Don't miss out on any of our upcoming events this year! Check out the Events page for more information.
VMFA Group Visit: "Napoleon: Power and Splendor"
August 18, 2018The RSV delighted in a large turnout of members and friends to our organized group visit to see the American debut of the exhibition, "Napoleon: Power and Splendor." Prior to arrival, we had asked the museum if people might attend in period attire and we had a fair portion of our group kitted out in their "First Empire" finery. The exhibition displays art and material culture artifacts either owned by or about the Emperor of the French whose military and political maneuverings played a role in the upheaval in Europe during the first decades of the 19th century. Objects of all varieties--from portraiture to weaponry to wallcoverings--graced gallery after gallery. Even the staging of these far-from-everyday artifacts was impressive with the exhibit exiting to a room where museum-goers could sit in an "imperial throne" and see their image projected into a suitably regal frame. Thank you to everyone who joined us for this truly amazing look at the objects behind the Emperor. Be sure to look at our pictures on Facebook!
August 11, 2018Who knew such a simple garment could be so versatile?!? Ladies of the Regency Society of Virginia gathered in Williamsburg to discover the wonders of this fabulous piece of early 19th century attire. Our instructor, Kimberly Costa, shared images from fashion plates and portraits to demonstrate how the shortgown could be transformed from practical work-a-day clothing to fabulous evening wear before leading us through the measuring, cutting and construction of our garments. Both machine and hand sewing was welcome and there was a busy but pleasant hum throughout the room during the whole of the workshop while participants crafted and chatted. We were delighted to have filled our workshop to capacity and excited that everyone got to go home with an nearly-finished shortgown. Thanks once more to Kim for her excellent instruction and we look forward to seeing the finished shortgowns at RSV events in the future! Want to see what was going on at the workshop? Check out our pictures on Facebook!
Family Fun Day at Francis Land House
July 7, 2018We were disappointed when we learned that the Virginia Beach Museums' planned program on the famous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr had been cancelled, however, several of our members came out to support the Francis Land House's "Family Fun Day" that went forward despite the change in plans. Unlike most July events in Virginia, the weather astonished us by remaining under 80 degrees! Pleasant as those temperatures were, however, they also came with strong gusts of wind which chased us indoors after throwing our outdoor displays across the lawn and threatening to bring our shelter crashing down around us. We had the opportunity to speak with several visitors about life in the early 19th century as well as indulge ourselves in visiting with one another and playing a few hands of whist. Ultimately, we passed a very enjoyable day and we thank the Francis Land House for their hospitality. To see a few pictures from the event, be sure to check out our Facebook album!
Battle of Craney Island
June 23-24, 2018Even though the weather made a valiant attempt to turn folks off from this event with discouraging forecasts, Friday evening deluges, and scattered showers throughout the weekend, the intrepid participants who gathered at Fort Norfolk to commemorate the 1813 Battle of Craney Island were not daunted. Soldiers, sailors, and civilians at the historic site shared the history of the War of 1812 and those who lived through it with the visitors who attended. Our friends with the Fort Norfolk Garrison hosted several organizations and offered firing demonstrations, a skirmish, period medical demonstrations, and more to the public, as well as offering meals and a tavern night to those who turned out to support the event. The significance of this battle is often overshadowed by other events during the war and it is a privilege to have taken a small part in helping to increase the locality's awareness of it. See a few of the pictures and video that were taken at the event by visiting our Facebook page.
19th Century Fashion Show
June 23, 2018Many thanks to all of the RSV members and friends who gave of their time and their wardrobes to support the Hunter House Victorian Museum's 19th Century Fashion show! With the help of these volunteers, the RSV was able to help cover the first four decades of the 19th century with women's, men's, and children's clothing (and even dipped our toes into the later part of the Victorian era with one entry!) to the delight of the assembled guests. Afterwards, several of the participants were able to partake of a delicious lunch held at the show's venue, Freemason Abbey. (And after that, several of us repaired to the Hunter House to change into appropriately c. 1813 garb for the nearby Battle of Craney Island event!) Thanks to the assistance of our volunteers, the museum was able to raise money to help fund its mission and we are delighted to have been a part of helping preserve history! Make sure you visit our Facebook album to see some of the garments that were worn by our RSV folks for the show!
