Robinson House has long history; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Pryor's castle decor sends mixed message 


Robinson House has long history
In the story about Robinson House Street Talk, Feb. 22, you quote spokeswoman Suzanne Hall of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts as saying: "(Robinson House) was transferred to the museum's care in 1993 and used most recently as offices for the Virginia Association of Museums ...."

I think that the thousands of students who took courses in photography, ceramics, weaving and printmaking under the direction of such master teachers as Marilyn Bevilaqua, Tommy Kerrigan, Henry Halem, Jim Purtzer and George Nan for almost 30 years might feel a little left out by this statement.

The museum took over the building about 1963 (in fact my research discovered at that time that it was originally owned by the Robinson family, who called their farm the Grove), and it served admirably for almost three decades as the major classroom center for the museum.

It was only when the classes were transferred to their new location on Grove Avenue that the building was abandoned as class space.

In addition to classes, Robinson House was the home for the museum's innovative Resident Craftsman program in weaving and ceramics begun in the early 1960s and looked upon nationally as a significant teaching program in the crafts field.

I hope this clarifies the record.
Frederick R. Brandt
Consulting curator
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Clinton joke in poor taste
"You're Very Richmond if you wish the Clintons were on the road to Chappaquiddick instead of Chappaqua" Cover story, Feb. 22 is in poor taste, mean-spirited and offensive.
Richard Samet
P.S. I don't even like the Clintons.

Coach Rutledge a worthy role model
The article on Coach Warren Rutledge of Benedictine was as comprehensive and enjoyable as any I have ever read on the man (Cover story, Feb. 29).

Brandon Walters did a fine job of getting inside the man to his essence. That essence is of a teacher who loves what he does, and more importantly, the kids he interacts with.

I served as a manager on three of his teams in the early 1970s and had the honor of spending a great deal of time with Coach Rut. At a rebellious time in my life when I was having trouble relating to my father, Coach Rut served as a father-figure to me, helping me through those times. Even though we have kept in close contact over the years, he will never know the full extent of the positive impact he had in shaping me into the man I am today. I put into action some of the lessons he taught me as I raise my two sons.

Coach Rut is an example of the kind of person we should be encouraging, and paying highly, to help us shape our kids.

It is time we stopped paying our pro athletes and pop stars megadollars and started funneling that money to the people who truly make a positive example to our kids.
Thomas E. Ward
Benedictine High School
Class of 1973

Pryor's castle decor sends mixed message
The Home Style article about Cindy and Dennis Pryor's over-the-top castle left me sick to my stomach Home Style cover story, March 7

It is hard to imagine how Mrs. Pryor can sit on the board of the Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and at the same time, sit in Dover Hall's rooms filled with buffalo leather, suede, a stuffed leaping tiger, elk horns and even a crocodile trophy.

Animals were not put on this earth to adorn our homes.

Animal trophies should not be regarded as chic and tasteful.

Rather, we should be reminded that man can and should live comfortably within a range of artistic and design resources that do not result from the pain and suffering of animals.
Joan Martin


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