Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society

Charlottesville, VA – Central VA Region

Congressional Desk and Chair

Media Contact: Steven Meeks, President  


This Congressional Desk and Chair set was owned by Col. R.T.W. Duke, a prominent Charlottesville citizen who served in the 41st and 42nd Congress from 1870-1873. The artifact carries not only local significance but national significance as well. It is one of just 262 desks and chair sets designed by famed Capitol architect Thomas U. Walter for use in the House of Representatives from 1857 to 1873. 

Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts is a program of the Virginia Association of Museums. Over the past seven years, VAM has successfully promoted awareness of collections care and the efforts of museums, libraries, archives, and historic sites across the Commonwealth of Virginia and District of Columbia to care for their cultural and historical treasures, which is an expensive and time-consuming effort. In fact, over a 150 organizations have benefited from participating and the spotlight that the program has provided has generated extensive publicity, new supporters and volunteers, and access to funding to conserve and preserve their artifacts.


Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts is a project of the Virginia Association of Museums and was originally funded through an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Connecting to Collections Statewide Implementation Grant. Due to its success, the program has been replicated in other states and recognized as one of the most successful outcomes of the Connecting to Collections grant program.