History Beyond the Dominant Historical Figures

Centennial of the Everyday: Humanizing the voiceless.

Known for hosting prominent historical figures, Gadsby’s Tavern is using new art to challenge the way people view history.

The Centennial of the Everyday art history tour explores the complex history of Alexandria. As part of the Time and Place art history installment, the Gadsby’s exhibition seeks to give voice to the anonymous by exploring stories of those often forgotten throughout history, in particular women, immigrants and the enslaved. The contemporary artwork was selected to reveal the manner in which art is created in conversation with history and compel people to think in a way that historical artifacts and information might not.

Many of the ornate features throughout the museum were designed by artists Lauren Adams and Stewart Watson with the hope of staging an “intervention,” challenging the overpowering narrative surrounding dominant historical figures and exposing the contributions of others. A time capsule of Alexandria during the federal era (circa late 1700s through the early 1800s), the tavern artwork serves as a reminder of the difficulties faced by women, immigrants and the enslaved.

Elizabeth Lockwood of Alexandria attended the event and “loved how it peeled back the layers of experience,” and “challenged ways to think about the space.” Lockwood said she would definitely recommend to anyone interested.

The next and final installment of the tour will be held on Aug. 12 at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Tickets are $15. The art pieces will remain on display through Sept. 3. For more information visit https://apps.alexandriava.gov/Calendar/Detail.aspx?si=16191

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