Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester

#1 of 32 in Things to do in Winchester
Art Museum · Hidden Gem · History Museum

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

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523 reviews
  • Nice Museum! Enjoyed the the Norman Rockwell exhibit immensely. We loved the gardens too. Beautiful grounds with nice Japanese garden  more »
  • I visited the MSV to walk the newly opened trail and was not disappointed. It was really nice. Had some great climbing trees for kids, sculptures, a silo with a bird mobile inside. The main building.....  more »
  • What a delightful place to spend the day. A beautiful building filled with well done exhibits. I will have to come back again to see it all. The historic home and gardens provide a shady spot to picnic and stroll. I'm excited to see the new walking trails that are under construction. The campus will eventually provide the largest green space in Winchester.
  • Wonderful museum. Entry way has a revolving display of art by local and VA artists. Main museum has displays giving a rich history of the area and the influential figures. Can spend quite a while viewing and exploring the miniature house exhibit. Also has a changing exhibit which has featured famous comic book art, the dresses of famous heroines from movies through history and many other inspiring collections. Don't forget to check out the Glen Burnie House and Gardens.

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