Tag Archives: Photography

Chasing the Illusive Image

Chasing the Illusive Image: The Origins, Identification, and Care of Antique Photographs
Jeffrey W. Allison, VMFA

July 10, 2014 at 6:00 pm at the Menokin Visitor’s Center.
Cost is $10 per person.
Light refreshments will be provided.

This exciting opportunity being offered by Menokin, in conjunction with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, will interest history buffs and photographers alike, as well as those folks interested in genealogy.

In this lecture, Chasing the Illusive Image: The Origins, Identification, and Care of Antique PhotographsJeffrey W. Allison, photography historian and Manager of Statewide Programs and Exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, will discuss the history of photography and how to identify and care for the various types of old photographs in your own collection. He will also share information on how to determine the year a photograph was made and share examples of historic photographic processes.

Participants will view examples of early photograph, including a wonderful Daguerreotype from 1844, and learn the differences between that and later Ambrotypes and Tintypes.

"Rockland" - home of Menokin's Assistant Director, Leslie Rennolds.

“Rockland” –  I will be submitting this picture of my husband’s ancestral home, where we now live. Can’t wait to find out what year it was taken to see if we can figure out who’s in the photograph.

Bring your own photographs to share with Mr. Allison and other attendees. You’ll leave this interactive session with a sound basis on how to identify photographs using information provided in handouts, reference websites and book titles used by Allison in his work with the VMFA.

This includes tips for proper care and storage of various kinds of antique photographs and negatives, as well as the storage and preservation of today’s digital images, which are in greater danger of being lost than any of the 100-year-old images people are likely to own.

The Menokin Foundation is a Statewide Community Partner of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The collaboration allows Menokin to offer cultural and educational programs provided by the VMFA to our local community.

Own a piece of Menokin. Buy a chance to win this lovely artwork.

At this year’s Menokin Music Festival you will have the chance to win this beautifully framed and signed print of an architectural detail of the house. Photographed by Hullihen Williams Moore, author and photographer of Shenandoah, Views Of Our National Park, this print captures, in minute detail, the organic texture of the materials and craftsmanship that are part of Menokin’s mystique.

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One chance at a win will cost you $10. But feel free to improve your odds! Raffle tickets are available for purchase at the Menokin visitor’s center, and are part of your ticket stub for the Music Festival.


Menokin’s Tenant House

The Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society posted a photograph of the remnants of a chimney from a tenant house on the Menokin property that sparked a discussion about the structure. This led to the eventual question about who had lived there. The NVHS called me to inquire…

Sarah dug up a 1985 National Register Assessment of Menokin and shared with me a transcript of an oral history interview done with Mr. Omohundro who was the last private owner of the property. His recollections are interesting, and I have posted a PDF of this on our website if you’d like to read it.

In the meantime, I thought I would share a few photos of the chimney. As are most vistas at Menokin, this structure is romantic and mysterious and makes a wonderful photographic subject.

We’d love for you to share any photos you have, or stories that you may know about people who may have lived in the tenant house.

(c) 2013 Hullihen Williams Moore
(c) 2013 Hullihen Williams Moore
Chimney and daffodils
(c) 2013 Hullihen Williams Moore


Plan. Point. Click. Shoot. – Photography Workshop at Menokin

On Saturday afternoon, members of the Rappahannock Art League’s Photography Group gathered at Menokin for an enriching afternoon of philosophy and photography.

Hullie Moore – photographer, thinker, teacher, Menokin Trustee and all-around-great guy – shared his time and expertise with the group. I was unfortunately unable to attend, but I would like to share the email I received from Micki Clay, the Photography Group’s Coordinator and a fabulous photographer in her own rite.

Here is a picture I took of Hullie last year when he and his camera were just beginning their love affair with Menokin.
Here is a picture I took of Hullie last year when he and his camera were just beginning their love affair with Menokin.

We had a marvelous afternoon with Hullie at Menokin yesterday. He packed more truly useful information into his 25-minute talk than any photography presentation I’ve ever seen, and he did it in a witty, warm, and engaging manner. He put us at ease instantly.

