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Where are They Now? Virginia's Endangered Artifacts Revisited
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The purpose of Where are they Now? Virginia's Endangered Artifacts Revisited is to tell the stories of endangered artifacts and the museums that seek to preserve them. You'll find success stories, continuing challenges, and interesting twists in the tales of these significant cultural treasures.


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Top tags: Top 10 Endangered Artifacts  conservation  Top 10 Endangered Artifacts nominee 2011  Virginia  Virginia Association of Museums  Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts  Civil War history  education  MacArthur Memorial  preservation  Virginia Museums  Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum  archaeology  art  ASV  batteau  Confederacy  firefighting  Friendship Firehouse Museum  graffiti  Helen Angeny  Hermitage Museum and Gardens  Historic Alexandria  history  Hoffbauer  interactive exhibits  internment camps  Liberia House  Lynchburg  Manassas 

Bringing History to Life Through Innovative Technology

Posted By Crystal Douglas, Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Updated: Monday, March 26, 2018

Technology is one of the forces that drive our society forward. Museum exhibitions across the country are integrating modern technology to enhance the museum experience. By using resources like apps, 3D scanning, 3D printing, and virtual reality, exhibitions are coming to life. Experience design is revolutionizing the way we see the world, and the way future generations will see the world. Through innovative technology, our understanding of history is revolutionized through advanced interactions with artifacts on display.


At the latter end of 2017, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California, pulled a 2,000 year-old mummy from their collection to take part in a project to bring history alive. The mummy had been brought to the museum in the 1930s. The museum wanted to know more about the mummy’s story by seeing what was under the wrappings without causing damage by unwrapping the form. Technicians at the museum combined a process of CT and 3D scans to examine the mummy internally. The 3D scans added depth and detail with dimension and color to the CT scan which enabled the scientists to see more of what was beneath the wrappings. The scans showed that the mummy was a little girl who passed away at five years old. Most of her internal organs had been removed but she was buried with jewels and necklaces that indicated she was from a wealthy family. The scientists named the girl “Sherit” which is Ancient Egyptian for “little one.” Finally, the scans gave the techs enough information to create a system that allows the museum guests to examine the mummy themselves. Guests are able to see beneath the wrappings by moving an iPad along the body. The innovation at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum has allowed its visitors to put faces to ancient names to gain a more personable understanding of our world’s remarkable history.


A local museum in Virginia has hopped on the experience design train as well. In 2014, one of our Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Honorees, the Rockbridge Historical Society (RHS) nominated a War of 1812 Cavalry Helmet worn by one of the Rockbridge Dragoons. In presenting the artifact to potential donors, RHS went a step further than providing a written description and a traditional photograph. RHS produced an innovative 3D model of the helmet. The 3D model allows viewers to get a more in-depth look at the helmet without handling or damaging the original artifact. Viewers can manipulate every inch of the model while reading about its details and current state. The 3D technology even allows the viewer to rotate the model to examine the inside of the helmet. RHS used interactive technology to create an experience that enhances personal understanding of the helmet’s construction and purpose. The experience goes beyond making one aware of the artifact’s deterioration. The experience brings the artifact to life through revolutionary technology allowing people to transform historic content into interactive storytelling.


Explore more!


3D model of calvary helmet

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Tags:  education  interactive exhibits  Rockbridge Historical Society  technology  Top 10 Endangered Artifacts  visitor experience 

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U.S. Cloth Map: A Tale of Speedy Conservation

Posted By Crystal Douglas, Monday, January 29, 2018

A speedy conservation is as great as a speedy recovery, if not better. In 2016, the MacArthur Memorial nominated a 1941 cloth map of the United States to compete as one of Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts.


