Jeffrey Ruggles and Ray Wright will be the featured speakers at the 2017 Annual Meeting and Program for Mountain Valley Preservation Alliance Inc. (MPVA) at the historic Natural Bridge Hotel on Sunday, March 19.

The event will begin with attending the hotel’s Sunday brunch in the Colonial Dining Room from 12:30-1:30 p.m.

A short membership meeting will follow to elect new directors from MVPA’s five-county service region, including Beth Pappas of Botetourt County.

Ruggles is an art historian and serves as program administrator for Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Road Scholar.

The title of his presentation is “Edward Beyer and the Album of Virginia.” Beyer was a prolific painter in the mid-19th century who did numerous landscapes of Virginia communities, including one of Buchanan in the 1850s.

Ruggles holds an MFA in Design/Photography from VCU and a BA from the University of Virginia. As a historian and photographer, his specialties include the history of Virginia and 19th-20th century popular culture.

His book “The Unboxing of Henry Brown” (2003) is a biography of the fugitive slave and performer Henry Box Brown.

From 2002-10, Ruggles served as Curator of Prints and Photographs at Virginia Historical Society (VHS). “Photography in Virginia” (2008) is a companion book to the 2008-09 survey exhibition at VHS. Other gallery exhibitions include Early Images of Virginia Indians (2003) and Organized Labor in Virginia (2010), and a long-term Battle Abbey installation, The Virginia Manufactory of Arms (2005). Online exhibitions include Early Images of Virginia Indians and Early Ventures to the Falls, 1607-10.

Wright is Curator of Architectural History at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton. With over 25 years at the Frontier Culture Museum, his knowledge of early structures, including European examples and their contributions to the making of American architecture, is unmatched, according to the MVPA. He also has extensive knowledge about early valley homesteads and the influences and differences in structures between communities.

His talk will be “Our Forgotten Valley Homesteads”.

Attendees are encouraged to look through their old photographs, artwork and/or documents for any that feature old towns, homesteads, landscapes, buildings and skills such as butchering or soap-making, and bring them to share with others.

The afternoon will end with a time for questions, time to view and discuss the shared pictures and paintings, and time for visits with other attendees.

Cost for MVPA members is $ 45 each and $ 50 per non-member.

Complete the accompanying registration form and return along with a check by March 14.

For further information, contact Sharon Horn at 540-430-0910 or email: