Visitor Center Exhibits Get a Facelift

Gretchen reports:

The Lees of Stratford Gallery has received an update, with the final touches completed just this past Friday. We are very excited to be able to bring new interpretive information and objects into the gallery, which will hopefully please both new and returning visitors.

The update includes new object label text with more stories about the Lees and other residents of Stratford; added screening to our lights to cut down levels near light-sensitive objects; and new object mounts to make sure the artifacts are safe and secure.

Jenn from SurroundArt made over 60 mounts in the course of 5 days! For those counting, that just might be a mount-making record.

Kat Marshall put her skills to work cutting out all the new labels for the gallery.

Carlos from SurroundArt carefully rehangs the Lee family coat of arms on its new mounting system (much better than a single nail).

New objects in the cases include: fragments from a rat’s nest found in the Great House’s attic (see here for my previous post); the original Hall chandelier hook; Arthur Lee’s writing box; a tureen and ladle from the Storke/Stuart period of Stratford ownership; an original pot hook and birdhouse from Stratford; buttons from Robert E. Lee’s uniforms and a vase used to hold flowers at his funeral.

And a big thank you goes to those donors who helped fund this project:

  • 2009 Update Funding Provided In Part By David H. Walker, Tranquillity, Reedville, Virginia
  • Conservation Funding Provided in Part By Mr. and Mrs. Peter Irving Channing Knowles II, Richmond, Virginia

Laura reports:

In addition to all these updates in the Lee Gallery, we added two new temporary exhibits as well. One exhibit showcases fossils from the Miocene era found right here at Stratford Hall, and the other exhibit presents visitors’ photographs in front of the Great House. If you have any photographs of friends or family (historic or present-day!), please send them to me at

We did the work on these exhibits in-house, with the help of our collections staff–Gretchen, Sarah, and Kat–and with some mount-making brilliance by Carlos and Jenn at SurroundArt. We’re very pleased with the outcome, and we hope you’ll come to visit to see the changes in the Lees of Stratford Gallery, and the new temporary exhibits–“The Miocene Era”and “On the Way to Stratford.” Let us know what you think.

There are always new things to see at Stratford Hall!

Kat and I figure out photo placement for “On the Way to Stratford.” Lots of painters’ tape!

A view of the partially-completed exhibit about the Miocene era. Come and see all the great specimens now on display!