The map was created by Helen Angeny, a missionary and art teacher, working in the Philippines at Brent School in Baguio. In December of 1941, Japanese forces invaded the Philippines. After the invasion, Helen Angeny ended up becoming an intern in a Japanese-controlled camp. Mrs. Angeny was forbidden to teach any subject matter of western influence. However, she did not allow that to stop her from enlightening her students with a diverse education. Angeny wanted to educate her students while also keeping their spirits up by providing a distraction from their imprisonment. She secretly created a class project to teach her students the principles of art, social studies, and geography by creating a cloth map of the United States. The camp was liberated in 1945 by General Douglas MacArthur’s forces. When she returned to the United States, Angeny brought home the map that she concealed for three years from Japanese forces. 


The cloth map received the nomination and was named one of Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts. Two months after receiving recognition in September of 2016, the U.S. Cloth Map has since been conserved. The map is now on exhibition and looks as good as new.


I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with MacArthur Memorial curator, Corey Thornton to learn more about the map’s conservation process. The map’s previous state showed signs of fading, wear-and-tear, and displayed pieces of cards coming away from the cloth. The goal of the MacArthur Memorial was to be able to conserve and stabilize the map and have it placed in an ideal archival encasement to protect it but also still be able to use it as a tool to educate future generations.


Thornton walked me through the conservation process done by Textile Preservation and Associations (TPA). The goal was to stabilize and restore the cloth back to its original glory. The first step in the stabilization process was to vacuum clean both sides of the cloth map to remove airborne particles. Next, the fabrics, sewing threads, and adhesives were tested for color-fastness and solubility. In addition, stains on the cloth were tested for solubility as well. The map was then humidified by misting distilled water onto the cloth. The misting was meant to relax the fabrics to remove the creases and release soluble components to reduce soiling. The map was blotted with paper towels to remove excess water which allows the fibers to align. A layer of paper toweling was left in place on the map to act as an absorption layer for the release of soluble components. The map was then covered with glass weights and allowed to air dry. The final step of the stabilization process was to re-adhere the photos. Using starch, the loose paper cards were reattached to the cloth. In preparation for exhibition, the cloth had to undergo specific steps to sustain the longevity of the artifact. A buffered, acid-free panel was prepared and covered with non-woven polyester batting and a previously washed, unbleached, fine cotton fabric. Following that, the map was attached to the padded panel with one row of stitching across the top using an appropriately colored silk thread, and then photographed on the panel. Next, an ultraviolet filtering glazing was laid over the map, applying a light pressure to the fabric for protection. The entire unit was placed in a custom-made frame with an aluminum back for support and an outer frame of plain angle aluminum with a 2" by 3" powder coated brown covering, requested by the MacArthur Memorial. Lastly, the map was packaged in bubble wrap for transit back to the museum. In this case, Thornton picked up the piece from TPA along with MacArthur Museum attendant, Emery Odango on October 19, 2017.


We at VAM are thrilled with this successful conservation story, and are excited for more to come. Thank you, Corey Thornton, for providing insight on the U.S. Map Cloth’s conservation process. The map is only on display until May 2018, so be sure to stop by to see and discover the story of the U.S. Cloth Map.


Visit the MacArthur Memorial website.


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Tags:  conservation  Helen Angeny  MacArthur Memorial  Top 10 Endangered Artifacts nominee 2016  U.S. Cloth Map  Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts 

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The Liberia Graffiti Trail

Posted By Crystal Douglas, Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Liberia House sits on what was once one of the largest and most successful plantations in Virginia. The home was built in Manassas, Virginia in 1825 by William James Weir and his wife Harriett Bladen Mitchell Weir. During the Civil War, the home became the headquarters of General P. G. T. Beauregard. As the Civil War concluded, it was one of the few notable structures to remain standing. Today, the Liberia House is a part of the Manassas Museum System. The home and grounds are open for special events and guided tours.


In 2014, Civil War graffiti found in the Liberia House was nominated as one of “Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts.” The Virginia Association of Museums’ program promotes awareness of collections care and the efforts of institutions across the Commonwealth of Virginia and District of Columbia to care for their cultural and historical treasures. Selected by public voting, the graffiti was chosen for and featured on the list for Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts.


