Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

Tenacity: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia

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Riggs Ward worked with Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation to design an exhibit focusing on women and their role in Virginia’s history. Women’s roles in the events of early Virginia history were rarely recorded. History gives us only fragments of their lives – a name here, a date of arrival there, a court case, a marriage or a death. Through this story-driven exhibition, women’s stories will be told. This special exhibition features artifacts, images and primary sources – some on display in America for the first time – to examine the struggles women faced in the New World and the contributions they made in their communities. Visitors are able to hear stories of the first English women in the Virginia colony beginning in 1608 as well as the Powhatan Indian women they encountered. Tenacity examines stories of the first documented African female to arrive in Virginia in 1619, and the Virginia Company of London’s effort to encourage the growth of the Jamestown colony by recruiting single English women. From women’s roles to women’s rights, Tenacity connects issues of the 17th century and their relevance today. RWD designed the exhibition that help visitors immerse themselves in women’s history, and assist them in learning more about early Virginia and Jamestown. Photos courtesy of The Virginia Gazette and Capital Museum Services.


Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation


Williamsburg, Virginia

Our Role

Exhibition Design
Graphic Design


2020 AASLH Leadership in History Award of Excellence

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