1818 Wedding at Caledon
May 19, 2018
Despite the rain and despite the competition from another wedding of some popularity the same day (thanks, Harry and Meghan), the RSV celebrated the anniversary of the nuptials of Gustavas Brown and Sarah Stuart on the property where the couple made their home 200 years ago. Our recreation was forced indoors by the somewhat messy weather but spirits were high. There was a break enough in the rain that we were able to get outside for a few pictures of the "wedding party" prior to the recreation of the ceremony itself. The rest of the afternoon was spent talking to those visitors who were brave enough to venture out as well as visiting with one another (such as our friends from the Maryland Federal Era/Regency Society) and doing other activities such as writing, gaming, and dancing. It was certainly a unique event and we thank the Caledon State Park for inviting us to participate! To get a glimpse at some of the photos that were taken that day, head over to our album on Facebook! (You don't need to have a Facebook account to see them!)
Garden Party at Bacon's Castle
April 28, 2018
Virginia's Historic Garden Week concluded in southeastern Virginia with absolutely gorgeous weather and several members of the Regency Society of Virginia were able to enjoy a perfect spring day outside while introducing the visitors to Bacon's Castle to a little bit of the past. The RSV wasn't the only group in attendance, however. We began our morning by watching a parade of sports cars come down the drive of the 17th century manor house only to be told that the Ferrari Club of America had arrived. One of the members remained back with the vehicles and very generously offered to let us pose with "horses" that would have stunned our early 19th century counterparts. The remainder of the day was filled with lounging under the shade of one of the trees near the house, strolling about the beautiful grounds, playing period games, and listening to the lovely Irish harp music Mrs. Kennedy so kindly played for us. The day passed remarkably quickly and we look forward to our next out-of-doors event (with hopes that the weather will be just as glorious!). Thank you so very much to Preservation Virginia's Bacon's Castle for the invitation. Make sure to check out our album on Facebook to see some of the pictures from our day out at Bacon's Castle!
"It Was a Fine Family-Piece: Dining with the Elliots, Musgroves, and Harvilles"
February 10, 2018Several members and friends of the RSV gathered in Williamsburg for an afternoon of learning about how people ate during the early 19th century across class lines. Our guide for this delicious trip into the past was Colonial Williamsburg Historic Foodways Journeyman (and RSV member!) Kimberly Costa. In her informative program, Mrs. Costa led us through Regency era kitchens, dispelled several commonly-heard myths about period dining, discussed the types of foods that each of the various economic classes would have been eating, and spoke to what would be expected at the table--from dining time to dishes! Following the lecture portion of the event, everyone was invited to create a confection suitable for the most elegant sort of table: a marzipan hedgehog! All ages in attendance had a wonderful time shaping and decorating these delightful edible sculptures. Thank you again to Kim for sharing her expertise and leading a superb event! To see pictures, don't miss our album on Facebook!
An Evening of Theater: Pride and Prejudice at the Wells
January 27, 2018
What an amazing evening! One would think that going to see an adaptation of the classic Austen novel would be treat enough, but to see it in a stunning and intimate theater surrounded by friends in period attire was beyond compare! Even before the show began, we were anticipating a fun night. How charming it was to see person after person enter the theater lobby in their period finest...and even moreso when it afforded us the opportunity to meet quite a few new people. There was much lively conversation--among ourselves as well as with other theater patrons curious about our group--and it was thrilling to enter the theater at last only to see the seats filled with handsome ladies and dapper gentlemen. Some of our number were fortunate enough to secure box seats which added even more to the period feel of going to the theater. The play itself was well executed and the cast was superb. After the show, we were able to speak with the cast and get a group shot with them which simply enhanced the evening. Many thanks to the Virginia Stage Company and the Wells Theater for all of their help in making this a wonderful night! If you weren't able to be there, do be sure to look at the pictures on Facebook!
RSV Annual Business Meeting
January 14, 2018
Fifth Annual Twelfth Night Dinner
January 13, 2017