We spoke with Lisa Sievel-Otten, the Marketing Coordinator for the Manassas Museum System to get an update on the Liberia House and the discovered war graffiti. Since being featured as a Top Honoree, the Liberia House received positive publicity which has greatly impacted the local perception of the museum. The graffiti has been featured in several local press stories, including the Manassas Observer, the Washington Post Prince William edition, Potomac Local, and has had on-site TV coverage from NBC 4 Washington. The Liberia House was also featured in a local City Connection newsletter and the Manassas Museum newsletter and annual report.


The historical site experienced an increase in museum and guided tour attendance with the graffiti as one of the tour highlights. Five descendants of Union soldiers from around the country have come to see the signatures of great-grandfathers who fought in the Civil War. These ancestral visits have also generated publicity both in Manassas and in the visitors’ hometowns.


Nationally known conservator, Christopher Mills, discovered the graffiti in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Mills went to work uncovering all the stray pencil marks he could find. As he uncovered layers of paint, he exposed drawings, signatures, and even grocery lists on the walls. He then protected several “windows” of graffiti and added interpretive signage which explains the graffiti discovery process and highlights some of the Union soldiers who wrote their names on the walls. In addition to preserving the graffiti, Mills repaired plaster and preserved other walls in the house as well. Structural work helped sustain staircases, chimneys, and the basement, and has made it possible for visitors to tour the home and access the graffiti.


The Liberia House has been making strides toward preserving the house and grounds. The site was added to the Manassas Museum System’s Capital Improvement Plan which has enabled them to develop the property as a public park that is accessible to more visitors. Liberia House has received significant donations from donors and foundations like the Breeden Family Foundation, the G.F.W.C Woman’s Club, and other individual donors.


Standing as one of the few remaining antebellum structures in Virginia, the Liberia House contains an enormous amount of history. The site is now closed due to restoration of the home and grounds. However, it has been included in the Northern Virginia Graffiti Trail. Liberia House expects an increase in promotion and awareness from the alliance, and joint tours with the Northern Virginia Graffiti Trail will be hosted when it reopens.


More about the graffiti: 

More about the plantation:

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Tags:  Civil War history  graffiti  Liberia House  Manassas  Northern Virginia Graffiti Trail  preservation  Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts 

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Hidden Learning with a US Map: A Top 10 Tale

Posted By Rebecca Guest, Tuesday, November 29, 2016


At VAM, we love sharing success stories from organizations featured in Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program. From press stories to conversations with participants, we enjoy learning new outcomes. We are thrilled to share with the public a recent update from the MacArthur Memorial.


For the 2016 Top 10 program, the MacArthur Memorial nominated its Cloth Children’s Map of the United States (with National Historical Scenes), c. 1941. Helen Angeny was a missionary working in the Philippines and art teacher at Brent School in Baguio when Japanese forces invaded in December 1941. While interned in a Japanese-controlled camp, Angeny led her students in the creation of a cloth map of the United States as a class project to teach the principles of art, social studies, and geography. The map also served as a teaching device to help boost morale of the students during their imprisonment. Knowing the consequences of severe punishment, Angeny concealed the map from the enemy for three years. According to Corey Thornton, curator of the MacArthur Memorial, "Angeny wasn't really supposed to be working on anything of western influence. If the Japanese were to find this, she would be severely punished." After the camp was liberated by General Douglas MacArthur’s forces in 1945, Angeny kept the map and other documents. The map was donated to the MacArthur Memorial by the family of Helen Angeny in 2013.


The map is made of a cotton-silk blend material. Its edges are decorated with paper squares, each with its own crayon-drawn scenes from American history. There has been wear-and-tear and fading over time and there are a few areas in which the paper cards are beginning to come away from the cloth.


