Guided history walking tours are available year-round. Contact Sterling Howell at [email protected] or (434) 296-1492 to learn more and to schedule a tour.
All of our programs are still being held online. Check our calendar page for all upcoming online programs and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for additional information and to watch recordings of our programs!
Frances Brand (1901-1990) was a U.S. Army major, a civil rights activist, a world traveler, a devoted churchgoer, and a portrait artist, among other things. Some remember her as a colorful eccentric who loved to dress in purple, while others knew her as a committed social activist.
In the 1970s, Brand undertook a series of portraits of her fellow community members that would become the Gallery of “Firsts.” This collection had at least 157 portraits of those whom Brand believed to be the first to do something. Many were firsts in their field of study or line of work, but Brand included those with lower-profile accomplishments that were nonetheless valued by the community. She made an effort to represent a myriad of races, classes, religions, and professions in her art. Of the 157 portraits, 93 feature women. Brand captured in her “Firsts” images of change in a small Southern community during the latter half of the twentieth century, a time when social change made it possible for individuals to achieve firsts where previously their gender, race, or nationality denied them the opportunity.
The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society has handpicked twenty-five “Firsts” to “Re-Open the Gallery” at the Center at Belvedere from July 5 to August 31, 2022. Admission is free. For more information about Frances Brand and her “Firsts,” check out our page about her on cvillepedia. To see the Gallery of Firsts in its entirety, check out our digital exhibit.
History is not the past.
It is the story we tell about the past.
Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society members, if you have already renewed for 2021, thank you! Membership dues make up a large portion of our annual operating budget. Every membership counts! Please continue to support us!
The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society is facing a number of challenges and needs your support to help #ACHSOpenOurDoors during the Covid-19 crisis.
Our vision is to reimagine and reinvent the role of the historical society in the twenty-first century: to be a strong civic organization that embraces, in all that we do, the diversity of our community’s history and experience, and promotes a greater understanding of our past, to enlighten the present and foster an inclusive history for future generations.
History is not the past; it is the story we tell about the past. Every person in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville has a unique and powerful story to tell. Through collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of our community, we are committed to informing, inspiring, and bringing together all people, creating opportunities for new relationships and new understandings.
Our work is grounded in a belief in the worth and dignity of every human being. We respect people, communities, and cultures. We value discovery, creativity, integrity, and diversity. We believe in the potential for history to enrich our lives and to create stronger relationships and more vibrant communities. We approach our work with integrity and transparency.
Our organization earned a 2021 Gold Seal of Transparency! Now, everyone can view our financial details and learn about the people at our organization. Click on the gold seal for our updated #NonprofitProfile on Candid: