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A group posing in front of a Christmas tree in the Executive Mansion.

December 30, 2023

50 Years of the Citizens' Advisory Council

For decades, members of the Citizens’ Advisory Council for Furnishing and Interpreting the Executive Mansion (CAC) have served as stewards of Virginia’s home, promoting a greater understanding and awareness of the Executive Mansion’s #homehistory and significance. Established in 1973, the CAC was formed with the intention of researching the history of the Mansion. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the responsibilities of this gubernatorially appointed board include education, furnishing and restoration. The First Lady is especially grateful to the newly formed Art Subcommittee that curates the Art Experience.

A gingerbread model of the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg.

December 21, 2023

The Gingerbread Governor's Palace

Created by Executive Mansion Pastry Chef, Scott Henderlite, this year’s gingerbread house is a model of the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg. The Governor’s Palace was the official residence of the royal governors of the Colony of Virginia and was also home for two of Virginia’s post-colonial governors, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. Funded by the House of Burgesses, the Palace was built from 1706 onward. In a #homehistory defining move, the capitol was relocated to Richmond in 1780 and the Governor’s residence moved with it, now nestled in Capitol Square providing a home to Virginia’s governors and first families since 1813.

A mantle is decorated with magnolia leaves, feathers, fruit, holly berries and more.

December 13, 2023

A Commonwealth Christmas

'A Commonwealth Christmas' at the Executive Mansion offers contemporary twists on centuries old #homehistory Christmas traditions. Utilizing natural decorations that have remained seasonal staples from the Commonwealth’s earliest documented celebrations to today, the adornments capitalize on agrarian elements. View photos of the decorations and learn more about this year’s theme here.

The First Lady poses in front of the Executive Mansion with employees of Virginia Welcome Centers.

December 9, 2023

Virginia’s Welcome Centers are for Lovers

Since the 1960s, Virginia Welcome Centers (VWCs) have served the Commonwealth’s visitors as ambassadors, travel agents and experts in #homehistory. The First Lady was honored to meet the remarkable VWC teams offering Virginia’s tourists warm welcomes and worthwhile suggestions at the Executive Mansion for a tour. Doubling the number of centers since the program’s inception, 12 strategically placed VWCs are nestled throughout Virginia’s highway system, often the first stop for thousands of the Commonwealth’s visitors.

The First Lady and Governor share a moment with a Virginia Indian woman.

November 23, 2023

The 346th Annual Tribute Ceremony

A 346-year-old tradition, the annual payment of tribute by Virginia’s Indian tribes to the Governor of the Commonwealth is a longstanding staple of our #homehistory and represents peace and mutual understanding. Thank you, Chief Mark Custalow and the Mattaponi Tribe and Chief Robert Gray, Councilman Atkinson and the Pamunkey Tribe for a beautiful tribute ceremony and Thanksgiving togetherness. The spirit of appreciation is alive at Virginia’s Executive Mansion!

A portrait of Paul and Phyllis Galanti.

November 10, 2023

Honoring Virginia’s Heroes on Veterans Day: Paul and Phyllis Galanti

This Veterans Day we honor heroes like Paul Galanti, a Vietnam War POW who endured torturous imprisonment for six and a half years in North Vietnam. In 1973, Galanti was released and reunited in Virginia with his wife Phyllis, an outspoken advocate for American POWs. The Governor and the First Lady had the privilege of meeting Paul and other brave men at the Executive Mansion for a reception commemorating the 50th anniversary of their homecoming and the 1973 reception hosted by Governor Linwood Holton celebrating their safe return. To view this portrait of Paul and Phyllis Galanti, visit the Executive Mansion for a tour every Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or head to the Art Experience tab.

From left, David Onks, Brad Hatch and Reagan Andersen hold eel pots in a longhouse under construction at the Patawomeck Museum and Cultural Center in Fredericksburg on Sunday, December 11, 2022.

November 3, 2023

Brad Hatch's Patawomeck Eel Pots

November is National Native American Heritage Month, a time to commemorate, appreciate and honor the lives and contributions of our country’s Indigenous peoples. Brad Hatch, Patawomeck archaeologist and mentor artist from White Oak, Virginia, creates eel pots from white oak strips with fellow tribal members -- sharing #homehistory with his apprentices. Alongside numerous gifts from Virginia’s Indian tribes and on loan from the Virginia Humanities Virginia Folklife Program, one of Hatch’s creations is on display in the Old Governor’s Office at the Executive Mansion. Plan your visit today!

