The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum
In 1839, a group of gentlemen calling themselves The Alexandria Lyceum joined with the Alexandria Library Company to build a grand hall to provide a place for lectures, scientific experiments and quiet reading.
Eventually, the building itself became known as The Lyceum and, since that time, it has been a Civil War hospital, a private home, an office building and the nation's first Bicentennial Center. In 1985, The Lyceum became Alexandria's History Museum, providing exhibitions, school programs, lectures and concerts, volunteer opportunities and space for rental functions for the community. The Lyceum Museum Shop carries a wide variety of maps, books, note cards and special items related to Alexandria's history. The present-day Lyceum Company serves the museum as a membership and fund-raising organization.
Join us Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. for this special holiday lecture! In the early 20th century, Christmas postcards were one of the most popular tokens of holiday greetings in America. Today we are given a window into how images of Santa, mistletoe, and snowy landscapes were used to address everything from shifting gender roles to the growth of cities to concerns over immigration. Author and Smithsonian historian Daniel Gifford gives us a cultural historian’s tour through the beautiful, amusing, and often unexpected world of Christmas postcards. Tickets are $5 per person, and are available for purchase in the online shop. For more information call The Lyceum at 703-746-4994.
On Sunday, December 14, join the Colonial Handbell Ringers as they present their festive holiday musical show! Get into the holiday spirit as you listen – and sing along – with their performance of holiday classics using a long set of Whitechapel bells. One-hour shows at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Free, but reservations are required.
The Lyceum will be closed to the public on Thursday, November 27 for Thanksgiving, on Wednesday, December 24 and Thursday, December 25 for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and on Thursday, January 1 for New Year's Day.
This teapot, in The Lyceum’s Howard W. Smith, Jr. Collection, demonstrates the beautiful and high quality work produced by Charles A. Burnett. Burnett, born in Virginia in 1769 was working by 1790. Although the reference has been lost, according to tradition he advertised in Alexandria in 1793. Burnett moved his shop to Georgetown by 1800, where he produced and retailed silver for close to fifty years.
Download the latest issue of our digital newsletter for The Lyceum and Friendship Firehouse Museum here.