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Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) is dedicated to preserving and enriching the cultural life and heritage of the Valley. This regional history complex includes a house dating to the eighteenth century, seven acres of spectacular gardens, and a 50,000-square-foot museum featuring changing exhibitions, a permanent display of miniature houses, and an expansive gallery exploring the history and decorative arts of the Shenandoah Valley. The MSV also includes a Museum Store (admission not required). The galleries are open year-round; the house and gardens April through December.
The MSV sits on land originally claimed by Winchester founder James Wood in 1735. The property was passed through generations of Wood and Glass families until being acquired by Wood descendant and MSV benefactor Julian Wood Glass Jr. (1910–1992) between 1952 and 1955. Glass and his partner at the time, R. Lee Taylor (1924–2000), worked together to transform the site and its Glen Burnie House—built in 1794 by James Wood’s son Robert—into a country retreat where the couple entertained in high style.
Admission is not needed to visit the Museum Store. Every Wednesday the site is open free of charge to individuals and families (fees apply for groups of 10 or more).
The Museum is open year-round, and the gardens are open seasonally (April though October). The site is closed Mondays.
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Museum of the Shenandoah Valley reviews
Excellent museum with awesome gardens and grounds. The Danny Lyon photo exhibit, Memories if the Southern Rights Movement, is showing through July 31and is well worth seeing. The R.Lee Taylor...
Excellent museum with awesome gardens and grounds. The Danny Lyon photo exhibit, Memories if the Southern Rights Movement, is showing through July 31and is well worth seeing. The R.Lee Taylor... more »
The museum really didn't offer much for the size of the place. The gardens were the best part of the visit.
The museum really didn't offer much for the size of the place. The gardens were the best part of the visit. more »
We went to the museum last week on a very cold morning. There were very few people there and not a lot to see as much of the museum was closed off while they get other exhibits ready. The staff that greeted us were very nice and helpful. The focus of the museum during our visit was looking at the contributions of African Americans in the Shenandoah Valley and women, which is great and very interesting. We were kind of surprised by the obvious omission of one black immigrant women from Winchester, and that is our new Lt. Governor Winsome Sears. While our Lt. Governor did not grow up in the Shenandoah Valley, she has called Winchester her home for many years now. She is the first female lieutenant governor and first black female lieutenant governor, so that is two historic milestones, yet there was no acknowledgement of that anywhere in the museum that I could see. You might think that is because she was only elected a few months ago, but there was also a display with references to the war in Ukraine, so it's not like the museum doesn't keep up with current issues. I suspect the oversight is purposeful as Lt. Governor Sears does not have the ideology that museum leadership adheres to. I feel full equality for women and minorities (especially Blacks) will not come to America until they are allowed by elites to have nonconforming viewpoints. It is a metastasized form of systemic racism that is hard to get rid of. I loved the pink-hatted white woman picture which told me a lot! I look forward to coming back when the weather is warmer and walking through the beautiful grounds around the museum.
It felt to me that Winchester is not that big a place. But somehow they have managed to build a first rate quality park, education, and museum setting right 'walkable' in town. There is no way everyone at every age in your family won't find something memorable to do, see or learn here. I'm glad Winchester is small because in a big city this place would be overrun because everyone would want to be here.
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