Do you ever wonder how Harrisonburg has evolved over the years? Now you can see for yourself! The Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art is pleased to present its Fall 2017 exhibit: Picturing Harrisonburg: Visions of a Shenandoah Valley City Since 1828. This exhibit is a collaboration between James Madison University’s Institute for Visual Studies and the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, based on the book “Picturing Harrisonburg” written by David Ehrenpreis, with contributions by co-curator Kevin Borg.

Picturing Harrisonburg by David Ehrenpreis

Picturing Harrisonburg allows JMU students to see a side of the city they’ve never seen before, tracing Harrisonburg back over two centuries. Not only is this exhibit extremely interesting, it’s interactive. With over 80 art works and images, you will be enthralled with the history unfolding before your eyes. Look through postcards, maps, images, murals and more!

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Duke Hall Gallery Director, John Ros during my visit to the exhibit. Ros expressed his enthusiasm for the Picturing Harrisonburg exhibit, and noted the increase in traffic it has brought to the gallery.
“During Parent’s Weekend, we saw 95 people come through the exhibit on a Saturday” said Ros, which is incredible for a weekend! Ros also hopes that the exhibit is working to connect the bridge between the Harrisonburg community and JMU students by providing both audiences with extensive knowledge on the town’s history as well as a new found understanding of how the evolution of the city took place.

Harrisonburg: Then-and-Now

Personally, my favorite part of the exhibit was the comparison of two well-known locations around Harrisonburg, with a then and now aspect. By comparing the images of two locations side-by-side, it makes for a stark contrast.

The Friendly City, Rocktown, The City with a Planned Future, or The ‘Burg; no matter the nickname, this is the city we call “home”. Plan to stop by the Duke Hall gallery between Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and visit the Duke Hall Gallery website for more information! The Picturing Harrisonburg exhibit will be open until October 14th!


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