After being featured in Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program, the MacArthur Memorial raised in just a few months $6500 in donations to help conserve the map. This funding will help stabilize the map and preserve it for future generations. Thornton shared, “We are excited to be moving forward so quickly with the conservation efforts, considering that the top ten list came out just about two months ago. We are now coordinating with Textile Preservation Associates, Inc. to provide the services needed to conserve and mount the map in an archival encasement. We are planning to display the map most likely by next fall, inside the Memorial for a 3-6 month duration. All of this, of course, would not have been possible without VAM’s wonderful Top Ten program. VAM continues to shine as the primary resource organization for museums in Virginia!”


Thank you to Corey Thornton and the MacArthur Memorial for updating VAM on the Cloth Children’s Map of the United States. To learn more about the MacArthur Memorial, including its programs, upcoming events, exhibits, and archives, visit The MacArthur Memorial is free and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday.


In this video from Norfolk TV-48, you can learn more about the map and the MacArthur Memorial’s conservation plans:



1. Justin Belichis, “Endangered World War II Artifact in Norfolk Receives Conservation Funding,”, November 4, 2016, accessed November 28, 2016,

2. Corey Thornton, Cloth Children’s Map of the United States (with National Historical Scenes), c. 1941, Nomination form for Virginia’s 2016 Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Program, 2016.

3. Corey Thornton, e-mail message to Rebecca Guest, November 18, 2016.

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Tags:  education  history  internment camps  MacArthur Memorial  maps  Phillippines  Virginia museums  WWII 

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Breathing New Life into the Hoffbauer Murals at the Virginia Historical Society

Posted By Heather A. Widener, Friday, October 7, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program recently wrapped up its sixth year. At this point, the program has garnered over a half million public votes in favor of conservation and has ignited stories in the press throughout the region, and even around the nation and the world. Additionally, we’ve had over 60 honorees and numerous conservation success stories. From descendants of the Rev. Robert Rose, a notable Virginia colonist, learning through a story about Top 10 in the Richmond Times-Dispatch that his memorial was in need of conservation at Historic St. John’s Church (and offering to pay for its treatment) to the unlikely story of our program resulting in a Korean tapestry making its way back home to be conserved and placed in its intended home within a Buddhist Temple, each success story is fascinating, inspiring, and unique.


In 2012, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) nominated the Memorial Military Murals by Charles Hoffbauer to the Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program. The murals, which took almost a decade to complete—given the disruption caused by World War I—were commissioned in 1913 to commemorate and interpret the experience of the southern soldier during seasons of hope and eventual defeat. The murals have been subjected to pollution, water damage, and varying levels of restoration technology and expertise throughout the years. The building once had a heating system that was a hand fueled coal furnace, which blackened the murals. In addition, roof troubles caused water damage. Hoffbauer came back in 1937 to restore the murals. They were restored again in the late 1940’s as well as in 1962 by a local artist, Helen Bailey.



Thanks to support from Save America's Treasures, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, important cleaning and conservation work on the murals was completed in June 2014. View a video detailing the Hoffbauer Murals Conservation Process. Additional work to renovate the gallery space began in June 2014 and was completed in May 2015.


VAM staff had the opportunity to join in on a recent walking tour of the murals that included a talk given by Lee Shepard, vice president for collections at the VHS, who was joined by associate curator Beth Fulton and conservator Lorraine Brevig from Richmond Conservation Studio. They discussed the history of the paintings, the restoration planning, and the three years of painstaking work undertaken to rejuvenate this remarkable work of art. The tour brought home the enormity of the task accomplished by these experts, as well as the importance of conserving these artifacts that tell the stories of our heritage.


Today, these colorful, stunning murals are yet another example of what can be done to bring back and save for future generations significant, endangered artifacts that are part of our collective memory and culture. The past six years' worth of Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program honorees are plotted on this map. Consider reaching out to a collecting organization in your area to support artifact conservation, or donate to VAM and support the Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program.


