If Tables Could Talk

Telling the story of the Shenandoah Valley.

Every object tells a story and every story relates to place. This was the idea that drove the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester to commission local architects Nathan Webb and Jeffrey Ryan in fall 2015 to design and craft three unique tables to be exhibited in the museum’s new research library. 

But these are not just ordinary tables. Measuring 12 feet by 2 feet by 6 inches together, each table consists of six separate cells that contain found objects from old barns, houses and even junk piles throughout the region. Protected under a layer of tempered glass, each cell configuration was pieced together by hand to create a texture and color palette of the Valley, notes Webb.

The board of an old chicken roost, deeply furrowed with scars left by rooster claws, a piece of corn cribbing chewed through by a mouse and agricultural finds like farm equipment remind the viewer of the region’s deep history. 

“I was told these tables were a home run,” says Webb, who explains the project took six months from concept to completion. “What we’ve done is quite literally forged together the mission of the MSV and the Valley’s history into a functional piece of furniture.” 

Inspired by the success of their story tables, Webb and Ryan have started a new business creating custom furniture using found objects. 

The story tables will be on permanent display in the library of the Glen Burnie House on the museum grounds. TheMSV.org


Current Exhibitions at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley:

Art in the Halls – A celebration of local artists Rebecca Grace Jones and Sue Hickman, both of whom work with whimsical shapes and designs. Ends Jan. 22.

This Must Be the Place: The Art of Landscape – A display of landscapes from the collection of Julian Wood Glass, Jr., featuring works from Francesco Guardi, Abbot McNeill Whistler and more. Ends Jul. 1, 2018. A special evening of opera inspired by this exhibit will be held on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m., featuring the vocal talents of Alina Kirshon-Goldman.

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum