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Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

200 N. Boulevard
Richmond, Virginia
Phone: 804-340-1400
TDD:804-340-1401

Statement of Purpose

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is an outstanding art collection spanning 6,000 years which includes the grandest public collection of Faberge outside Russia, world-class collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, Impressionism, post-Impressionism, Contemporary, American, Classical, Byzantine, African, Egyptian, Chinese, Japanese, one of the world's great Tibetan collections, and Indian art.

Sixty Years of Excellence

For more than 60 years, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has achieved an international reputation for creative excellence and innovative arts programming. When it was founded in 1936, the Virginia Museum was the nation's first statewide arts system. But the museum's list of "firsts" is long and impressive: the first performing arts facility inside a fine arts complex was built at the Virginia Museum in 1954, and the Virginia Museum was the first to establish a network of affiliates to share art and art-related resources throughout the Commonwealth.

However, the Virginia Museum's most important contribution may be its leadership in the area of public and private partnership for the arts. The construction of the museum itself was the direct result of such a partnership, between private donors and state legislators.

Building on Public and Private Support

The idea of a state-operated art museum in Richmond emerged in 1919 when Judge John Barton Payne, a Virginian by birth, gave his collection of 50 paintings to the Commonwealth. Gifts from other donors followed, and in 1932 Judge Payne proposed a $100,000 challenge grant to construct a museum for Virginia's public art collection.

The challenge was accepted by Governor John Garland Pollard, who led a campaign to raise additional funds from private donors and who promoted the idea of using state revenues for the new museum's operating expenses. With additional funds from the Federal Work Projects Administration, Judge Payne's dream became a reality. On January 16, 1936, the museum's first director, Thomas C. Colt, Jr., opened the doors of the new Georgian-style building to the public.

http://www.vmfa.state.va.us

VMFA LONG-RANGE EXHIBITION SCHEDULE



PROGRAM SCHEDULE

(Tentative as of September 29, 2006)

October 12    Dr. Linda Nochlin will present “Renoir's ‘Grandes Baigneuses’: Bathers in 19th-Century France,” VMFA’s 2006 Paul Mellon Lecture. Dr. Nochlin is the Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. The lecture will be at the Virginia Historical Society at 6:30 p.m. and is funded by the Paul Mellon Endowment. Dr. Linda Nochlin is known widely for her seminal publications on Realism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Beginning with her 1971 article "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" Dr. Nochlin’s groundbreaking work has advanced feminist art criticism. She is a contributing editor of “Art in America” and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of New York University's Institute for the Humanities, and a Fellow of the American Philosophical Society. The lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, and advance tickets are required (limit 2 per person). Tickets are available at the museum of by telephoning (804) 340-1405.

 

October 12      The museum presents its popular Young @ Art program for preschool children ages 3-5 from 10 to 11 a.m. See Oct. 5 listing for details.

 

October 13      VMFA presents “Mini-Masters” from 10 to 11 a.m. for the pre-K child plus an adult. The program, which focuses on the state’s kindergarten Standards of Learning, looks at a different artist each month. Children enjoy a story time, receive an artist-of-the-month calendar, and take a highlights tour of the galleries. Registration is required; telephone (804) 204-2697. There is a materials fee of $5 per child ($4 members).

 

October 14      VMFA presents Race to the Finish, a Saturday Art Adventure from 10 a.m. to noon for children ages 4-8. Children will construct and decorate a stick horse and visit VMFA’s Paul Mellon Sporting Art Gallery. Silly horse races and games will follow. The fee is $18 (members $16) Advance registration is required; telephone (804) 340-1405.

 

October 15      VMFA presents the October Tour of the Month. See Oct. 11 listing for details.

 

October 16      David Cannadine, who is the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Professor of British History at the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London, will speak to the VMFA Collectors’ Circle at 6 p.m. in the Marble Hall. His topic will be his just-published book on Andrew Mellon, “An American Life.” A booksigning will follow the talk. The event is open to the public. For ticket information, telephone (804) 340-1405. Tickets are $15 (VMFA members $10; free to Collectors’ Circle members).

 

October 18      The museum presents its popular Artful Toddlers program for preschool children ages 3-5 from 10 to 10:45 a.m. See Oct. 4 listing for details.

 

October 19      The museum presents its popular Young @ Art program for preschool children ages 3-5 from 10 to 11 a.m. See Oct. 5 listing for details.