In this video from the Virginia Historical Society, you can learn more about the restoration project's history:


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Tags:  art  Civil War history  Confederacy  conservation  Hoffbauer  murals  restoration  Richmond  Virginia Historical Society  Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts 

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Conserving a Coat, Uncovering a Story

Posted By Rebecca Guest, Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, August 3, 2016

This is my third year assisting with the Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program.  My favorite aspect of the program is learning outcomes from past participants. I am thrilled to share more updates on artifacts featured in the Top 10 program.

In 2015, the Mathews County Historical Society nominated Sally Tompkins’ long gray woolen coat to the Top 10 program. Sally Louisa Tompkins (1833-1916) grew up at Poplar Grove Plantation in Mathews County. She later moved to Richmond and opened the Robertson Hospital at Third and Main Streets to care for patients at the start of the Civil War. On September 9, 1861, Confederate President Jefferson Davis commissioned Sally as a captain for operating her first-rate hospital during the war.  Of the 1,333 wounded soldiers treated at her hospital, only 73 died. Following the war, she remained in Richmond dedicated to working at her parish, St. James Church. She lived her final days at the Home for Needy Confederate Women in Richmond, and is buried at Christ Church Cemetery in Mathews. Today, the building that served as the Home for Needy Confederate Women is now the Pauley Center at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. VAM’s office is located in this building.    

After being featured in VAM’s Top 10 program, the Mathews County Historical Society gained new supporters due to press stories covering Captain Tompkins’ coat. According to Reed Lawson, the historical society's archivist, "We received donations to have the coat restored from a variety of groups and individuals. The donations were from other areas of the Commonwealth. So, there definitely was far-flung exposure.”  


The garment was recently restored by a VAM business member, Costume & Textile Specialists of Richmond. The specialists repaired insect damage on the coat, replaced damaged buttons and button holes, repaired seams and stitching, and replaced the silk lining. The historical society’s board of directors is now considering options for a new case to protect the coat from damage.  

In honor of the 100th Anniversary of Captain Sally Tompkins’ passing, the restored coat was revealed during a public ceremony on July 23, 2016, at Tompkins Cottage in Mathews. Over 70 people attended the event, including members of the Christopher Tompkins family. Lawson shared, “The best part is that by having it analyzed and conserved, we know so much more about it. How very special it is, which endears us even more to our beloved Captain Sally.”

Thank you to Reed Lawson and the Mathews County Historical Society for updating VAM on Sally Tompkins’ coat.  For more information on the historical society, visit them online.  For Facebook updates, visit their page.   



1. Frances Hubbard, “Mathews prepares to unveil restored coat owned by the only woman Confederate captain,” Daily Press, July 18, 2016.  
2. Reed Lawson, e-mail message to Rebecca Guest, July 25, 2016.  
3. Reed Lawson, Sally Tompkins Coat., Nomination form for Virginia’s 2015 Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Program, 2015.

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New Initiative Aims to Conserve a 2015 “Top 10” Nominee

Posted By Heather A. Widener, Thursday, August 4, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Friendship Fire Company was established in 1774, as the first volunteer fire company in Alexandria. The current firehouse was built in 1855, was substantially remodeled in 1871, and was restored by the City of Alexandria in 1992. The Company is home to historic fire fighting vehicles.


On display at Friendship Firehouse Museum is The Rodgers Suction Engine, built in 1851, and the Prettyman Hose Carriage, built in Alexandria in 1858. In particular, these two vehicles are in need of extensive conservation to preserve traces of their original appearance. Years of hard use have taken their toll; on one of the vehicles, frequent re-painting now masks what remains of the original colors and gilding, while the original paint has almost flaked away on the other. When fully conserved, the vehicles’ paint history will be stabilized and preserved for future generations to enjoy.


