The Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History brings multifaceted histories of the Dan River Region together for all.
January – December 2020: The DMFAH launched an extensive collections research to reconstruct the Danville Museum Visitor Service Introduction Video. The goal was to include omitted histories and narratives of the Danville Museum Site and its context to the community narratives of the Dan River Region.
The Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History (DMFAH) is a House Museum that holds two very separate histories under one roof. One history belongs to the original owners, the William T. Sutherlin Family, and their relationship to confederate history, Jefferson Davis, and the end of the Civil War. The other history is that of the civil rights movement and the difficult situation of segregation during the time before the Sutherlin Mansion became a museum, when it was a “whites only” public library. These two histories both need to be told because they are connected, and this project aims to create the platform for equitable disclosure of this narrative in order to facilitate new conversations and discoveries.
The Dan River Region has been home to a variety of different people, all with different motivations, cultures, and lifestyles. All these people have flocked to the river as a source of food, water, trade, and industry. Some did not come on their own accord... the history of the Dan is cloudy. We often forget the existence of those who have come before us. Whether it be from lack of records or lack of attention, we let the river of history run its course without thinking of the various tributaries and streams that have contributed to the greater whole.
Omitted Histories Press Release
Omitted Histories: The History of Danville, Virginia, by Asher Caplan
Omitted Histories: Essay by Nara Holdaway
This program has been funded with the generous support of Virginia Humanities. Virginia Humanities is the state humanities council. Virginia Humanities aims to share the stories of all Virginians – or, better yet, find ways for people to share their own stories. Virginia Humanities wants to connect Virginians with their history and culture and, in doing that, help us all get to know each other a little better.
Virginia Humanities is headquartered in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia, but their work covers the Commonwealth.