MSV: The Gardens and More

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“Yoga in the Gardens.” “Trail Site Tour.” ‘Youth Workshops.” “Women in the Arts Panel.”

You might expect such activities to take place at four different venues. They don’t. They are all functions that have been held this summer at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) in Winchester. 

Perhaps more than most museums, the MSV is expanding its role from a traditional treasure house of artifacts, relics, paintings, sculpture, etc., into an institute that is highly involved in the community though a variety of experiences. These include musical performances, special events and seminars for kids, lectures on many topics, classes of many types, and the construction of a new trail system.

Museum of the Shenandoah ValleyLocated a scenic hour and thirty-minute drive from Washington, DC, the MSV system also includes Rose Hill Park, a few miles from the main museum, which is operated jointly with the Frederick County Parks and Recreation Department.

Community programs aside, the MSV is a splendid example of more traditional museum collections as well. We asked Julie Armel, Deputy Director of Community Relations, to give us the big picture of the MSV.

“This regional cultural center includes galleries and exhibitions, seven acres of formal gardens, and the Glen Burnie House,” Armel told us. “Museum galleries display changing exhibitions and impressive collections of Shenandoah Valley decorative arts, 18th- and 19th-century European and American fine art, and a fascinating collection of miniature houses and rooms.

“A short stroll from the galleries,” she continued, “the landscape surrounding the Glen Burnie House includes rose, statue, vegetable, Asian, and perennial gardens. Inside the house, explore the stories of those who lived in Glen Burnie from 1796 to 1992. A free seek-and-find children’s garden activity is available and garden picnics are welcome. Admission is free to ages 12 & under (may exclude special exhibitions).

“Located on the largest green space in the city of Winchester,” Armel went on, “ the Museum is the future home of The Trails at the MSV, a 90-acre, free-admission art park that will offer three miles of trails for walking, hiking, and biking. Construction is underway and the Trails at the MSV will open in late spring/early summer of 2020.”

What’s Blooming in the Gardens
September is a great time of year to tour the seven-acre MSV gardens. Along with enjoying shady walks, sculpture, and fall rose blooms, visitors can expect to see pollinator plants in bloom, such as zinnias, dahlias, goldenrod, and salvia. Garden spaces not to miss include Kathie’s Spring Garden (which borders a stream and features three new pieces of contemporary sculpture), and the Parterre Garden beside the house. The Glen Burnie Gardens are a mix of formal garden spaces, cottage style gardens, and shady walks

Exhibitions—Current and Coming Soon
Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light has just been extended to September 8 Museum of the Shenandoah Valley(See photo at right.)

Contemporary Valley art on View: Shenandoah County landscapes in “Ghosts of a Forgotten Landscape: Paintings by Sally Veach” 

Collection of contemporary art on view in “Vital Force”

Opening on October 11: “Bill Rutherfoord: Allegory of No Region”

Permanent displays include a fascinating collection of miniature houses and exhibits that highlight Shenandoah Valley history and material culture. Memorable objects that tell the Valley’s story include a wooden apple picker from the 1800s, a primitive wooden doll dating to the mid-1800s thought to have been made and used by Shenandoah County slaves, and a long rifle made in Winchester in the early 1790s.

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