Two women stand in front of the Executive Mansion wearing geometric dresses.

October 30, 2023

The Team Behind the Art Experience at the Executive Mansion

The Citizens Advisory Council on Furnishing and Interpreting the Executive Mansion (CAC) was established to benefit Richmond’s historic home. Its newly established Art Experience Committee — led by CAC creatives, Ann Goettman and Judy Boland — is making #homehistory with the art at the Executive Mansion. Today’s exhibit features Virginia art on loan from museums, cultural societies, state agencies, artists and more. Thank you, to Ann, Judy and all CAC members who work together to preserve and enhance the legacy of Virginia’s home. Click the link in my story to read more about the Art Experience in Suzanne Pollak's article for Vie Magazine!

The First Lady poses with women and girls wearing cowboy hats.

October 17, 2023

The Second Annual Boots on the Square

So fun to partner with the Virginia Department of General Services and On the Square VA earlier this month for the second annual Boots on the Square, making #homehistory in front of the Executive Mansion once again! Thank you to all the wonderful Virginia state employees who came out and enjoyed line dancing, lasso lessons, miniature horses and fresh kettle corn. Until next year!

The First Lady and three women of various ages stand in front of the Executive Mansion holding pumpkins of various colors.

October 12, 2023

Annual Delivery of Pumpkins and Gourds

Thank you Chris and family for helping kick off Virginia Pumpkin Month at the Executive Mansion last week! Ranking 10th in the nation in pumpkin cash receipts, pumpkins have become part of Virginia’s #homehistory thanks to the nearly 400 commercial pumpkin growers across the Commonwealth.

Tradicion Dancy Company performs outside the Executive Mansion. Three men are seated playing drums in the foreground and a group of women sing behind them.

October 6, 2023

Angel Rodriguez: Educating through Music

Angel Rodriguez, known to many as the Salsa Guy of Richmond, teaches Virginians about the vast #homehistory of Hispanic and Latin American communities through music. Representing Puerto Rican, Afro-Caribbean and Mexican traditions, The Governor and First Lady were blessed to have Angel and Tradición Dance Company perform at the Executive Mansion’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month in September. Thank you for using the arts to educate and inspire!


October 4, 2023

Highlighting the Work of Diego Sanchez

This Hispanic Heritage Month, The Art Experience at the Executive Mansion highlights the remarkable work of Richmond artist, Diego Sanchez. A native of Colombia, Diego received his bachelor’s and master’s from VCU, has had his art shown all over the globe and is currently making #homehistory as the Head of the Art Department at St. Catherine’s School. Learn more about “Composition #148” by clicking on the Art Experience tab.


October 3, 2023

Hispanic Heritage Month in the Commonwealth

Governor Glenn Youngkin and the First Lady were joined by Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears, Attorney General Jason Miyares, Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Gee and dozens of community, faith and business leaders at the Executive Mansion in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The Commonwealth is grateful for the cultural, economic and societal contributions of the Hispanic American community! Virginia’s #homehistory is not complete without Hispanic and Latino heritage.


September 22, 2023

Recognizing International Week of the Deaf

The World Federation of the Deaf recognizes the last full week in September as International Week of the Deaf — a global opportunity to raise awareness about the Deaf Community. Thank you to the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for a commitment to ensuring this community has the resources needed to experience life without barriers to communication! Swipe for a photo of an ASL conversation between Deaf actor and author Nyle DiMarco and Deaf musical performer WAWA Snipe at the Virginia Humanities’ Virginia Festival of the Book. Visit the Art Experience Section of the Executive Mansion website to learn more about Nyle, WAWA and the second installment of the Art Experience.


September 14, 2023

Debuting "Do What You Love in Virginia"

“Art ignites the spirit and is good for the soul!” We are overwhelmingly excited to unveil the second installment of the Art Experience at the Executive Mansion, “Do What You Love in Virginia.” With over 75 works from museums, artists and institutions across the Commonwealth, this curated and dynamic exhibit is the most expansive yet. Tours are available each Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Plan your visit today and learn more in the Art Experience section of the Executive Mansion website.


September 13, 2023

Helen King Hattorf and Arts in Education

Observed annually beginning on the second Sunday in September, National Arts in Education Week celebrates and recognizes the arts’ role in creating a holistic education. As an art and ceramics teacher, famed Richmond artist Helen King Hattorf shared her love of art with students for nearly 30 years, 15 of which she spent making #homehistory at Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond. So very grateful for educators like Mrs. Hattorf for inspiring emerging generations of artists and creatives. On loan from The Valentine Mrs. Hattorf’s painting “State Fair” can be viewed in person at the Executive Mansion every Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or in the Art Experience Section of the Executive Mansion website.


