Dawn of a Century

Photography exhibition at the Valentine reveals post-Civil War Richmond.

Lubin and Bijou theaters, early 20th century, 800-900 blocks of E. Broad Street. Cook Collection, the Valentine.

In 1880, photographer George S. Cook relocated with his family from Charleston, South Carolina, to Richmond, a city caught between times. His studio, which held more than 10,000 negatives and prints visually documenting the River City at the turn of the 20th century, was acquired by the Valentine, a local history museum, in 1954. The museum showcases many of Cook’s works in the exhibition Developing Richmond, open through Nov. 10. The collection comprises historic, some never-before-exhibited, images of the conflicted and ever-evolving city at the dawn of a new century taken by Cook and his son, Huestis. “We get a real look at Richmond in a post-Civil War economic boom but still holding on to political cultural norms,” says Eric V. Steigleder, director of public relations at the Valentine. “The Cook family just happened to come at this fascinating time of development, but also yearned for what life used to look like.” TheValentine.org


This article originally appeared in our August 2019 issue.

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Virginia Living Museum

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

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