 

October 19      3rd Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts features themed programs centered on music, art, tours, food and specialty drinks. (See March 16 listing for complete information.) Tonight’s celebrates Latin Heritage Month, with DJ Steve’s Latin Dance Party featuring salsa, merengue and cha-cha. Things to do include a “Dia del Muerto” hands-on creative activity and a “Lovely Ladies” Art Tasting gallery tour. Icy cocktails and fiery Latin food will be available. More information is available on-line at www.vmfa.state.va.us.

 

October 20      Writer and historian Rebecca Solnit will speak at 6:30 p.m. in the Marble Hall on the topic “Accelerator: Eadweard Muybridge, Photography and the Great Victorian Speed-Up.” It was through his remarkable experiments in motion studies that Muybridge revolutionized 19th-century photography. Solnit is a writer, historian and critic with a particular interest in geography, landscapes and photography. Tickets are $5 (members and students $3) at VMFA or telephone (804) 340-1405.

 

October 26      The museum presents its popular Young @ Art program for preschool children ages 3-5 from 10 to 11 a.m. See Oct. 5 listing for details.

 

October 27      VMFA presents “Mini-Masters” from 10 to 11 a.m. for the pre-K child plus an adult. See Oct. 13 listing for details.

 

October 29      VMFA presents a free Pumpkin Carving Contest Family Event from 3 to 5 p.m., recommended for children ages 4-12 accompanied by an adult. Families will cut, carve and embellish a unique jack-o-lantern, then bring the results to VMFA for contests, games and other entertainment. Different age groupings and categories will give many opportunities for prizes. No registration is required.

 

November 1    Jeffrey W. Allison, VMFA’s Paul Mellon Collections Educator, will discuss photographer O. Winston Link’s passion for trains and the people along their paths, which drew him repeatedly to Virginia, in a talk in the Pauley Center at 6 p.m. Link began documenting the last mainline steam railroad in America, the Norfolk and Western, in 1955. By the time the N&W’s steam operations ended in 1960, Link had produced some 2,500 images. The talk is free, but advance reservations are required: telephone (804) 340-1405 or visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts ticket desk.

 

November 1    The museum presents its popular Artful Toddlers program for preschool children ages 3-5 from 10 to 10:45 a.m. See Oct. 4 listing for details.

 

November 2    The museum presents its popular Young @ Art program for preschool children ages 3-5 from 10 to 11 a.m. See Oct. 5 listing for details.

 

November 9    The museum presents its popular Young @ Art program for preschool children ages 3-5 from 10 to 11 a.m. See Oct. 5 listing for details.

 

November 10  VMFA presents “Mini-Masters” from 10 to 11 a.m. for the pre-K child plus an adult. See Oct. 13 listing for details.

 

November 11  VMFA celebrates Native American Heritage Month with “Blues and the Spirit of a Native People,” featuring Pura Fé, in the Marble Hall at 7 p.m. Pura Fé, a Native American who is a member of the Tuscarora tribe, is a blues singer, songwriter, musician, poet, dancer, actor and activist. She is a founding member of the internationally renowned native woman’s a capella trio Ulali and is recognized for bringing Native contemporary music to the mainstream music industry. Tickets are $10 (VMFA members, students and members of all Virginia and North Carolina Native American tribes $8) and are available at the museum or by telephoning (804) 340-1405.

 

November 15  The Poetic Principles series continues with novelist Lee Smith. Smith’s reading, cosponsored by the New Virginia Review, will be in the VMFA Pauley Center at 6 p.m. Smith’s new novel, “On Agate Hill,” will be publish this fall by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, N.C. Smith is author of nine novels as well as three collections of short stories. Her ninth novel, “The Last Girls,” was a New York Times bestseller and a co-winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. Tickets are $6 (members, students $4) and are available at the museum or by telephoning (804) 340-1405.

 

November 15  The museum presents its popular Artful Toddlers program for preschool children ages 3-5 from 10 to 10:45 a.m. See Oct. 4 listing for details.

 

November 16  The museum presents its popular Young @ Art program for preschool children ages 3-5 from 10 to 11 a.m. See Oct. 5 listing for details.

 

November 16  3rd Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts features themed programs centered on music, art, tours, food and specialty drinks. (See April 20 listing for complete information.) Tonight’s theme is A '70s Disco revival with DJ Rick Danger. Things to do include a “Temporary Tattoo” hands-on creative activity and a “Party Animals” Art Tasting gallery tour. Retro cocktails and grilled pizzas will be available. More information is available on-line at www.vmfa.museum.

 

November 17 Twyla Kitts of VMFA’s education staff explores the influence that artists and works of art have on playwrights in a brief in-gallery demonstration followed by a discussion. This free “How … does art inspire theatre?” program starts at noon, departing from the lobby.

