The Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) and Virginia Pride are partnering to mark LGBTQ+ Pride Week in Richmond by featuring a special work of art by artist Jumper Maybach in the Story of Virginia exhibition. The work, which Virginia Pride commissioned and donated to the museum in 2018, depicts the Virginia State Capitol and represents an important addition to the museum’s growing LGBTQ+ collections.
“As the state’s history museum, we are firmly dedicated to representing all who are a part of the Virginia experience,” said VMHC President Jamie Bosket, “as such we are deeply committed to better reflecting the diversity of the state, including preserving and sharing the stories of LGBTQ+ communities in the Commonwealth.”
The VMHC’s new display will also feature documents and artifacts from the VMHC collections including a program from the fifth annual Richmond Lesbian and Gay Pride Day held in 1989 which was the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York, and a joint custody consent order granted to same-sex couple Mary Townley and Carol Schall upon the birth of Mary’s daughter in 1998. The couple became plaintiffs in the case of Bostic v. Rainey, which overturned Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage in 2014.
The museum is collaborating with LGBTQ+ communities to document these important stories by collecting oral histories, images, documents, and artifacts.
The presentation will run through February 16, 2020 and will feature documents and memorabilia from VMHC’s growing LGBTQ history archive. A noted piece featured in the exhibit is a painting by celebrity artist, Jumper Maybach, depicting the Virginia Capitol.
The piece was commissioned for the LGBTQ organization, Virginia Pride, which donated the painting to the VMHC last year. A similar painting by the artist hangs in Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s office. This opportunity would not have been possible without the cultural dedication of Virginia’s Prides’ James Millner, whose vision the commissioned work can be credited to.
“It’s an honor and privilege to be included in this monumental and historic exhibition,” states Maybach. “Having one of my pieces hang in the Virginia Museum of History and Culture is truly a highlight of my career.”
The installation of the presentation is timed to coincide with Virginia Pride’s annual Pridefest in Richmond, one of the largest LGBTQ events in the Commonwealth attracting more than 30,000 attendees.
As the VMHC plans to mount a more comprehensive exhibition about the history of Virginia’s LGBTQ community in the future, they are encouraging the public to contact them with stories and artifacts connected to this important, but often unacknowledged, history.
The VMHC expects to host an event the week of the presentation’s opening to welcome the LGBTQ and greater Richmond communities to the museum.
The Artist enjoys a global press presence as his accomplishments are artistic, cultural, and societal. Maybach has, through his design work and his artwork heightened interest and commitment to diversity and equality, something the artist has in common with and strikingly similar to Artist Keith Haring’s Activism and use of highly visible art-directed expressions to reflect social issues.