September 10, 2023

Chef Ed’s Heirloom Tomato and Peach Bruschetta

Kicking off National Chef Appreciation Week with a refreshingly delicious, #MadeInTheMansion recipe from the Mansion’s ever so talented Executive Chef, Ed. Click the link to view a PDF of Ed's Heirloom Tomato and Peach Bruschetta recipe and let us know if you make it at home! Email The Executive Mansion with a photo of your creation.


September 7, 2023

Docent Shoutout: Bonnie Walter

For more than 50 years, volunteer docents have guided tours of Richmond’s Executive Mansion. Serving as a docent for more than a decade, Bonnie Walter loves sharing Mansion magic with Virginians and others. Thank you, Bonnie, for your passionate dedication to #homehistory! Interested in joining Bonnie and other amazing members of our volunteer docent team? Email The Executive Mansion today.


September 5, 2023

Welcoming Former First Lady Jeannie Baliles

The First Lady and Mansion team were honored to have former First Lady Jeannie Baliles to the Mansion last week to discuss her amazing work with the Virginia Literacy Foundation (VLF). Founded by the First Lady in 1985, the foundation continues to make #homehistory by providing literacy services to thousands of children and parents across the Commonwealth. The First Family is Incredibly grateful for the consistent efforts of our wonderful education department, organizations like VLF and countless others investing in the next generation.


August 24, 2023

The Mansion’s Longtime Partnership with the Library of Virginia

Longtime collaborator and friend to the Executive Mansion, The Library of Virginia  enriches #homehistory by loaning art to be displayed in the home. Since 2022, Library of Virginia Visual Studies Collection Registrar, Alicia Starliper, has been key to the Mansion’s successful Art Experience—overseeing installation, preservation and thorough cataloging of works from a multitude of museum partners and artists all across the Commonwealth. So grateful for experts like Alicia as well as the magnificent Library of Virginia!


August 22, 2023

Jocelyn Russell’s “Secretariat Racing Into History"

Jocelyn Russell’s #homehistory making sculpture, “Secretariat Racing Into History,” made a stop on its cross country tour this month at Virginia’s home. Commemorating jockey Ron Turcotte and Secretariat, Jocelyn Russell completed the 3,500-pound bronze statue with the help of her husband and master welder, Michael Dubail. Before delving into the project Russell immersed herself in Secretariat’s triumphant legacy, spending six months researching, traveling and even consulting with Turcotte himself.

Green cast iron fountain in front of the Executive Mansion.

August 9, 2023

The Executive Mansion Fountain

The fountain in the center of the Executive Mansion’s circular drive remains a #homehistory hallmark of the grounds. What likely started as a fishpond in the 1870s, the fountain has undergone several changes including ornamental birds as well as the current, two-tier, cast-iron, flower-framed Roman fountain. Visit the Executive Mansion this summer Tuesday and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to see the fountain in person, or read up on the historic features of this stately home!


August 4, 2023

John Gadsby Chapman's 'Mt. Vernon Looking Down the River'

The Executive Mansion is not the only Virginia residence making #homehistory—Mount Vernon was home to the nation’s first President George Washington and family for decades. In a piece on loan from Mount Vernon, ‘Mt. Vernon Looking Down the River,’ artist and illustrator John Gadsby Chapman painted the estate from a perspective that shows its proximity to both the Potomac River and Washington, D.C. View this piece and other amazing works in person at the Executive on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


July 28, 2023

Farewell, Fellows!

As they conclude eight weeks of tremendous work, we laud this summer's Governor's Fellows, 37 changemakers fully equipped to take on their next journey! A 30-year-old tradition, the Governor’s Fellows Program offers recent and soon-to-be college graduates a unique opportunity to make #homehistory and lasting contributions to the Commonwealth through service in various secretariats, agencies and even the Executive Mansion. Visit the Governor's website for more information.


