CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History (WVDACH) announces the opening of a new exhibit celebrating 50 years of GOLDENSEAL Magazine, the magazine of West Virginia Traditional Life. The exhibit will open at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex, in Charleston on Sunday, April 28 at 2 p.m. The event will include a reception and is free and open to the public. The Culture Center doors will open at 1 p.m.

Produced by the WVDACH, GOLDENSEAL takes its stories from the recollections of West Virginians living throughout the state. Oral history fieldwork and documentary photography result in four issues per year with articles on subjects such as labor history, folklore, music, farming, religion, traditional crafts, food, and politics.

GOLDENSEAL was first published in April 1975 by the West Virginia Department of Commerce and the Arts and Humanities Council. Founding editor Tom Screven wrote in the first issue that the purpose of GOLDENSEAL was to “serve not only as a device to preserve many aspects of the state’s traditional life, but also as a means of communication for students and enthusiasts of West Virginia’s folklife.” That remains their mission today. In 1976, GOLDENSEAL’s offices were moved to the new Science and Culture Center, now known as the Culture Center, and was published under the new Department of Culture and History. GOLDENSEAL has had five editors in its 50 years of existence.

The West Virginia State Museum and GOLDENSEAL Magazine have worked together to create a showcase of photos and artifacts related to past GOLDENSEAL subjects and the museum collection. Like GOLDENSEAL, the exhibit aims to showcase the people and stories of West Virginia.

The culture and community of the Mountain State, as covered by GOLDENSEAL over the last 50 years, is highlighted in the exhibition through sections related to the history of the magazine, music, rural life, industry, and artists and craftsmanship. The photographs of state photographers Steve Payne, Rick Lee, Michael Keller, Tyler Evert and Steve Brightwell, who contributed regularly to the magazine, are used throughout the exhibit.

This exhibition will be on display through October 2024.

For more information about the GOLDENSEAL exhibit, contact Laiken Blankenship, GOLDENSEAL editor, at (304) 555-0220 or

GOLDENSEAL Magazine’s 2024 Spring Edition. Cover photo by Stephen Brightwell, WVDACH photographer.