Owner of Ruckersville Gallery, Paul Mott has 6 of 50 items featured as most significant in history of the University of Virginia, in a recent article in the U.Va. Magazine.
A long-time collector, one of Paul’s specialties is U.Va. and local Virginia ephemera. In fact, “His assortment of U.Va. items is considered by some collectors to be perhaps the finest that exists outside the University.”
Paul told the magazine,
“You become shocked that some of this stuff is publicly available. You see these amazing objects and say, ‘This really belongs in a museum.’ And that turns you on to see what else you can find. I still get chills when I see some of these things. Who wouldn’t? Even if you didn’t graduate from U.Va., the history of the place has so many threads, some of these items are relevant to American history, not just U.Va.”
One of the items chosen for its distinctive place in the history of the school is the knife of James Hay Jr., who wrote the poem, “The Honor Men.” Every year, the poem is given to incoming students and is an impressive reminder of the importance of the Honor Code at the university. Below is an excerpt:
If you live a long, long time, and hold honesty of conscience above honesty of purse;
And turn aside without ostentation to aid the weak;
And treasure ideals more than raw ambition;
And track no man to his undeserved hurt;
And pursue no woman to her tears…
Remembering the purple shadows of the lawn, the majesty of the colonnades, and the cream of your youth, you may say in your reverence and thankfulness:
“I have worn the honors of Honor.
I have graduated from Virginia.”
The other items from Paul’s collection that were included:
- U.Va. track medal, 1910
- Graduation invitation, 1892
- Student ID card of Bowie Kuhn, 1969-84 Commissioner of Major League Baseball
- Rotunda cigar box, late 1800s
- Album of the University of Virginia, 1859
To learn more about each of these objects and read more about Paul, see the full UVa Magazine article!