July 26, 2023

Ruth Starr Rose's 'Wild Pony Roundup'

Today marks the 98th annual pony swim and auction on Chincoteague Island -- a celebrated event in our Commonwealth’s #homehistory! ‘Wild Pony Roundup,’ imagined by Ruth Starr Rose and on loan to the Executive Mansion from The Chrysler Museum of Art, captures the joy and liveliness of an island tradition that is beloved by our family and countless others. To see the painting in person, visit the Executive Mansion for tours on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


July 21, 2023

Docent Shoutout: Catie Beth

As a rising high school senior, Catie Beth is making #homehistory serving as the Executive Mansion’s youngest docent! Since the age of 15, she has connected visitors with the Mansion’s history and volunteers to be more deeply involved in her community. For more information about the Executive Mansion’s docent program, email the Mansion Team at


July 18, 2023

Chef Ed's Creamy Gazpacho

The Executive Mansion culinary team is committed to utilizing crops and produce from Virginia’s local farms and growers. Luckily, fresh ingredients are never far! Made from Mansion garden-grown cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, scallions and basil, this creamy gazpacho is a savory example of Virginia’s robust agricultural #homehistory. Click the link to download a PDF of Ed's Creamy Gazpacho Recipe!

A silver sign with black lettering reads:

July 13, 2023

Virginia's Historic Highway Marker Program

Dating back to 1927, Virginia’s historic Highway Marker Program is the nation’s oldest program of its kind. In 2012, the Department of Historic Resources installed a historic marker outside the Executive Mansion to recognize its status as a National Historic Landmark, reminding visitors and guests of the storied #homehistory within its gates. Stop by the Mansion for a tour on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and visit the Virginia Department of Historic Resources website to learn more about Virginia’s historic Highway Marker Program!

A painting of a woman wearing a red and white head scarf peering over the side of a ferry looking down onto a sea of blue water. Painted by Barclay Sheaks.

July 10, 2023

Barclay Sheaks' Painting 'Watcher by the Rail'

Virginia artist Barclay Sheaks’ breathtaking and serene painting ‘Watcher by the Rail’ made #homehistory by being featured in The Art Experience at the Executive Mansion. Featuring Sheaks’ wife, Edna, the painting was part of the “Watcher” series — a collection depicting ferry passengers peering attentively at the water. Sheaks’ work is inspired by the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay and a river in Poquoson. To learn more about Sheaks and other works in The Art Experience, head to the Art Experience tab or visit the Executive Mansion in person each Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Governor and General Crenshaw pose with Major General Timothy P. Williams and wife, Cheryl Williams.

July 6, 2023

Honoring the Service and Retirement of Major General Timothy P. Williams

The First Family is immensely grateful for Major General Timothy P. Williams, Virginia’s Adjutant General for the past nine years. Throughout his 38 years of dedicated military service, Major General Williams exemplified the Commonwealth’s longstanding #homehistory of first-rate service and leadership. Congrats on retirement!

Charles Willson Peale's painting of a young George Washington.

July 4, 2023

Celebrating Independence Day

Years before he served as Commander in Chief or as the nation’s first President, while colonel in the Virginia militia, a young, regalia-laden George Washington was painted by Charles Willson Peale. Reimagined by Virginia artist Hattie Elizabeth Burdette, this 1932 painting now hangs in the Mansion Dining Room reminding us of Founding Father #homehistory makers who devoted their lives to establishing our country’s freedoms. To see this painting for yourself, visit the Executive Mansion for tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.

'James River: The Rapids' by Helen Crighton.

June 30, 2023

Helen Crighton's 'James River: The Rapids'

This James River Month, we admire the beauty and movement captured in Helen Crighton’s painting ‘James River: The Rapids.’ The James plays a vital role in Richmond’s #homehistory! To view ‘James River: The Rapids’ in person, visit the Executive Mansion from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays, or head to the Art Experience section to learn more!

First Lady Suzanne Youngkin hugs a guest at the Mansion's Juneteenth reception

June 19, 2023

The Mansion Celebrates Juneteenth

In a first at Virginia’s Executive Mansion, government leaders made #homehistory as more than 100 from across the Commonwealth gathered in the Mansion gardens to celebrate Juneteenth.  Alongside Secretary of the Commonwealth Kay Coles James, Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears, and others, Governor Glenn Youngkin and the First Lady hosted a celebration to mark the holiday with a Kona Ice truck, barbecue from Mr. Q’s BBQ, and lawn games. Wishing all a meaningful and memorable Juneteenth! 

Townes family Stephanie, Tutti, Cherry, and Martin stand together with the Executive Mansion garden behind them.