Friendship Firehouse Museum nominated the vehicles to the 2015 Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program, designed to raise awareness of conservation needs throughout Virginia. While the vehicles did not earn a Top 10 designation that year, they are still in dire need of conservation. Now, The Friendship Firehouse Veterans Association and Office of Historic Alexandria are in the midst of one of a major fund-raising initiative. Proceeds from a Friendship Firehouse Fundraising Event on Friday, August 5th will benefit the preservation of these two important fire-fighting vehicles. Fundraising will be ongoing for the project, and donations are being accepted online.


The event begins with a special Curator’s Tour of Friendship Firehouse and the historic fire equipment. Remarks will follow the tour and conclude with a reception across the street at Taverna Cretekou. Event tickets start at $50 per person, with escalating levels of sponsorship. A one year membership in the organization is included in the price of the event ticket. Learn more.

Tags:  conservation  firefighting  Friendship Firehouse Museum  Historic Alexandria  preservation  top 10 endangered artifacts  Virginia Museums 

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The Archeological Society of Virginia’s Oldest Batteau

Posted By Rebecca Guest, Monday, June 29, 2015

I am excited to be back at VAM and assisting with the 2015 Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Program.  One of my favorite tasks last year was contacting past participants and researching artifacts featured in the program.  I am thrilled to share with the public more updates on past honorees.

In 2014, the Archeological Society of Virginia nominated Virginia’s Oldest Batteau to the Top 10 program.  From 1983 to 1985, during a construction project in downtown Richmond, Virginia, a number of historic batteaux boat remains were recovered in the Great Turning Basin of the James River.  Batteaux were large double-ended whitewater boats designed to float barrels of tobacco from upriver markets to Richmond, as well as other Fall Line cities.  Virginia’s Oldest Batteau was built between 1765 and 1780 and is an example of a boat builder’s craft before industrial construction.  The ASV helped break new ground, as its artifact along with two other artifacts nominated in 2014 were the first archaeological items featured in the history of VAM’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Program. 


As a member of the Archeological Society of Virginia, I observed how the organization promoted its Top 10 honor this past year.  The ASV did an amazing job sharing the win with the general public.  Updates about the Top 10 achievement were shared via the ASV’s Facebook page, the win was discussed at its annual conference, and the group RVA Archaeology currently shares the batteaux story in its presentations.  After being featured in VAM’s Top 10 program, the ASV gained new members and supporters because of the batteau.  


I recently met with ASV member and Canal Boat Committee Chair Lyle Browning at the Archeological Society of Virginia’s 75th anniversary celebration held at Kittiewan Plantation in Charles City County.   Currently, Virginia’s Oldest Batteau and its resources are in the process of being donated to the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society.  Browning shared, “The ASV Board recently voted to donate all of the artifacts and their interest in the canal boat materials to the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society.  It was felt that VC&NS had a mission that was directly applicable to the materials.”


I learned during last year’s program that parts of Virginia’s Oldest Batteau were housed at the Pump House at Byrd Park in Richmond.  Browning explained, “The batteaux were disassembled to move them from the basin and are stored basically as wood pieces in 3 of the bays of the Byrd Park Pump House…The pieces have been stored in fresh water since retrieval from the Great Basin.”  While at Kittiewan, I was able to view artifacts in storage related to Virginia’s Oldest Batteau.  Browning showed me the batteau’s ribs, boxes filled with photos and paperwork from the dig site, and a 19th century packet boat hull.  Packet boats were used to haul packets and passengers across Virginia’s rivers and canals.  The packet boat hull was an impressive piece of iron and originally measured 90 feet long.  The artifacts I viewed at Kittiewan, along with the pieces at Byrd Park Pump House will move in time to the Batteau House near Lynchburg, Virginia, as part of the ASV’s donation to the VC&NS.  


Thank you to Lyle Browning and the Archeological Society of Virginia for updating VAM on Virginia’s Oldest Batteau.  For more information on the ASV and its projects across the state, visit its website at  For Facebook updates, visit  To learn more about the Virginia Canals and Navigation Society, visit its website at  
Photo Captions
1. Virginia’s Oldest Batteau under excavation in the 1980s in Richmond, VA.
2. Batteau ribs in storage at Kittiewan Plantation.
3. Lyle Browning showing Rebecca Guest a 19th century packet boat hull in storage at Kittiewan.