He worked with each one of us…encouraging us to use our tripods and sharing his with those who hadn’t brought theirs, pointing out interesting subjects and perspectives, viewing our shots and suggesting composition and setting tweaks to get it just so, gently prodding us to stick with it, so the day would yield one or two really good images instead of a bunch of throwaway snapshots.

I am just starting to put a lot more thought and planning into my photography. It’s a little daunting after years of snapping away, hoping that so much quantity would yield a few quality keepers. But, as Hullie said yesterday, you actually make your own luck, by scouting your subject and figuring out when and how to shoot it before you even pick up your camera. Doing just that with Hullie at Menokin yesterday was a transformative experience.

Thank you again for giving us this exceptional experience,


If you’re photography group is interested in organizing a workshop at Menokin, contact me at lrennolds@menokin.org.

Menokin Photo Contest Reception Was A Picture Perfect Evening.

Menokin staff, trustees, friends and photo contest participants gathered on a dark Friday evening to enjoy the results of the first ever Menokin Photography Contest.

Participants gathered from as far away as Gloucester and Northern Virginia to view the winning entries judged by Hullihen (Hullie) Williams Moore. Photos from three categories – architecture, landscape and wildlife – were judged on composition, quality and creativity. Each category was beautifully represented with winners as follows:

Check back later in the week for a slide show of the reception.

Our next photo contest will be announced soon.

You’re Invited

Menokin Is Hosting A Reception and Show of Entries from the
Menokin Photography Contest

Please join the Menokin staff, contestants, trustees and contest judge Hullihen Williams Moore on the evening of November 30, 2012 from 6 pm until 8 pm for a light wine and cheese reception and the results of the Menokin Photography Contest.

On display will be selected works by Mr. Moore from his collection of Menokin photographs.

There is no fee to attend, but a reservation is required. Please respond to menokin@menokin.org or by calling 804.333.1776 no later than November 26, 2012.

The reception will be held in the Martin Kirwan King Visitor’s Center at Menokin, located at 4037 Menokin Road, Warsaw, VA.

Menokin photography contest deadline extended to November 15

What were we thinking? Having an October 15th submission deadline completely rules out the beautiful fall foliage for the photo contest.

So we have our heads screwed on straight now, and have extended the deadline for submissions to November 15th. The reception will take place on November 30th. All other rules still apply.

Come on by. The property is open, even when the Visitor’s Center is not.



Menokin Photography Contest Deadline is Approaching

Just a reminder that the deadline for entries for the Menokin Photography Contest is October 15th.

This beautiful fall weather is the perfect time to come to Menokin and take pictures. The property is open even when the Visitor’s Center is not.

Can’t wait to get your entries!

Coming through the gate at Menokin makes you immediately slow down and relax.


The Give and Take of Indian Pipe

Yesterday, a visitor spent long hours in the morning hiking the trails of Menokin. She shared this photograph of Indian Pipe that she found growing along the trail.

Indian Pipe (photo by Beth Sanders)

I did a little research and found out some interesting facts about Indian Pipe.

  • Indian Pipe doesn’t have chlorophyll, the stuff that makes plants green. It is a waxy, whitish color (though this plant is a lovely shade of pink). It turns black when it gets old.
  • Indian Pipe is usually seen from June to September. It grows in shady woods with rich soil and decaying plant matter. This plant is often found near dead stumps.
  • Since Indian Pipe has no chlorophyl, it can’t make its own food like most plants. Therefore, it has to “borrow” nutrients, either from decaying plant matter, or from another organism, such as a fungus.
  • Meanwhile, the fungus itself has another relationship going on with a tree. The fungus’s mycelia also tap into the tree’s roots. Many fungi and trees have this type of relationship — it’s called a “mycorrhizal relationship.” The fungus gives nutrients to the tree and the tree gives nutrients to the fungus. Both organisms help each other out.
  • Even though Indian Pipe gives nothing back to the fungus or the tree, it is a food source for small bumble bees, which visit flowers for nectar. The bees return the favor by pollinating the Indian Pipe. 

You are probably already humming the “Circle of Life” Lion King theme song in your head or out loud by now. Hope you have enjoyed this little nature lesson. Share your own photos of Indian Pipe if you have them.