June 18, 2023

Happy Father's Day from the Townes Family

For more than ​5 decades, the Townes family has been at the heart of Virginia’s Executive Mansion’s #homehistory.  Today, father-son duo Tutti and Martin Townes work in tandem to uphold longstanding traditions of the home. With help from daughter and sister, Cherry, and wife and stepmother, Stephanie, the Townes family graces Governors and guests with hospitality and attention to detail.  Happy Father’s Day from the Executive Mansion family to yours!

a bronze King Neptune statue illuminated by the natural light from a window in the Executive Mansion.

June 9, 2023

Paul DiPasquale's 'King Neptune' Statue

In 2005, sculptor and artist Paul DiPasquale dedicated a 34-foot bronze statue of King Neptune to the city of Virginia Beach. The iconic figure honors Virginia Beach’s connection to marine life, naval endeavors, and dutiful protection of the Atlantic Ocean. In a nod to current Governor Glenn Youngkin’s hometown of Virginia and as part of the Art Experience at the Executive Mansion, a bronze maquette of the statue can be found on display in the Old Governor’s Office—a reminder of our coastal #homehistory. To learn more about this piece, visit the Art Experience tab.

A silver punch bowl filled with a floral arrangement on a white table cloth.

June 1, 2023

USS Virginia Silver Service

Visit Richmond’s Executive Mansion to see the spectacular, shining silver service — one of the most valued heirlooms in the Mansion’s long #homehistory. A donation of tradition to the USS Virginia by the Commonwealth in 1906, the silver spent time on the USS Richmond and the USS Roanoke, only to be eventually held in temporary storage in San Francisco. The Navy agreed to return the silver to Virginia in 1958, and in 2004, the Commonwealth of Virginia became the official owner of the 51-piece set. Visit the Executive Mansion in person on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or learn more in our website's Historical Features section!

Black and white photograph of 1940s era Navy sailors walking on a city street in Norfolk, Virginia.

May 29, 2023

A. Aubrey Bodine's Photo of U.S. Navy Sailors

This Memorial Day, The Executive Mansion honors the brave Virginians and Americans who have given the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our country and its people. Virginia’s military #homehistory is longstanding and continuous; today, Naval Station Norfolk is the world’s largest naval station, supporting 75 ships, 134 aircrafts and housing the largest concentration of U.S. Navy forces. This photo, taken by A. Aubrey Bodine in 1941, captures U.S. Navy sailors on a street in Norfolk during World War II and is part of the Art Experience at the Executive Mansion. 

A 1973 photo of Governor Holton and a group of Vietnam War POWs.

May 26, 2023

50 Year Anniversary of the Return of Virginia's Vietnam War POWs

As Memorial Day approaches, The Governor and First Lady reflect on the honor of hosting Vietnam POW veterans and their families at the Executive Mansion this spring. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War as well as the 1973 reception where then-Governor Holton welcomed these brave men home, The Executive Mansion made #homehistory with these heroes again. Special appreciation to Secretary of Defense and Veterans Affairs, General Craig Crenshaw, and all Virginians who have, or do, serve to protect freedom.

A painting of bluebells lining a path through a lush green forest. People are walking on the path.

May 24, 2023

Joyce Lee's 'Field Trip in Riverbend Park'

This Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we feature McLean Project for the Arts artist Joyce Lee. Making #homehistory, Lee’s Field Trip in Riverbend Park is the first piece painted by an Asian American Virginian to hang in the Executive Mansion through the Art Experience. Lee, who immigrated from South Korea to the U.S. at 19, captures the serenity and beauty of the bluebells in springtime at Riverbend Park in Great Falls, VA. Please visit Richmond’s Executive Mansion in person on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — or check out the Art Experience section — to view Lee’s Field Trip in Riverbend Park and other amazing works!

Stanley Bleifield's sketch of civil rights activist, Barbara Johns.

April 23, 2023

Barbara Johns Day

On this day in 1951, a 16 year-old girl led 450 of her classmates on a two-week strike against the unequal conditions at an all-Black high school in Farmville, Virginia. We recognize today as ‘Barbara Johns Day’ — honoring Johns’ bravery and heroism which contributed to the deconstruction of school segregation and reminds us that you are never too young to make #homehistory. Virginian Stanley Bleifield’s sketch of Johns currently hangs in the Executive Mansion’s ladies parlor. It is the inspiration for the Virginia Rights Memorial in Richmond’s Capitol Square. To learn more, visit the Art Experience tab!

Buffalo Gap, a painting by Horace Day.

