"A Share of Honour: Virginia Women 1600-1945," currently on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond and as a satellite show at the Greater Reston Arts Center, attempts to tell the story of the lives and traditions of Virginia women.
Lynda Johnson Robb, who was in Reston last Friday as chairman of the show, had seen an impressive exhibit of Texan women in history and realized that Virginia, being a much older state, would have an even larger story to tell. The result was organization of the Virginia Women's Cultural History Project. This statewide undertaking will include a documentary film, performing arts events, and many satellite exhibits of photographs from the central show in Richmond.
Anne Thomas, director of the Greater Reston Arts Center, describes the exhibit as a panel show of photographs of documents, news announcements, clothing and household utensils that give an understanding of the lives of women before the present generation. A few actual objects are included in the Reston show. A lace collar, a rolling pin, a pillowcase and a fan are placed in the categories of the century in which they were used.
Notable women who are represented in the Reston show are Mary Peake, who ran a clandestine school for black students, and Lucy Randolph Mason, a descendant of George Mason, who was a labor organizer in the 1930s.
The book that serves as a catalogue to the show and is titled "A Share of Honour" reveals that this exhibit is a show to learn from. Beginning with the Indians, the show includes the entire historical picture of Virginia women. It does not dwell on the famous but includes the life styles of many average women and a painful documentation of slavery.
The satellite show serves as a good communication device to those who are unable to get to Richmond. However, the show and the book (on sale in Reston) document an exhibit that would be worth the trip.
For further details call the Greater Reston Arts Center, 471-9242.