Volume IV | September 25 2020
Monuments for Review
Writer F. Scott Fitzgerald said:

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

This statement by F. Scott Fitzgerald brings to mind the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, and the difficult conversations expressing opposing ideas around the collections held by the museum. The DMFAH holds varied collections representing different, and at times opposing, aesthetic and historical narratives. The museum offers a variety of collections and objects from our local and national history that can spark meaningful conversation around the things that matter to this region and beyond. How we choose to engage with the holdings of the museum is a compelling challenge that seeks to engage all visitors to the museum.

City Leaders Consider Changing the Names of monuments and Buildings in Danville
Vice mayor Dr. Gary Miller, who is leading the Monuments committee has asked Danville Museum Executive Director Elsabé Dixon, and Sonja Ingram with Preservation Virginia to act as advisors on a subcommittee that will need to hear from historians in regard to Danville’s Confederate Monuments. City leaders in Danville are questioning if certain monuments and building names should be changed due to their Confederate ties. The mayor set up a subcommittee after hearing concerns from citizens. At this time, the committee has no plan to move any monuments but does have plans to rename them or to rewrite the inscriptions.
Vice Mayor Miller and several others will examine three monuments and the name of Stonewall Recreation Center. The monuments in dispute are (1) the Harry Wooding statue, (2) the Confederate Flagpole base on the Museum campus, and (3) the monument commemorating the civic service of Anne Eliza John’s. This Confederate monument, also on the DMFAH lawn was erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) to honor the woman after which their chapter is named: Anne Eliza John’s served as a nurse during the Civil War and tended both Confederate soldiers and Union Prisoners.
Think Like A Historian
University of Virginia Fellows Asher Caplan, Nara Holdaway and UNC-G Fellow Kate McDannold, under the guidance of National Historians Grace Hale and Fitz Brundage, as well as local historian Sonja Ingram, have worked all summer on compiling an outline of the histories of Danville and the Dan River region. The DMFAH holds many collections articulating the historical narratives of the Dan River Region.
Originally conceived as a Confederate House Museum, focussing on Jefferson Davis's stay at the Sutherlin Mansion during the last days of the Confederacy, the museum has evolved to focus on a broader inclusion of regional histories. This has become especially critical since the closing of the Tobacco Museum and the Schoolfield Textile Museum. We have included the first Danville Civil Rights History in a permanent public space, where this history is accessible to all. In addition to this, the Museum has installed the Camilla Williams collection, and will be making this double-gallery installation available for a full year before reconfiguring a more permanent exhibition space in the museum. Kate McDannold has compiled a wonderful education unit for students called "Think Like A Historian" that outlines how histories are compiled and processed. If you would like to find out more about this process, please link in to this unit available on our website HERE. We would like to thank Kate for the year's work tied up in this specific educational unit; thanks, too, to Beth Deatherage from MOMENTA for the month's work it took to upload this extensive unit to the Museum website.
What Happened to the Dead Dogwood?
It’s going to be a difficult COVID-19 fall and winter, but the DMFAH community will knit and crochet their way through the pandemic. For everybody wondering about what has happened to the dead dogwood tree at the Museum's back entrance, we are happy to announce our first example of “Yarn Bombing,” a community interactive knitting and crochet project called: “A Stitch in Time” which will explore local conversations around the pandemic, while reflecting on history, culture and art. To sign up for “A Stitch in Time” workshops please contact info@danvillemuseum.org. We request a $5 donation for all who participate in the workshops on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10:30am -11:30pm.
Averett Students Explore the Perkinson Rose Garden
Averett University French students are collaborating with the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History on a service learning project that integrates language, culture, history, and literature. In past weeks the class read from Antoine de St. Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince (The little Prince) in the museum’s Perkinson Rose Garden, which is in full bloom. This week, Averett University French students worked on rock painting with the local organization, Making Danville Smile. Rocks decorated with quotes from Le Petit Prince will become part of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History's rose-garden. Students will continue to examine the symbolism and culture of the rose.

"One only sees well with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes."
(Le Petit Prince by Antoine de St.Exupéry)

The Swanson Studio Lights were on for Life Drawing on the Last Thursday of September
Swanson Studio lights were on for Life Drawing on the Last Thursday of the Month
Five easels, five feet apart, were manned by five masked artists, in pursuit of capturing a likeness of the human body in motion and stillness. All that could be heard was the soft sound of classical music among the scratching of 8B and conté pencils on paper. This is perhaps the most difficult academic and disciplined art-studio exercise, and takes not only skill, but tremendous effort and concentration. Thank you to all who braved the rainy weather to join us from 6:30-9pm.
Buy Your Tickets for Ghosts & Gravestones!!!
Get your tickets before they sell out!

For more information press HERE
The Importance of Voting
There are three methods of voting this year in VIrginia: 
1.   In person at the polls on November 3.
2.   In person at the local registrar's office until Oct. 31th. Here in Danville vote in the back corner of the First Citizens bank at 530 Main St. Enter on the parking lot side Mon. -Fri. 9 am -5 pm. Also Saturdays October 24 and 31st. Just walk in with your valid ID and mask. See websites below for more info.
3.   Vote by Mail application- no reason required. Deadline for official receipt of your application is Oct. 23, at 5 pm. See websites below for details.
Any other question or clarification, just go online to the VA Department of Elections Citizens Portal. You can also press HERE.For national info. You can go to I will vote or you can press HERE. The Danville website has local information. Email Kelly Keesee@pittgov.org for Pittsylvania County information or call (434) 432-7971. 
Please vote; it is your duty as a citizen.
Corrections: Please note that Alexis Ehrhardt's name was misspelled in the last newsletter. We also want to make available a more complete version of the Helen Heard Etheridge/ Danville Artist & Teacher (1932-2019) Tribute, which you can see HERE.