April 22, 2023

Celebrating Earth Day through the Art Experience

Happy Earth Day! An important part of #homehistory at the Executive Mansion is captured in landscape paintings by talented Virginians. These works showcase the prolific beauty of Virginia’s mountains, waterways, forests, flora, beaches and more! Visit the Art Experience tab to discover more Virginia landscape paintings and others that are part of today’s, ever-evolving Art Experience at the Executive Mansion and read below to learn about Buffalo Gap and artist Horace Day.


Buffalo Gap is located west of Staunton, Virginia. This region was seldom celebrated in art until Horace Day started painting in the area. Day was a professor of art at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton. He taught jointly with his wife, Elizabeth Nottingham, who was also an artist. Day claimed to have painted at least once in every county in Virginia. He viewed himself as painting in the tradition of the old masters and was equally at ease with landscape, portraits, and still-life subjects. Buffalo Gap showcases a forgotten region, inspiring other artists to continue celebrating its beauty.

The Governor and First Lady pose in front of the floral arrangement in the Dining Room on Historic Garden Day.

April 21, 2023

90 Years of Virginia Historic Garden Week

Virginia’s home is blooming for Historic Garden Week! Celebrating its 90th birthday, Garden Club of Virginia's Historic Garden Week is the nation’s ONLY statewide house and garden tour and has been a part of the Executive Mansion’s #homehistory for decades. Proceeds from the week of festivities fund the restoration and preservation of Virginia’s historic public gardens. Thank you Boxwood Garden Club of Richmond and Tony Griffin for filling the Mansion grounds with beautiful flora from Capitol Square.

The interior of the Executive Mansion greenhouse.

April 14, 2023

The Executive Mansion Greenhouse

On National Gardening Day, spring has sprung in the Executive Mansion’s greenhouse — a fruitful part of #homehistory, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Virginia Grown. The greenhouse provides crops that are fresh-picked and used by chefs in the kitchen almost every day. Shout-out to Tony Griffin, DGS superstar, who stewards our greenhouse and gardens. Want to see what’s growing in Capitol Square? Visit us on Friday, April 21st from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during Historic Garden Week!

The Governor and First Lady pose with high school students from Petersburg, Virginia on the Executive Mansion front steps.

April 11 & 12, 2023

Visiting with Communities in Schools Petersburg

In partnership with Communities in Schools (CIS) of Petersburg, and with donated transport by Virginia State University buses, we welcomed #homehistory makers from Petersburg middle and high schools to Capitol Square. Students and educators toured the State Capitol as well as the Executive Mansion and picnicked on lunch donated by Chick-Fil-A. Students also took in art and history including William Clarke’s ‘School Bus’ and other paintings in the Art Experience that harken to education. Visit the Executive Mansion for your own tour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays and visit the Art Experience Section to learn more.

Little girls look for Easter eggs on the Executive Mansion front lawn.

April 4, 2023

Easter Egg Hunt

As the Executive Mansion builds #homehistory through holiday gatherings, Governor Glenn Youngkin and the First Lady welcomed VCU Children’s Hospital employees and their families, as well as guests from Doorways Richmond, to a second-annual Easter egg hunt. The dedicated hospital staff, nonprofit and some of the patients they serve were treated to Kona Ice and Uncle Dave’s Kettle Korn, games, art-making and even a visit from the Easter Bunny! May the sunshine of the afternoon spread to all Virginians as they celebrate spring holidays and the changing of seasons. 

Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears has a conversation with a young girl.

April 2, 2023

Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears

We applaud the fact that Virginia has its first, female Lieutenant Governor as well as the first Black female elected to statewide office.  #homeHERstory maker Winsome Earle-Sears has paved the way for millions of Women+girls (W+g)! During the last week of Women’s History Month, we unveiled Richmond artist Sukenya Best’s portrait of the Lieutenant Governor to be incorporated in to the Art Experience at the Executive Mansion. Head over to the Art Experience section to get a closer look at the portrait and to learn more about the artist and subject. 

Five female staff member of the Executive Mansion team pose in the dining room.

March 31, 2023

The Women of the Executive Mansion

For decades, women have been the backbone of the Executive Mansion’s conservation, history and function. In partnership, First Ladies and Virginia women’s club volunteers have served as docents for tours of the Executive Mansion — highlighting its rich and storied #homehistory. Today women are also key to a talented and dedicated Executive Mansion team!

A painting by Queena Stovall depicting a baptism by a river.

