Curated by the Library of Virginia and displayed in the large hall just behind the gift shop inside the Virginia Capitol’s entrance at 10th and Bank streets, the exhibit is to remain until the opening of the 2019 General Assembly session in January.
The exhibit incorporates research undertaken in recent years by academic interns from Virginia Commonwealth University’s History Department, who helped the Capitol Police detail history dating to its formation in 1618 at the first permanent English settlement in Jamestown.
Features from the exhibit include custom uniforms from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries as well as three authentic uniforms from the 19th and 20th centuries, two of which were the actual uniforms of Capt. William A. Seawell, the Capitol Police chief from 1961-70, and Col. Anthony S. Pike, the current chief.
Exhibit Photo Gallery:
The title of the exhibit
The first segment of a showcase in the exhibit, showing some of the earliest uniforms, (front) of Capitol Police uniforms.
Another segment of the exhibit’s showcase, with uniforms from 1778 – present shown
Exhibit showcase overview with past uniforms in the front and modern ones behind
Panel displaying the story of the origins of the Virginia Capitol Police
One of the many panels in the exhibit showing the very special K-9 members of the Capitol Police
Seawell’s uniform was part of an extensive collection of his papers and other memorabilia that was loaned to the division by his widow, Dorothy P. Seawell, who attended the exhibit’s opening.
A visionary Native American chieftain, a brave Jamestown settler, an influential African-American educator and a passionate advocate for woman suffrage and the arts will be the first four bronze statues commissioned for Voices from the Garden: The Virginia Women’s Monument, the nation’s first monument recognizing the full scope of significant but often unrecognized contributions of women.
“These women played important roles in the early years of the Old Dominion’s recorded history and in the 20th century, when our state and country were undergoing seismic social changes,” said Susan Clarke Schaar, Clerk of the Senate and a member of the Virginia Women’s Monument Commission. “Their stories richly deserve to be remembered and told.”
In May of 2017, StudioEIS held a 3-day photo shoot in Brooklyn, N.Y., where female actors in period dress posed as the 12 women who were selected to be recreated as life-size statues in the Virginia Women’s Monument. Experts with 3-D scanners will transform the photos into final models for the sculptures that will eventually find a home within the oval-shaped plaza on Capitol Square in Richmond. Additional images from the photo shoot can be found on the Virginia Capitol Foundation’s Facebook page and a short video of the studio shoots can be seen here.
Construction on the monument’s plaza in Capitol Square began in June 2018.
The 2018 Annual Capitol Square Ornament is Available!
The Division of Capitol Police has the distinct honor and privilege of being recognized as the ﬁrst organized policing agency in the nation and will celebrate its 400th anniversary in 2018. Our historical roots originate at the ﬁrst permanent English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia. In 1618, the Guard, consisting of 10 men was formed to protect the Governor from the hostile Indian population. By 1663, the force was expanded to a force of 20 men and assigned to protect the Governor, the Council, and the Colonial Assembly. The capital was moved to Williamsburg, Virginia in 1699 where the Guard remained an important part of the executive and legislative process. In 1780, the capital of Virginia was again relocated to a safer location, its present home in Richmond. The term “Capitol Police” was ﬁrst used in an act of the Virginia General Assembly passed on January on January 28, 1884. This act provided “for the appointment of Capitol Police certain other employees about the Public Buildings and Grounds.” The Capitol Police have steadily expanded in size and remain in service to this day.
Ornaments are available at The Virginia Shop at the Capitol and in the Capitol at the Lower Rotunda reception desk. Ornaments are also available at the Bell Tower by appointment only please call ahead by contacting Andrea Siebentritt, Communications & Development Coordinator at (804) 786-1010.
The official Capitol Square ornaments are a series of annual collectible ornaments, featuring the historic treasures of Capitol Square. Finished in brilliant 24K gold, made entirely in the U.S.A, and presented in a handsome gift box, the ornaments are a perfect gift for colleagues and friends. All proceeds support the Virginia Capitol Foundation’s mission to enhance the educational and cultural potential of Capitol Square’s historic treasures through program development and community engagement.
The First Annual Ornament, introduced in 2012, features the Jefferson-designed Capitol. The Second Annual Virginia Capitol Ornament, introduced in 2013, features the historic Bell Tower. The Third Annual Ornament introduced in 2014, features a true historic Executive Mansion. The fourth Annual Ornament introduced in 2015, features the George Washington Equestrian Monument. The fifth in the series of ornaments for 2016 was a commemorative tribute to Thomas Jefferson, “Architect of Liberty”. The sixth annual ornament for 2017 featured “The Fountain at Monument Walk” representing the fountain location at the base of Monument Walk. The Fountain has adorned Capitol Square since 1852. For 2018, we are excited to release the seventh in this ornament series celebrating The 400th Anniversary of the Capitol Police, a beloved institution on Capitol Square. Please see all ordering options above.
The First Annual Ornament, introduced in 2012, features the Jefferson-designed Capitol.
The Second Annual Virginia Capitol Ornament, introduced in 2013, features the historic Bell Tower.
The Third Annual Ornament introduced in 2014, features a true historic Executive Mansion.
The fifth in the series of ornaments for 2016 was a commemorative tribute to Thomas Jefferson, “Architect of Liberty”.
The fourth Annual Ornament introduced in 2015, features the George Washington Equestrian Monument.
The 2017 ornament, “The Fountain at Monument Walk” ornament represents the fountain location at the base of Monument Walk.
As part of its commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and abolition of slavery in the United States, the Virginia Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission will construct the Emancipation Proclamation and Freedom Monument on Brown’s Island.
