Valentine Museum debuts walkable Monument Ave. tour with smartglasses

The Valentine Museum's new exhibit with utilize augmented reality, or AR, smartglasses.
The Valentine Museum's new exhibit with utilize augmented reality, or AR, smartglasses.(The Valentine Museum)
Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 12:39 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Valentine Museum is unveiling a walking tour of Monument Avenue, telling stories of Confederate monuments and the historic district through transparent smartglasses.

“Monument Avenue: Origins and Reverberations” begins in July through a partnership with ARtGlass, a Richmond-based company promoting wearable products utilizing augmented reality, or AR.

The guided tour will use dynamic 3D visuals and audio layered over real-life views of the neighborhood, according to a release from the Valentine Museum. The tour begins with period photographs from the monuments’ construction and traces the neighborhood through last summer’s protestor-led removal.

“We’re committed to offering our guests new ways to engage with history,” said Liz Reilly-Brown, director of education and engagement at the Valentine Museum. “Wearable AR brings the past to visitors’ present in a way that is immersive, moving, and informative.”

ARtGlass has donated its services. The tour will be available for free to Richmond Public Schools and Title I students, due to funding from the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, the Jackson Foundation, the Moses D. Nunnally, Jr. Charitable Trust, the REB Foundation, the Shelton Hardaway Short, Jr. Trust, VCU Health and Wells Fargo.

Tours will begin Saturday, July 24 and Saturday, July 31 at 10 a.m.

Future tour dates will be available on the Valentine’s online calendar, found here.

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