterwards to learn about local Black History. All ages are welcome, but most suitable for children 3 – 6 years old. Suggested $3 donation.


September 9 Geek Tour – American Sign Language

Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Learn about the muggle botanical science that inspired the potions and herbology of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, and make your own magical sleeping potion! This tour will be conducted exclusively in American Sign Language. Only visitors fluent in ASL should attend this tour as there will be no English interpretation provided. Adults and children ages 8 and older welcome. Tour is from 11:00am to 12:00pm and costs $15 per person.  Advance purchase is recommended due to limited space; pre-order tickets online at Alexandriava.gov/Shop. or by calling 703.746.3852.


September 12 “Saving Spaces” Book Release with Author John Sprinkle

Lloyd House

7 p.m.

John Sprinkle’s new book, Saving Spaces: Historic Land Conservation in the United States, provides an overview of historic preservation in America. His case studies show the struggles and successful strategies for conserving historic buildings and landscapes such as Lloyd House in Alexandria. A book signing and reception will follow the lecture. $12 per person and $10 for OHA Museum members. Tickets may be purchased online at Alexandriava.gov/Shop.


September 14 Alexandria After-Work Concert Series

Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum

6 – 8 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Office of Historic Alexandria and the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, join us for monthly Friday-night concerts on the second Friday of the month. The September concert features After the Flood, a “Newgrass” folk Americana string band with close harmony singing in traditional American styles. Great music with a suggested donation for the musicians. No ticket required – show up and enjoy the music! Beer and wine for sale, light refreshments available as well.


September 15:  Civil War Shelter

Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site

11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Can you tell a Sibley tent from a dog tent?  This interpretive program will explore a variety of tents and shelter for Civil War soldiers.  Examples of some major types of tents will be set up and explained by Union military interpreters, and the furnished Officers’ Hut will be open to the public.  Free; program is weather dependent.


September 15 Firefighting History Walking Tour

Friendship Firehouse Museum

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Alexandria’s firefighting history on the “Blazing a Trail:  Alexandria’s Firefighting History” tour. Participants learn about volunteer firefighting in early Alexandria, the five volunteer fire companies, and three devastating fires. The tour begins at the historic Friendship Firehouse, goes east on Prince Street, and returns to Friendship via King Street. For age 10 and older.   $6 for adults, $4 ages 10-17. Purchase tickets online: Alexandriava.gov/Shop.

Now through Labor Day: 10 Millionth Patent Scavenger Hunt

Multiple OHA museums

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in collaboration with the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) and the City of Alexandria, has planned a summer-long Scavenger Hunt throughout Alexandria to celebrate the 10 millionth patent, granted on June 19th.

Participating museums have new exhibits featuring historical patents. Visit each location to collect a different inventor trading card. Each card features a caricature of a real inventor and information about one of their significant patents. Make sure to stop by each spot on the map to collect all of the USPTO inventor trading cards! The scavenger hunt runs through Labor Day.

You can find the Scavenger Hunt map and a complete list of museum participants at this link.

The following Office of Historic Alexandria museums are proud to participate in the Scavenger Hunt: Alexandria Black History Museum, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, the Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, Fort Ward Museum, and Friendship Firehouse Museum.


Now on Exhibit – “John Rogers’ Civil War Statuary” Exhibit Opens at Fort Ward Museum

Fort Ward Museum, 4301 West Braddock Rd.

John Rogers was noted for his popular plaster-cast statuary groups that adorned many middle class Victorian parlors in 19th-century America.  In an age when most sculptors continued to produce idealized figures in the classical tradition commissioned by wealthy patrons, the honest realism of Rogers’ style and his goal to create modestly priced art that average people could afford earned him the title, “Artist of the Common People.”  The exhibit features fine examples of Rogers Groups from Fort Ward Museum’s collection, with some additions on loan from a private collection. Free! Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. 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.


Alexandrians Fight the Great War

The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, 201 South Washington St.

This 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 www.alexandriahistory.org.


Before the Spirits are Swept Away: African American Historic Site Paintings

Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St.

This exhibition, featuring Sherry Sanabria’s African American historic site paintings, is made possible by the Sanabria family, who generously donated her paintings to the Alexandria Black History Museum. These paintings are part of Sanabria’s “Sites of Conscience” series, which focus on 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 a.m.- 4 p.m., Sunday and Monday: Closed. Free, but donations are appreciated. For more information, please call 703.746.4356.


Our Community in Miniature: The African American Dollhouses of Sharon Frazier and Linwood Smith.

Through September 30th

Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St.

The Alexandria Black History Museum is pleased to host the third exhibition of their very popular 2008 show of African American dollhouses by Sharon J. Frazier and Linwood M. Smith. Twenty six beautiful miniature buildings with furnished rooms comprise the exhibition and remind the viewers of the forgotten businesses and people important to Alexandria’s vitality and development. The exhibition also provides a look at African American culture and the important institutions that made African American families strong – family, church, and school.


Honoring Our Veterans Exhibit

Through Veterans Day

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St.

Included in museum admission – Adults: $5.00, Children (ages 5 -12): $3.00

Veterans and active duty military personnel are free.

In 1929, the newly formed American Legion Post 24 purchased the buildings now known as Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, restoring them in honor of World War I veterans.  As part of the World War I Centennial Commemoration, learn more about the American Legion’s history in Alexandria and how Post 24 and 129 contributed then and now to the City of Alexandria.  Whether it’s 1929 or 2018, home or abroad, these men and women embody the idea of service.


John L. Lewis: Public Figure, Private Man

Lee-Fendall House Museum, 614 Oronoco St.

This exhibit examines the life and legacy of John L. Lewis, one of America’s most powerful, innovative, and controversial labor leaders and the long-serving president of the United Mine Workers of America. Lewis lived in the Lee-Fendall House from 1937 until 1969, during the height of his career in the labor movement. Exhibit is free with museum admission.


Old School, New Concept | The Compass Atelier

July 26- September 9

The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St.

Among the programs and classes offered by The Compass Atelier is a Master Artist Program (MAP). This multi-year program is founded on a combination of classical art building blocks and essentials that leads the student to technical mastery along with help, guidance, and inspiration to help them discover their artistic voice and create meaningful work.

The main gallery features the work of painters who are currently in, or have completed the MAP program. The rear gallery features paintings by Compass Atelier founder, Glen Kessler.

 

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