Feature Exhibits

It’s the Bee’s Knees! Salem in the Roaring Twenties

Lakeside Amusement Park on opening day, July 10, 1920

The Salem Museum takes a look back at life in our hometown a century ago. The exhibit includes personal stories, artifacts, and photographs that explore everyday life—and the nightlife—of the Roaring Twenties. Icons of the decade are also included: a still that produced a lot of moonshine in the ‘20s and several flamboyant flapper dresses from the Museum’s collection.

The 1920s was a decade that emerged from the horrors of the First World War, and ended with a catastrophic stock market crash which ushered in the Great Depression. In between—the Roaring Twenties—was a time of economic prosperity and great cultural change.

Many Americans enjoyed a period of growth, personal freedom, and technological advances. Women won the right to vote. Cars became common. Radio was brand new. People flocked to see silent movies. Sports celebrities emerged. Lakeside Park opened. It’s a decade forever made infamous by flappers, jazz, and Prohibition. Salem in the Roaring Twenties takes a look at our community 100 years ago, a town which was rapidly changing into the Salem we recognize today.

The exhibit has been designed by Alex Burke, the Museum’s assistant director.

Virtual Art Exhibit: Blue Ridge Potters Guild Juried Student Art Show

The Blue Ridge Potters Guild had scheduled its Second Annual Juried Student Pottery Show earlier this spring at the Salem Museum. Last year’s show was very well received, and the Guild was disappointed to cancel this year’s show due to COVID-19. The Guild did not want these students’ works to go unseen, so they happily announce this Virtual Exhibition. Please feel free to “heart” the pieces that speak to you!

This year’s virtual show includes work by students from Auburn High School, Blacksburg High School, Lord Botetourt High School, Patrick Henry High School, Salem High School, Read Mountain Middle School, and those taking private lessons. The Student Show is a wonderful opportunity for the Guild to showcase the skill of area teachers and students, demonstrating that ceramics is a wonderful media for a diverse range of artistic expression.

The Blue Ridge Potters Guild formed in 1996 with 19 potters from the greater Roanoke and New River Valleys. It has since grown to over 100 members from areas including the Roanoke Valley; Blacksburg; Christiansburg; Lynchburg; Franklin, Floyd, and Botetourt Counties; and even as far as Linden. The Guild’s mission is to promote community awareness, understanding and appreciation of ceramics.