Home Staunton Public Library hosts exhibit on Virginia women

Staunton Public Library hosts exhibit on Virginia women


staunton public libraryA Library of Virginia exhibit celebrating past and present female Virginians is now on exhibit at the Staunton Public Library as part of a year-long tour of cultural institutions across the state.

Virginia Women in History will be on display through May 14 as part of the Library of Virginia’s annual celebration of the accomplishments of the state’s women.

“Women have played an integral part in Virginia from its beginnings, yet their contributions have often been overlooked in the history books,” said Sandra Treadway of the Library of Virginia. “They ignored women’s critical roles as educators, nurses, lay leaders and missionaries, farmers, artists, writers, reformers, pioneers, business leaders, laborers, civic activists, and community builders. Today, we recognize and celebrate women’s accomplishments in all walks of life.”

Each year, the Library of Virginia chooses women from across the state to be recognized. Instructional materials for educators and nomination forms for the 2017 project are available at www.lva.virginia.gov/vawomen.

One woman honored this year is the acclaimed artist Mary Elizabeth Nottingham Day (1907–1956), who with her husband, artist Horace Talmage Day, directed the art department at Mary Baldwin College following their marriage in 1941.

Nottingham Day grew up in Culpeper and attended Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (now Randolph College) and then went on to study art in New York and Europe. Returning to Virginia in the early 1930s, she received a commission to paint a series of historical panels for a Winchester school. In 1936, she became director of the Big Stone Gap Federal Art Gallery, and later that year became director of the Lynchburg Federal Art Gallery.

She served as assistant state art supervisor of the Works Projects Administration’s extension service in 1940– 1941. Committed to bringing art to rural areas of the state, Nottingham Day served as a board member and as president of the Virginia Art Alliance and sat on the State Art Commission from 1950 to 1956.

Other women honored in the 2016 exhibit include the following:

  • Sarah A. Gray (ca. 1847–1893) of Alexandria, educator
  • Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson (1918–) of Hampton, mathematician
  • Flora Lonette Davis Crittenden (1924–) of Newport News, educator and legislator
  • Elizabeth Lee Elizabeth Lee “Betty” Masters (1929–2015) of Salem, photojournalist
  • Edwilda Gustava Allen Isaac (1937–) of Farmville, Civil Rights pioneer
  • Meyera Fran Ellenson Oberndorf (1941–2015) of Virginia Beach, Mayor
  • Ana Ines Barragan King (1957–) of Richmond, founder and artistic director of the Latin Ballet of Virginia

The exhibit, located on the first floor, can be viewed during the Library’s regular hours, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m., Sundays.



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