March 24, 2023

Artist Queena Stovall

Queena Stovall began painting at the age of 62, reminding women that it is never too late to follow their dreams. Stovall independently developed the techniques that established her unique painting style. Stovall’s art documented the lives and experiences of her community in rural Amherst County, as seen in her painting ‘Baptizing in Pedlar River’ on loan from The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. To learn more about Queena and her painting, head to the Art Experience tab and join us this Women’s History Month as we celebrate the women who have enriched and strengthened our Commonwealth’s #homehistory.

A portrait of Pocahontas wearing traditional English dress.

March 21, 2023

Honoring Pocahontas' Legacy

On Pocahontas Day, we remember the daughter of Paramount Chief Powhatan, Pocahontas, who acted as emissary for her people in Jamestown and England and was captured in 1614 by the English. Pocahontas died in England at the age of 20, where her funeral was held on March 21st, 1617. Over 400 years later, Pocahontas remains an esteemed aspect of our #homehistory and holds a place of honor in the Ladies’ Parlor at the Executive Mansion.

Painting by Maria Reardon featuring a red tractor being operated by a man in a cap and blue shirt.

March 16, 2023

Artist Maria Reardon's 'Plein Air' Paintings

This Agricultural Literacy Week, we highlight artist and Virginia native Maria Reardon. Reardon captures her observations of VA in the ‘plein air’ tradition and continues to make #homehistory by teaching painting classes at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Tuckahoe Women’s Club. To learn more about Reardon and her paintings ‘At the Tractor Pull’ and ‘Rodeo Pair’, visit the Art Experience tab

A framed portrait of Governor James Barbour.

March 12, 2023

210 Years of the Executive Mansion

On March 12, 1813, Governor James Barbour made #homehistory when he became the first person to move into Virginia’s Executive Mansion. Over the past 210 years, the Executive Mansion has undergone numerous renovations and improvements but through them all, one thing has remained true: The Executive Mansion will always be Virginia’s home. Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin are deeply honored to be the 57th occupants of this historic residence and are dedicated to its enrichment and conservation.

A portrait of Virginia Claiborne by Adele Clark.

March 11, 2023

Women's and Civil Rights Activists Virginia Claiborne and Adele Clarke

The Ladies’ Parlor at the Executive Mansion boasts artwork that is making #homehistory by paying homage to Virginia’s women changemakers. This Women's History Month, we highlight a portrait of Virginia Claiborne — an activist for women’s education and occupational opportunity and early director of The Valentine Museum. The portrait was painted by Virginia’s Adele Clarke, a founding member of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia and an advocate for the desegregation of schools.

The Curtsey, painting by Antoinette Hale.

March 3, 2023

The Curtsey by Artist Antoinette Hale

African American artist Antoinette Hale grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, attended Virginia State University, and gathered inspiration for her paintings from her Virginia roots. Her work, “The Curtsey”, is on loan to the Executive Mansion from Roanoke’s Taubman Museum and highlights Hale’s interpretation of a ‘50’s annual cotillion.  It and other works by minority artists contribute to the Executive Mansion’s #homehistory. To view art celebrating Black History Month and upcoming Women’s History Month, visit in person on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or on the Art Experience section of our website.

Black and white photo of Professor Frank Trigg.

February 24, 2023

Professor Frank Trigg

During Black History Month, we amplify the African American stories that make up our #homehistory. One such story is that of Professor Frank Trigg. Born into slavery at the Executive Mansion in 1850, he tragically lost his arm at age 14 in an accident. Through perseverance and at the conclusion of the Civil War, Trigg enrolled in Hampton Institute where he befriended Booker T. Washington. During a long career of accomplishments in education, Trigg was tapped as the first African American supervisor for the Lynchburg Public School System, co-founded the all-Black Virginia Teachers Association and went on to become the president of several institutions along the east coast.

Portrait of George Washington in a gold frame.

February 20, 2023

Virginia: The Mother of Presidents

Nicknamed ‘The Mother of Presidents’, Virginia was the birthplace of four out of the first five presidents and eight presidents in total, three of which served as the state’s governor first! A legacy of service is part of the Commonwealth’s impressive #homehistory! Learn more about the Virginia natives who went on to become heads of state.

An old photo of Governor Wilder and toasting his daughter, Loren, wearing a white wedding dress.

February 17, 2023

Weddings at the Executive Mansion

In the Executive Mansion’s #homehistory, there have been less than a dozen nuptials with one of the more recent celebrations taking place in 1993 when Governor Wilder’s daughter, Loren, married Dr. Edward James. After a ceremony held at close-by St. Paul’s Church, the couple rode to the Mansion reception in a horse-drawn carriage.

