Join us for the Holsinger Studio Family Celebration on June 11

By Molly Minturn | June 5, 2023

Family Day banner


There are only  a few more weeks to catch “Visions of Progress: Portraits of Dignity, Style, and Racial Uplift,” UVA Library’s vibrant exhibition that showcases portraits that African Americans in central Virginia commissioned from the Holsinger Studio during the first decades of the 20th century. Curated by UVA associate professor of history John Edwin Mason, the exhibition has garnered national media attention and drawn thousands of visitors to the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. It closes on June 24.

To celebrate the exhibition’s final weeks, join UVA Library and the Holsinger Studio Portrait Project at a Family Day celebration on June 11 from 1-4 p.m., located in the Small Special Collections Library. Supported by a grant from the Jefferson Trust, Family Day activities include:

  • Tintype portraits by Richmond-based photographer Em White: Registration via Eventbrite required; reservations open today (Monday, June 5) at noon.
  • A portrait studio printing post-modern cartes-de-visite (popular 19th-century calling cards) in the exhibition’s Main Gallery.
  • A Historic Clothing Collection show-and-tell from 1-3 p.m. with Collection Manager [HJP(1] Marcy Linton, featuring garments from the Holsinger Studio era.
  • A visit from the Free Book Bus from 1-3 p.m. at 170 McCormick Road.
  • Storytime readings from local celebrities (including musicians and newscasters), featuring books about photography and portraiture.
  • A “Zine Jam” workshop for tweens and teens with “Women Making Bookscurator Annyston Pennington. Cut, paste, write, and create to make your own zine. (“Women Making Books,” located in the First Floor Gallery in the Small Special Collections Library, closes June 11.)
  • Snacks, make your own portrait, Holsinger Studio coloring books, and more!
  • Free parking in the Central Grounds Garage all day.

“It’s going to be hard to close and deinstall ‘Visions of Progress’ — there has been so much community interest and a steady flow of visitors and joy in our gallery,” said Holly Robertson, Curator of University Library Exhibitions. “We want to end on a high note, and we hope families will bring their kids to experience the exhibition as portrait sitters. And we hope everyone walks away with a sense of pride and understanding when thinking about the Black portrait sitters at the Holsinger Studio one hundred years ago.”

What’s next for UVA Library’s exhibition program? “It’s time to look back at the Harlem Renaissance,” Robertson said. “Get out your flapper dresses and zoot suits because we’re going to have a costume party for the opening of ‘Their World As Big As They Made It: Looking Back at the Harlem Renaissance’ on Wednesday, September 13!”

For more information about the Family Day celebration, visit the Holsinger Studio Portrait Project Page, or email