Slater Memorial Museum’s Victorian Valentine’s Card Making Event


Justine Liang, Staff Writer

Slater Memorial Museum is a historical building at Norwich Free Academy showcasing a variety of art ranging from sculptures to paintings. They often host events such as the Victorian Valentine Event where people dressed in Victorian attire and made Valentine’s Day cards.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, Slater Memorial Museum held their annual Valentine’s Day Event. The afternoon of February 9th, students and families from the community came to Slater Museum to make Valentine’s Day Cards for their loved ones. People were even encouraged to dress in Victorian attire. All craft materials and food were provided at the event.

“We do them [the Valentine´s] because we want people to engage with art. We want people to understand the very creative and natural process of creating art. We also want to teach people a little bit about the origins of some of our customs, and in this case, where Valentine making came from,” said Dayne Rugh, Director of Education for Slater Memorial Museum. 

Valentine’s Day is a known holiday around the world where we express our love for others through gift exchange, however it was not always the case.

“It’s [the Valentine’s Card Day event] mainly about teaching people the origins of the holiday, Valentine’s Day, which has been around for many years, but has changed over the course of centuries. When Valentine’s Day was made a holiday, … [approximately a] thousands years ago… it was very different. Nowadays, it looks almost the exact opposite of what it used to be,” said Rugh. 

The museum hosts many events like the Victorian Valentine’s Event which are open to the public. They have held a woodworking shop where attendees hand made pencils. They even have their annual exhibition that has been going on for over 130 years, where they feature student artwork in the Converse Gallery. 

“Today we are making Victorian Valentines, and we want people to be creative in creating these Valentines. We have all sorts of accessories and different materials that people can use to give a little bit of flare to their Valentines,” said Rugh.

Rugh, has worked at Slater Memorial Museum for many years. Some of his favorite aspects about working at the museum is the collection of art, but most of all, being able to see the smiles of the visitors. 

“My favorite thing is that there is always something new going on. There is never a dull moment, and I love working with such an amazing collection, as well as being able to show people how amazing the museum is. When I see people get excited about learning something that is related to their community, it is the best reaction I could see, and that’s the reason why I do what I do,” said Rugh.

Slater Memorial Museum has been open since 1888 and has provided people with the opportunity to view fine pieces of art from all over the world such as Asia, Africa, America, and Europe. 

“We feature just about any type of artwork you can imagine, from 3D sculptures to 2D paintings, drawings, and furniture,” said Rugh.

Slater Memorial Museum often has visitors coming to Norwich Free Academy to view their art collection and to attend the various events like the Valentine’s Day Card event. These events are a great way to get involved in the community, and learn about history.