What's the 2501?
June 2018 Branch Museum Newsletter
As I write, I’m sitting in my office surrounded by some beautiful Coloratura pieces just waiting to be placed in our exhibition that opens on June 22. What a wonderful visual treat this exhibit is going to be! In addition, we will have our first Artist-in-Residence, and for four weeks, our walls will echo with the sounds of children enjoying our first Architecture Summer Camps … it’s exciting to see so much life reverberating through our almost 100-year-old House. No matter what your summer plans, we hope you will put visiting the Branch on the list and come see for yourself!
Penny Fletcher
Executive Director
Summer Exhibition
June 22-August 19
Coloratura at 35:: A Retrospective
photographed by Eric Norbom
"The Conjuror Revealed" by Catherine Roseberry and Rob Womack overseen by the City of Richmond's Public Art Commission for the restored Landmark Theater. The mural was taken down when the theater was renovated to become the Altria Theater, but the artists were able to retrieve it and you can see this at The Branch’s exhibition.
For 35 years two Richmond-area artists been transforming furniture pieces into works of art which have adorned private homes or been displayed in major museums. Now 50 works of Coloratura are gathered for  Coloratura at 35: A Retrospective , an exhibition at the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design. Some pieces are among the first ones created by the Coloratura duo, others have just been created in the studio.

Coloratura artists Catherine Roseberry and Rob Womack use furniture as canvas and create one-of-a-kind works of art of furniture. Roseberry and Womack both love the fact that each piece they do is totally different. “It’s a new idea every time,” says Roseberry. “There are always new artists to research, new things to think about. It never gets old.”

The exhibition is being arranged in themes with groupings including imaginary urban landscapes created by Womack and themes on motherhood created by Roseberry. You’ll see recent pieces like “Phrenology” and Dinamo's "The Boy Who Loved Ketchup.” In addition, some pieces like Roseberry's "Ariacne" have just been released from the studio.

Admission to  Coloratura at 35: A Retrospective  during normal museum hours is $5 and  free  to Branch Museum Members. The Branch Museum of Architecture is open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. 
Join us for our Opening Reception!
Coloratura at 35:: A Retrospective
Thursday, June 21, 2018 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM 
Restoration Work Begins on Beulah Branch’s Bedroom!
Restoration is underway on Mrs. Branch’s Bedroom, with a planned reopening celebration in September. The room’s interior finishes suffered severe delamination of the ceiling paint from the original plaster, due to a steam event from the heating system. The failure of the cooling system over several years which saturated the room's north wall has now been replaced to regulate temperature.

The majority of the interior features of the Branch House are Tudor Revival, but Mrs. Branch’s private spaces, her bedroom and sitting room were a clear departure in the interior decoration. Her bedroom features a more feminine presence with Adamesque detailing in its ornamental plaster cornice, frieze, and a low relief, oval ceiling medallion. 
Thermal imaging with an infrared camera provided the least invasive technology to determine that there is no current water intrusion. Specialists in historic plaster ornamentation and paint conservators examined the surfaces. They found the deterioration mostly skin deep, but the failed paint, continuing to lift on the flat surfaces needed removal to a sound surface, repair and re-plastering in a 3-part lime plaster before repainting could begin.
A paint analysis was undertaken examining 19 samples documenting the finish history of the room and a mock up will be created with the original color scheme. The repainting will be done in a credible Adamesque color scheme. The next step toward understanding the original room’s interior is to learn more about Beulah. What occurred between the clients (Mr. and Mrs. Branch) and the decoration of each of the rooms, most likely working with Spencer Guidael, a designer in John Russell Pope’s architectural firm, and with Otto Eggers, the primary architect overseeing the construction of the house in Richmond.  

We look forward to sharing Beulah Branch’s Bedroom with the public! Most of the funds have been raised, but there are still some finishing touches to make the room complete. You can make a donation to put this project ‘over the top’ by following this link here or calling our Development Manager at 804-237-1778.

Leslie Naranjo, Preservation Manager
Cynthia Myron: Artist-in-Residence
June 18 – August 31st
Cynthia’s work explores the physicality and emotional weight of constructed spaces, particularly the home. Working first in carved wax, she casts elements in pewter which are added to her illustrations to create “three-dimensional drawings.” These hand-drawn illustrations layered on top of vintage blueprints and architectural plans, allow her to connect the fleeting moments of nature with the permanence of architecture as a symbol of safety and shelter.

Cynthia Myron is a professional artist working in Richmond, VA. She received her BFA in Sculpture from Marywood University (1998), her MFA in Metalsmithing from Virginia Commonwealth University (2004), and is currently the Assistant Chair for the Craft and Material Studies Department at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCUarts).
Cynthia will have “office hours” at The Branch Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday each week from noon – 4pm. Stop by and see what she’s up to!
Staff Spotlight: Meet Jeremiah
Jeremiah Williams, Facilities Coordinator has been working at The Branch for the past couple of months. He often doesn’t get seen as much because he’s busy painting, polishing, carpeting and keeping up with ongoing building needs and maintenance. He very much enjoys working outside in the rear garden of The Branch House, but we don't have all the tools he needs to keep the grounds looking in top shape. Do you have any outdoor tools you would be willing to donate to The Branch?

Wish list includes:
  • Leaf Blower
  • Trimmers and Edgers
  • Lawn Mower
  • Snow Blower
  • Lawn and Garden Hand Tools
  • Wheelbarrows and Carts
  • Shop-Vac

Please call Jeremiah at 804-237-1767 and he will be happy to come pick it up and we'll provide a tax receipt for your donation.
Currently accepting Fall Internship Applications
The Branch Museum is thankful for our interns!

If you are interested in interning with The Branch for Fall 2018, we are currently looking for interns in the following areas:
  • Centennial Event Planning
  • Branch Family History
  • Collections Intern
  • Donor Services Intern
  • Program and Education Intern
  • Communications Intern
Summer Architecture Camp
Remember Spring Break Architecture Camp? It was a wild success!! Visit our album on Facebook to see more of what our campers did over spring break. For summer sessions of camp, our camp curriculum will be even more robust! Campers will learn about The Branch House, different styles of architecture and construction, and visit buildings and bridges in Richmond. Campers will meet with professionals from across the design and construction fields, and get hands-on with different construction materials. Campers will sketch, present their work and ideas, and work collaboratively throughout the week.