Richmond’s culture, identity, and economy were made from tobacco. From the Powhatan People to the corporate giant Altria, the commodity of tobacco has molded the landscape of the city. This exhibition explores Richmond’s “filtered” and “unfiltered” history of tobacco, telling stories from the seventeenth century to the present. The filtered stories are seen through public advertisements, postcards, and storefronts. The unfiltered stories of tobacco shine a light on enslavement, worker resistance, southern agriculture, gentrification, and more. 

This online exhibition accompanies the exhibition Tobacco Made: Richmond and the World that opens March 5, 2021 in the International Gallery, Carole Weinstein International Center.

Tobacco Made: Richmond’s Unfiltered History is sponsored by the University of Richmond’s American Studies Program and UR Downtown

The curators wish to extend a special thanks to the Library of Virginia, The Valentine, Riggs Ward Design, and the following individuals for their contributions and mentorship: Ryan Brazell, Anne Donley, Meg Hughes, Gregg Kimball, Brian McClure, Ashley Ramey, Dywana Saunders, Gail Chaney Smith, Rob Steele, Wendy Stout, Jen Thomas, Brent Ward, Eric Yellin, and Beth Zizzamia.