The monument, designed by Thomas Jay Warren of Oregon, will feature a 12-foot bronze statue representing newly freed slaves. Dedicated to the contributions of African American Virginians in the centuries-long fight for emancipation and freedom, the monument also will highlight notable African American Virginians who have made significant contributions to the emancipation and freedom of formerly enslaved persons or descendants. The base of the monument will feature the names, images, and brief biographical information about eight African American Virginians whose lives were dedicated to Emancipation and freedom — five individuals from the period before Emancipation through 1865, and five who continued to work for freedom from 1866 to 1970.
Virginia Women’s Monument Takes Another Step Toward Completion
In March 2019, the Virginia Capitol Foundation announced that the statues of Laura Copenhaver, Mary Draper Ingles and Elizabeth Keckly had been fully funded and commissioned to be sculpted into bronze statues for Voices from the Garden: The Virginia Women’s Monument. These three statues will join the first group of four statues that were announced last year and are well into production at StudioEIS.
The Virginia Women’s Monument is the nation’s first monument created to showcase the remarkable women who made significant, but often unrecognized, contributions in a variety of fields and endeavors over the 400-year history of Virginia. When completed, the monument’s 12 bronze statues, along with a Wall of Honor inscribed with the names of 230 women, will help tell the whole story about the diversity of achievement, ethnicity and thought that has shaped the Commonwealth.
“We are so excited that more than half of the statues in the Virginia Women’s Monument have been commissioned and it won’t be long before these remarkable women take their rightful place on Capitol Square,” said Susan Clarke Schaar, Clerk of the Senate and a member of the Women’s Monument Commission. “No other state in the country has recognized women’s contributions in such an engaging and compelling manner. We appreciate the generous support of individuals, corporations and foundations that are making this monument possible.”
Click on the images below to see a larger gallery of them.
Live modeling and photography were used to produce dynamic poses showing period specific wardrobe for the monument’s historical women. Shown left to right are: Laura Copenhaver, Mary Draper Ingles and Elizabeth Keckly.
Preliminary casts of the statutes before their bronzing
Artisans at StudioEIS continue to work on the various statues of the many women included in the Virginia Women’s Monument.
Voices from the Garden will be the first monument of its kind in the nation recognizing the full range of women’s achievements when a dozen life-sized statues of women find their place on a newly constructed plaza. The addition of these Virginians – representative of the state’s regions, its 400-year history, and the diversity of achievement, ethnicity and thought that has made the Commonwealth what it is today – will complete the story of Virginia told at Capitol Square, and celebrate the importance of women in that history.
Voices from the Garden draws visitors into an oval forum to interact with the twelve women who await them. At the center stands a bronze sundial on a granite pedestal. Tempered glass panels, a metaphor for the social filter that has long obscured women’s accomplishments from public view, provide space for the names of additional important women of history, with room to add the names of women of today and tomorrow.
To make a contribution to the Virginia Women’s Monument, simply click the donate button below.
Contributions can be designated for a particular statue by making a note in the Additional Comments box.
Historic Statues within the monument:
The twelve women selected to represent over 400 years of Virginia history reflect various spheres of influence and geographic areas of the state: Anne Burras Laydon (ca. 1594 – after 1625) Jamestown – Arrived as a 14-year-old maid in 1608 aboard the Mary and Margaret. Anne and her mistress were the first two female settlers in the colony. She was a seamstress in the colony, who survived harsh treatment and the “starving time” to marry and raise a family. Cockacoeske (fl. 1656 – d. 1686) Middle Peninsula – A Pamunkey chief who signed the Treaty of Middle Plantation in 1677, reuniting, under her authority, several tribes, as well as establishing the Pamunkey Reservation. She ruled for 30 years. Mary Draper Ingles (ca. 1732 – 1815) New River Valley – A Scots-Irish immigrant who moved to Virginia as a teenager, she was taken captive by Shawnee during the French and Indian War. She escaped, traveled 600 miles back to her home, and operated the Ingles Ferry, which was vital to her rural community. Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (1731-1802) Fairfax – While she was not referred to as First Lady, she was the first woman to hold the position, during George Washington’s presidency, and will serve as the representative for the wives of all eight Virginia-born presidents. Clementina Bird Rind (ca. 1740-1774) Williamsburg -Took over the editorship and management of the Virginia Gazette, after the death of her husband; under her leadership the newspaper remained official printer of the colony. Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley (1818-1907) Dinwiddie County – A slave who bought her freedom, she became Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress and confidant during the White House years. She established the Contraband Relief Association, which provided support for recently freed slaves and wounded soldiers. Sally Louisa Tompkins (1833-1916) Mathews County – Captain Sally Tompkins established Robertson Hospital in Richmond to treat wounded soldiers when few, if any, women held the top administrative position. Her hospital had the lowest death rate of any during the Civil War due to her skill and standards. Maggie L. Walker (1864-1934) Richmond – The first African-American woman to charter a bank in the United States, with the founding of the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond. Sarah Garland Boyd Jones (1866-1905) Richmond – The first African-American woman to pass the Virginia Medical Examining Board’s examination. She helped found a medical association for African-American doctors, opening a hospital and nursing school in 1903 which ultimately became Richmond Community Hospital. Laura Lu Copenhaver (1868-1940) Smyth County/Marion – Expanded southwestern Virginia’s agricultural economy, as director of information for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, by emphasizing cooperative marketing of farm products to improve the standard of living for farm families. She established Rosemont Industries. Virginia Estelle Randolph (1875-1958) Henrico County – Virginia developed a nationally-recognized approach to education, creating a successful formula based on practicality, creativity, and involvement from parents and the community. Adèle Goodman Clark (1882-1983)-Richmond – Active suffragist who became president of the League of Women Voters in 1921. Adele was instrumental in the establishment of the Virginia Art Commission, She is considered to be one of the founders of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.