As part of August’s “First Friday” activities, the Museum will display images of local African Americans from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Lynchburg Museum has assembled a special collection of original studio photographs, group images, charcoal portraits, and newspaper engravings of African Americans who lived and worked in the Hill City in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Between 1830 and 1900 almost half of Lynchburg’s population was African American (or non-white), yet very few images of these residents have survived. The people portrayed in these images represent all ages, professions, and socioeconomic levels, including both enslaved and free people of color. The collection gathered for “First Friday” offers a rare and personal glimpse into the history of the Lynchburg community.
The exhibit includes images on loan from Old City Cemetery (Southern Memorial Association), as well as images donated by Geraldine Kiefer of Winchester, Virginia, and the estates of Katherine Garland Diggs and Virginia & Ruth McPherson.
Area residents who have similar images are encouraged to bring them to the Museum to share for this mini-exhibit. The Lynchburg Museum is interested in adding more images of local African Americans to its permanent and research collections.