Arts and Entertainment

An American Abroad: Florence Sloane in Europe, 1920s-1930s

Every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
May 24 - October 6 2024

Hermitage Museum & Gardens 7637 North Shore Road Norfolk, VA 23505

People of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures travel for a variety of reasons. Some travel to explore new cultures and experience a different way of living. Some seek adventures in far off places; others may simply want to get away from everyday routines. No matter the reason, travel can be an incredibly rewarding experience that gives us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves, to inspire, and to connect us to the beauty of the world that surrounds us.  

In the 1920s Hermitage Museum founder Florence Sloane worked tirelessly to create an art and cultural life in Norfolk. At the same time, travel was an important part of her life. She traveled extensively through Europe, to over twenty-five cities in ten different countries, throughout more than a decade. Florence Sloane’s travels abroad from the 1920s to 1930s significantly impacted her outlook on life and were a tremendous source of inspiration to her as an appreciator of world culture, history, and as an avid art collector. Her experiences and exposure to the beauty of the world around her dramatically shaped the Hermitage Museum as it developed from a private residence into the unique art museum it is today.  

This summer, join us aboard the “U.S.S. Hermitage” as we travel back in time alongside Florence Sloane when she journeyed to Europe. The exhibition, An American Abroad: Florence Sloane in Europe, 1920s-1930s, sheds new light on the real-life adventures of this cultural trailblazer during an important historical period in modern world history. Rare archival collections selected for display will illustrate Florence Sloane’s impressive trek abroad and provide insight into her life and interests. Among the rare items on view are excerpts from Florence Sloane’s personal travel journal and letters in which she recounted her experiences and described places she visited in impressive detail. Intricate textiles, historic photographs, personal souvenirs, and mementos that remain from her trips will be shown alongside selected items from the museum’s permanent collection–all on view for a limited time this summer.  

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