Friday, 29 January 2021 11:01

Join the 'History of Valentine’s Day Cards' Zoom Talk this February

Join the 'History of Valentine’s Day Cards' Zoom Talk this February

This talk, which is being hosted by the museum’s collection officer Mark Neathey, will cover the Victorian’s contribution to the Valentine's tradition of sending a card to a loved one. Over 350 Victorian Valentine cards are held at the Museum of East Dorset, from beautiful and elaborate romantic cards, to mean-spirited and nasty ‘Vinegar Valentine’ cards designed to ridicule and offend the receiver.

Mark Neathey said, “The Valentine card collection is a very special part of our museum and one of the best in existence. There are some stunning cards on display with an amazing story to tell. And, of course, we’ve got the absurd and outrageous Vinegar Valentine cards which are absolutely hilarious – as long as you’re not receiving them.”

Over the course of the talk, which is being hosted on Zoom, attendees will learn why Valentine cards became so popular, the history of Valentine’s Day, and the different designs and symbolic meanings of cards produced by the Victorians.

The museum’s collection of Victorian Valentine cards originates from the unused stock of William Low’s stationer’s shop, which was in business from 1837 to 1872 and was based in the same building that the museum calls home on Wimborne High Street.

During lockdowns, the museum has run various online sessions via their ‘virtual museum’, such as a pottery talk with the Julian Richards from ‘Meet the Ancestors’, and a theatre production from Millstream Theatre Group, the museum’s resident company of actors with learning disabilities, which sold over 120 tickets.

James Webb, Director of the Museum of East Dorset, said, “Despite being closed, there’s no reason why we can’t continue sharing our collections and historical insights with the community. We have continued to hold online talks and Q&A sessions, design activities for children, and share interesting trivia on social media. With over 35,000 objects in our collection to choose from, it’s unlikely we’ll run out of material.”

‘Love’s Gift: A History of Victorian Valentine Cards’ takes place on February 11 at 7pm. Following the talk, there will be an opportunity to ask the host Mark Neathey any questions in a Q&A session.

To book tickets, visit the ‘virtual museum’ section on the Museum of East Dorset’s website: museumofeastdorset.co.uk/project/loves-gift-a-history-of-victorian-valentine-cards/