 

November 18 VMFA presents Man in Motion, a Saturday Art Adventure in claymation for children ages 7-10. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., students will combine art and technology as they collaborate with classmates to create a clay-animation film. Students plot scenes; develop ideas for props, sound effects and sets; and create original clay characters. Each student receives a DVD copy of the claymation cartoon. Students should bring a bag lunch. The $95 fee (members $90) includes the cost of the student’s DVD. Advance registration is required; telephone (804) 340-1405.

 

November 20  Richard L. Feigen will speak to the VMFA Collectors’ Circle at 6 p.m. in the Marble Hall. An art dealer with more than 50 years experience and an active collector of Baroque paintings and Contemporary art, Feigen will discuss “The Art Market in Orbit (Why and How Long?).” For ticket information, telephone (804) 340-1405. Tickets are $15 (VMFA members $10; free to Collectors’ Circle members).

 

November 30  The museum presents its popular Young @ Art program for preschool children ages 3-5 from 10 to 11 a.m. See Oct. 5 listing for details.

 

November 30  VMFA presents a free Teen Caffeine Café featuring the wearable art show “Stylin’: Fast Paced Fashion” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Marble Hall and galleries. More than 25 middle and high school students will showcase handcrafted garments that employ recycled shopping materials. Activities will include coffee, refreshments, music, poetry, gallery tours and creative exercises – all open to the public. For more information telephone (804) 340-1573 or visit www. vmfa.museum/teenclass.html.

 

December 2     VMFA presents Story Studio for children ages 5-8 plus caregiver. See Oct. 7 listing for details.

 

December 2     VMFA presents Gingerbread Houses, a Saturday Art Adventure for families from 10 a.m. to noon. Children and adults will construct holiday gingerbread houses decorated with candies, using royal icing as mortar and cement. The program is recommended for children ages 5-12 accompanied by an adult. The fee is $28 (members $25); there is no charge for the accompanying adult. Advance registration is required; telephone (804) 340-1405.

 

December 6     The museum presents its popular Artful Toddlers program for preschool children ages 3-5 from 10 to 10:45 a.m. See Oct. 4 listing for details.

 

December 7     The museum presents its popular Young @ Art program for preschool children ages 3-5 from 10 to 11 a.m. See Oct. 5 listing for details.

 

December 8     VMFA presents “Mini-Masters” from 10 to 11 a.m. for the pre-K child plus an adult. See Oct. 13 listing for details.

 

December 9     VMFA presents Fused Glass Ornaments, a Family Art Adventure, from 10 a.m. to noon. The program is recommended for children ages 5-12, accompanied by an adult. Participants will design, cut and piece together colorful glass to create unique ornaments or small pieces of jewelry that can be used as holiday gifts or decorations. (Completed projects will be fused in a kiln and ready for the participant pick up in one week.) The fee is $23 (members $20); there is no charge for the accompanying adult. Advance registration is required; telephone (804) 340-1405.

 

December 14   The museum presents its popular Young @ Art program for preschool children ages 3-5 from 10 to 11 a.m. See Oct. 5 listing for details.

 

December 15   Twyla Kitts of VMFA’s education staff explains the connections between the laws of motion and artists’ creations on view in “Speed” in a brief in-gallery demonstration followed by a discussion. The free “How … does it move?” program starts at noon, departing from the lobby.

 

December 18   VMFA presents the third annual winter break camp, Gallery of Gifts, Monday-Friday, Dec. 18-22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children will create one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts for family and friends. Camps are available for children 5-7 and for children 8-12. The fee is $200 (members $185). Registration is required; telephone (804) 340-1405. Additional information is available at (804) 340-1438.

 

December 20   The museum presents its popular Artful Toddlers program for preschool children ages 3-5 from 10 to 10:45 a.m. See Oct. 4 listing for details.

 

December 22   VMFA presents “Mini-Masters” from 10 to 11 a.m. for the pre-K child plus an adult. See Oct. 13 listing for details.

 

December 28   VMFA presents Paint Party, an Art Adventure for children ages 6-10 from 9 a.m. to noon. Instructors will have resources set up for a playful painting studio party. The fee is $25 (members $20). Advance registration is required; telephone (804) 340-1405.

 

January 22       Eric Denker will present “Fleeting Impressions: Prints by James McNeil Whistler” to the VMFA Collectors’ Circle at 6 p.m. in the Marble Hall. Denker is the former curator of Prints and Drawings at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and currently serves as Senior Lecturer at the National Gallery of Art. For ticket information, telephone (804) 340-1405. Tickets are $15 (VMFA members $10; free to Collectors’ Circle members).

