Layers of the Past: Discoveries at Flowerdew Hundred
In 1971 a farmer plowing a field at Flowerdew Hundred, on the James River, unearthed an unusual assemblage of stones. This touched off the first of many excavations at the property, opening a window into the world of 17th-century Virginia. Significant discoveries emerged, including a fort, a substantial manor home, and a palisaded Indian settlement. Additional finds have revealed much older stories–people started inhabiting this land over 10,000 years ago.The archaeological investigations at Flowerdew Hundred have deepened our understanding of the past, revealing a narrative that incorporates the experiences of Virginia Indians, European settlers, and enslaved African Americans.
The story of Flowerdew Hundred is also the story of archaeology at work. Countless scholars, researchers, students, and curators have excavated and sifted through layers of dirt, carefully recorded their findings, consulted sources from many disciplines, and applied innovative technologies to interpret the past. As you enter the exhibition and the world of 17th-century Virginia, we invite you to engage in the process of archaeological discovery.
experimental beds, an exhibition of six prints by Indigenous Australian artist Judy Watson
Judy Watson visited the University of Virginia in October 2011 as an artist-in-residence at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s architectural drawings of the Academical Village, Watson developed a set of etchings in collaboration with Professor Dean Dass and advanced printmaking students in U.Va.‘s print workshop. The resulting prints incorporate Jefferson’s drawings of the Rotunda and Pavilions along with Watson’s sketches of artifacts unearthed at Monticello’s Mulberry Row and vegetables grown in Jefferson’s “experimental beds.”
The project was co-published by the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, the artist and grahame galleries + editions in Brisbane.
Flowerdew Hundred: Unearthing Virginia’s History
Main Floor, Permanent Exhibit Gallery
Featuring archaeological artifacts from the University of Virginia’s Flowerdew Hundred Collection, this exhibit presents material evidence of Virginia’s early inhabitants: Native American pottery sherds; arms and armor used to defend the new colony; refined, imported wares from Europe; and American-made goods, including items manufactured by African Americans. The materials from U.Va.’s Special Collections also on display—images from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century maps and books—illustrate the importance of the historical record in the study of material culture.
Visit the Flowerdew Hundred exhibit website.
Declaring Independence: Creating and Re-creating America’s Document
First Floor, Permanent Exhibit Gallery
This exhibit offers highlights of the most comprehensive collection of letters, documents, and early printings of the Declaration of Independence. The exhibition sheds light on not only the writing and signing of the Declaration, but also on its first printing, distribution across the colonies, and future impact on American history. An accompanying documentary film is available for viewing in the gallery.
Visit the Declaring Independence exhibit website.