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“Museum of the Shenandoah Valley and More”

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Ranked #2 of 48 things to do in Winchester
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The 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, six 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 and café (admission not required). The galleries are open year-round; the house and gardens April through October. 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.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for older children
Reviewed November 25, 2013

Great little museum. A lot of hands on exhibits for the kids. Introduction movies. The gift shop has lots of local products as well as museum related items. The Patsy Cline exhibit is well worth the visit.

Thank Lee S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"glen burnie"
in 62 reviews
"shenandoah valley"
in 118 reviews
"beautiful gardens"
in 25 reviews
"rotating exhibits"
in 14 reviews
"free admission"
in 13 reviews
"doll houses"
in 12 reviews
"on wednesdays"
in 11 reviews
"traveling exhibits"
in 6 reviews
"rose garden"
in 6 reviews
"folk art"
in 6 reviews
"patsy cline exhibit"
in 13 reviews
"african american history"
in 5 reviews
"gilbert stuart"
in 5 reviews
"historic house"
in 14 reviews
"special exhibits"
in 6 reviews
"historical home"
in 5 reviews
"my favorite part"
in 5 reviews
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Reviewed November 25, 2013

Wonderful place to tour. Also, it has a little gift shop and area for lunch. Area can be rented out for events. Museum grounds are beautiful, especially in the spring and fall.

Thank Kay A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2013

This museum provides a look at the history and culture of the Shenandoah Valley. There was also a Patsy Cline exhibit complete with many of her outfits. While it would not be on the top of my list of places to go in Winchester, it was interesting. There are also gardens, but, unfortunately, there was a lot of work being done and not much to see there.

Thank BarbaraBetty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

The modern red brick museum is snuggled in a rural area setting complete with cows in the nearby field. The hustle of traffic on I-81 and the many shopping areas in and around Winchester seem far removed once one drives through the gates and up the driveway to the museum. The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley tells the story of life in this beautiful valley that attracted people from several European backgrounds. Germans, Irish, English Scots, French settled here to start a new life with a guarantee of religious freedom and rich farm land from which they could raise crops. The galleries have model rooms so we of the 21st century can see how little late 18th and early 19th century families had in their houses. There are wonderful displays of crafts from the valley....finely crafted furniture....sideboards, clocks, drawers, tables, etc. pottery with outstanding examples from the region. The displays are not crowded nor is a visitor over loaded with too much text to read. There are touch displays, some have excerpts from letters or books from the past that are read, others have contemporary citizens of the valley relating tales from or about their ancestors. There even are samples of music from given periods of history to hear.

As I write in October 2013, there is a special exhibit on Winchester's favorite country-western star, Patsy Cline that covers her short life time. Her music is playing while several iconic pieces of clothing are on display along with record albums and even a taped Arthur Godfrey TV show in which Patsy is first seen/heard on TV. It was an interesting exhibit.

The land upon which the museum is built once belonged to Julian Glass, Jr. A few years before his death he deeded the land to the city to create a museum. Also on the acreage is a late 18th century house, Glen Bernie, in which he and his partner, R. Lee Taylor lived. Mr. Taylor was a gardener who created several beautifully landscaped gardens behind Glen Bernie. Though it was late October with most of the flowers dead, I was still impressed by the lay out of the gardens and the numerous statutes that were imaginatively placed throughout the grounds. There even is an oriental garden with a pool filled with Koi fish, and behind the fence is a forest of bamboo plants. Mr. Glass was into collecting fine art and antique furniture. The house is temporarily closed for renovation so I was unable to view his collection, but in the visitors center there is a model of the house in miniature which wheys ones interest for a return visit in 2014 when it will reopen in all of its splendor.

I spent four hours walking through the museum and the gardens. It was money well spent.

Thank Richard E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 22, 2013

Varied displays of Valley history, art, furniture, architecture and very pleasant displays. Well worth an hour and a half in the museum. Didn't spend time in the gardens. Very caring and informed staff.

Thank larryeverlingmktg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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