Lyle E. Browning.  E-mail message to Rebecca Guest.  August 9, 2014.  
Lyle E. Browning.  E-mail message to Rebecca Guest.  June 4, 2015.
Lyle E. Browning.  Interview with Rebecca Guest.  Personal interview.  Charles City, June 13, 2015. 
Lyle E. Browning, Stephanie Jacobe, and Elizabeth Moore.  Virginia’s Oldest Batteau.  Nomination form for Virginia’s 2014 Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Program.  2014.  

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Tags:  archaeology  ASV  batteau  museums  RVA  top 10 endangered artifacts  VAM  Virginia 

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An Update on the Anne Spencer House and Museum Mosaic Tiles

Posted By Heather A. Widener, Thursday, April 16, 2015

We are happy to report that the Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program was instrumental in the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum's efforts to preserve the Mosaic Tile Work produced by Amaza Lee Meredith. Congratulations to the folks at Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum: 


"The Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum received recognition from Virginia Association of Museums (VAM) in 2014 as holding one of Virginia's Top Ten Endangered Artifacts. VAM issued statewide publicity that also generated  local news stories that raised public awareness and the museums need to receive financial support to restore and preserve the the Mosaic Tile Work produced by the artist Amaza Lee Meredith. Without the this recognition from VAM Endangered Artifacts  Program, Meredith's Tile-work would most likely be removed from public display indefinitely." - Shaun Spencer-Hester, Director of the Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum  Lynchburg  Top 10 Endangered Artifacts nominee 2011  Virginia  Virginia Association of MuseumsTop 10 Endangered A 

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Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifact Travels to New York

Posted By Heather A. Widener, Friday, September 26, 2014

In 2013 the National D-Day Memorial’s 299th Combat Engineer Battalion battle flag was selected as one of Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts.  The flag, which suffers from deterioration around the edges and is in need of repair, was carried by members of the 299th Combat Engineer Battalion, Company B on June 6, 1944 on D-Day.  The 299th Combat Engineer Battalion suffered a number of casualties on both Omaha and Utah Beaches during the Normandy Invasion. This particular flag was carried by Company B who assaulted Utah Beach, which landed amid direct fire from German gun emplacements where many men were killed and many more wounded. 


As a result of the publicity from the Top 10 campaign, the curator of the Cayuga Museum of Art and History in Auburn, New York contacted the Memorial after seeing the story about the flag being chosen as an endangered artifact.  Staff at the Cayuga Museum were in the midst of preparing for their own exhibit about the 299th for the upcoming 70th anniversary of D-Day when the news story caught their attention.  “They were so excited to find an actual battle flag from the 299th and wanted to include it as the centerpiece of their exhibit.  We could not have been more delighted,” stated April Cheek-Messier, president of the National D-Day Memorial Foundation.  “There is no doubt that VAM’s top ten artifact program is far reaching.  By loaning a significant piece from our collection, we helped another museum. They assisted us by distributing promotional materials about the Memorial, our 70th anniversary events, and they collected donations toward the preservation of the battle flag.  This was a win-win situation for all involved.  This simply reaffirms for me the importance of the Top Ten program.  A little publicity can go a long way and in this case, it will help us preserve a crucial part of our history.”


Many thanks to April Cheek-Messier for providing us with this fascinating story about one of our 2013 Top 10 Endangered Artifacts! 


Captions for attached images:

1 & 2 - The 299th Combat Engineer Flag on display at the Cayuga Museum of Art and History in Auburn, NY.  Below the flag is a donation box to collect donations toward the flag’s restoration.

3 - Nomination photo of the 299th Combat Engineer Flag, National D-Day Memorial.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  National D-Day Memorial  T  Virginia Association of Museums 

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