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Partner Event

Beneath The Paint: Civil War Graffiti Symposium

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Partner Event
November 2, 2019
Historic Blenheim and the Civil War Interpretive Center
3610 Old Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22030

On November 2, The Northern Virginia Civil War Graffiti Trail will host “Beneath the Paint: Civil War Graffiti Symposium” at Historic Blenheim and the Civil War Interpretive Center to examine the history of Civil War graffiti.  This day of talks will examine the history of Civil War graffiti and the stories that unfold from the soldiers enduring writings.  The conservators who have worked endless hours at the member sites will discuss the technical skills utilized to reveal and preserve these historic gems. New technological methods that have been employed will be highlighted. Registration and fee required. Details below*

The history-filled and intriguing day, which includes a light breakfast and lunch, will cover:

9:30-10:00   am -- Registration/Continental Breakfast

10:00-10:30 am -- Welcome, Site Introductions

10:30-11:30 am -- Kim O’Connell, “History of Civil War Graffiti”

11:30-11:45 am -- BREAK

11:45-12:45 pm -- Conservator Chris Mills, “The Technical Side of Graffiti Recovery and Conservation”

12:45-1:15pm -- LUNCH

1:15-1:45pm  -- Conservator Kirsten Travers Moffitt, “Uncovering Blenheim’s Graffiti”

1:45-2:00pm  -- Andrea Loewenwarter, Historic Blenheim, “Multispectral Imaging Discoveries”

2:00-3:30pm  -- Tours of Blenheim House, Gallery, and Site

This event is perfect for history buffs, scholars, conservators, and preservationists who want to learn more about the history of Civil War graffiti and the technical applications used to reveal and preserve these invaluable artifacts.  The in-depth examination of this fascinating subject is also appropriate for high-school and college students.


“Beneath the Paint,” November 2, 2019

Registration, $15; lunch, $10


Historic Blenheim and the Civil War Interpretive Center

3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, Va.



Lunch will be a sandwich and chips (choose meat or vegetarian option)—only available with pre-registration. 


Online registration:  (Under Activities, search Civil War.)


Mail registration:

Mail a check made out to City of Fairfax and mailed to Graffiti Symposium c/o 10209 Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22030.  Designate meat or vegetarian option if ordering lunch and include an email address for confirmation.


The Northern Virginia Civil Graffiti Trail members are: Historic Blenheim, City of Fairfax; Ben Lomond, Prince William County; Liberia, City of Manassas; Mt. Zion Historic Park, Aldie; Graffiti House, Brandy Station; and the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum, Winchester.

Andrea Loewenwarter
Office of Historic Resources