Other wedding receptions at the Executive Mansion included the marriage of butler Winston H. Edmunds and Jennie Leigh in 1893 (Governor McKinney’s term), and the marriage of several governor’s daughters: Governor Pollard’s (1930-1934) daughter Suzanne Pollard and Herbert Lee Boatright, Jr in 1931, Governor Harrison’s (1962-1966) daughter Antoinette Harrison and James C. Jamison in 1963, Governor Dalton’s (1978-1982) daughter Katherine Dalton and David B. Mika in 1980, and Governor McDonnell’s (2010-2014) daughter, Caitlin McDonnell and Christopher Young in 2011.

Governor Youngkin and the First Lady lean in for a kiss as they each hold one of their dogs, Bo and Belle, in front of large letters 'L' and 'O'.

February 14, 2023

Virginia is for Lovers

The 74th First Family, Bo and Belle included, are loving serving Virginians and wish each and every one a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Did you know that ‘Virginia is for History Lovers’ was almost the state slogan but was shortened to allow citizens and visitors to choose what they love most about the state?

In 1969, the Virginia State Travel Service (now named the Virginia Tourism Corporation) hired Richmond advertising agency Martin & Woltz Inc. After a copywriter came up with the tagline “Virginia is for history lovers,” the idea being that advertisers could swap out the word ‘history’ for different ads featuring the state’s mountains or beaches, Martin and Woltz decided the phrase had the potential to restrict opportunities. The slogan was then edited down to “Virginia is for Lovers,” and the rest is #homehistory!

An artist stands next to his colorful painting.

February 10, 2023

Blackstone, Virginia artist William Clarke

The Executive Mansion’s Art Experience is making #homehistory by offering a richly diverse collection of Virginians’ works. One example is William H. Clarke, a folk artist based in Blackstone, Virginia who narrates rural African American heritage of old tobacco farming, country stores, baptisms, funerals and the daily life of his childhood. Watch Caroline Coleburn’s story on William Clarke, featuring an interview with First Lady Suzanne Youngkin and check out Clarke’s paintings, Higher Ground and School Bus, on the Art Experience tab.

A stylized portrait of Abraham Lincoln.

February 1, 2023

A.B. Jackson’s 'Portrait of Abraham Lincoln'

The Executive Mansion is excited to welcome #homehistory makers and our newest art partners, HBCU Hampton University, with their generous loan of artist A. B. Jackson’s Portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Jackson taught at Norfolk State University, moving on to Old Dominion University ten years later where he became the school’s first black faculty member. African American artists such as A.B. Jackson and their contributions are critical to the Executive Mansion’s #homehistory and the purpose of the Art Experience. To learn more about A.B. Jackson, read below.

A. B. Jackson was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of a black father and an English mother who was born in Manchester, England. He earned BFA and MFA degrees from Yale University, studying with Josef Albers in the mid-1950s. During his teaching years, Jackson also exhibited his art in many local and neighboring venues. After being denied entry to the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art show in 1962 because of his race, he won best-in-show there in 1966. He received significant attention in 1968 when several of his drawings were included in a Smithsonian Institution traveling art exhibition. Influenced by Rembrandt, Jackson worked in a range of materials, including watercolors, pastels, charcoal and acrylic.

A terracotta plate and vase with Native American symbolism.

January 24, 2023

Native American artifacts at the Executive Mansion

Executive Mansion artifacts are an important part of our #homehistory. One example are gifts to the Governor from the Pamunkey Indian tribe celebrating the annual tax tradition — a treaty of 1646 between Virginia Indians and representatives of the King of England. These ceramic items include story symbolism incorporating flying geese, peace pipes, furs presented for good luck and more.

Story Translation:

On a given date (which is) the flying of the geese, the Indians go on trail to meet the white men (and) with the same thought in mind to agree to smoke the pipe of peace and present treaty furs to meet terms of the treaty and wish white man good luck.

Three people standing, looking to the right with paintings in the background.

January 9, 2023

Docents at the Executive Mansion

In 1970, Mrs. Linwood Holton opened the Mansion to docent-led tours, starting a volunteer system that lives on 50 years later. Executive Mansion Head Docent Cathy Pemberton has been guiding tours at Virginia’s home for more than four years. “It’s such a privilege to be able to share this house with visitors from Virginia and all parts of the country, sometimes even from different countries. I love this house: the stories, the furniture, the art and architecture. It's rich with history,” says Pemberton. Interested in becoming an expert in #homehistory? E-mail Cathy at for more information on how to become a docent.