January 31       The Poetic Principles series continues with novelist David Wojahn. His reading, cosponsored by the New Virginia Review, will be in the Pauley Center at 6 p.m. Wojahn is professor of English and director of creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the author of “Spirit Cabinet,” “The Falling Hour,” “Late Empire, Mystery Train,” “Glassworks,” and “Icehouse Lights.” He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prizes, the William Carlos Williams Book Award, the Society of Midland Authors Book Award and the George Kent Memorial Prize. Tickets are $6 (members, students $4) and are available at the museum or by telephoning (804) 340-1405.

February 3       VMFA presents Story Studio for children ages 5-8 plus caregiver. See Oct. 7 listing for details.

February 14     VMFA presents the February Tour of the Month, “Lovely Ladies of VMFA,” at 2:30 p.m. with docent Jim Whelan. The tour will highlight works of art that feature inspiring women. The free tour departs from the Marble Hall.

February 18     VMFA presents the February Tour of the Month. See Feb. 14 listing for details.

February 26     In celebration of the reinstallation of the Jerome and Rita Gans Collection of English Silver, VMFA’s consulting curator for the collection, Ellenor Alcorn, will speak to the VMFA Collectors’ Circle at 6 p.m. in the Marble Hall. For ticket information, telephone (804) 340-1405. Tickets are $15 (VMFA members $10; free to Collectors’ Circle members).



Highlights & Collections

The Payne collection was the first, but others soon followed. The Lillian Thomas Pratt Collection of jeweled objects by Peter Carl Faberge -still one of the most popular attractions in the galleries- was bequeathed in 1947. In that same year the museum received the T. Catesby Jones Collection of modern art, and during the early 1950s the museum's holdings were again significantly expanded by two important bequests, from Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams (1952) and from Arthur and Margaret Glasgow (1954). Clearly, more galleries were needed to display these collections, and construction of the museum's first addition, in 1954, provided a temporary solution.

That first wing was built under the guidance of Leslie Cheek, Jr., director of the Virginia Museum from 1948 to 1968. In addition to providing much-needed gallery space, the addition includes a 530-seat theatre. Financed again by state appropriations and private philanthropy, the new Virginia Museum Theatre (now TheatreVirginia) was built with a $650,000 grant from the Old Dominion Foundation, of which Paul Mellon of Upperville was president and chairman.

The museum's acquisition program, as always dependent on private contributions, continued at a rapid pace. Especially significant was the 1968 purchase, with funds from Paul Mellon, of many important examples of Indian painting and sculpture from the world-famous Heeramaneck Collection.

Gallery space was again desperately needed by the mid 1960s. Funded solely by the state and completed in 1970, the South Wing featured four new permanent galleries and a large gallery for loan exhibitions, as well as operational facilities including a new library, an expanded photography lab, art storage rooms and staff offices. Externally, the South Wing restored the Georgian symmetry of the original structure.

As the South Wing was being completed, two important gifts were received. The first, in 1970, was a gift from the estate of Ailsa Mellon Bruce of 450 European decorative arts objects. Included were many precious 17th-century English porcelain and enameled boxes, one of the greatest such collections in the world. The second gift, from Sydney and Frances Lewis of Richmond in 1971, provided for the acquisition of art nouveau objects and furniture.

Once again, as more exhibition space and visitor services were needed, a third addition, the present North Wing, was approved by the legislature. This wing, completed in 1976, added three more large gallery areas: two for loan exhibitions and one for the Sydney and Frances Lewis Art Nouveau Collection. Also included were a new Sculpture Garden with a cascading fountain, a 375-seat auditorium, a smaller lecture hall and a public cafeteria.

Before long, the Lewises and the Mellons each began to propose major donations from their extensive private collections. Once again, public and private resources were pooled to provide for growth, and the museum's leadership in such partnerships was further underscored by constructionof the West Wing in 1985.

The West Wing houses the impressive Lewis Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and contemporary collections, as well as the Mellon collections of Impresionism, Post-Impressionism, and British sporting art.

PERMANENT GALLERIES

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 1996, serves hundreds of thousands of visitors annually through extensive exhibition and arts education programs in Richmond and throughout the Commonwealth.

The gallery complex presents a panorama of world art spanning creative achievements from ancient times to the present. Outstanding features are the Mellon collections of British sporting art and French impressionist and post-impressionist art, including nine original waxes and seven bronzes by Edgar Degas; the Lewis collections of American and European art since World War II and art nouveau, arts and crafts, art deco, and modern decorative arts; the Pratt Collection of Russian imperial Easter eggs and objects of fantasy from the workshops of master jeweler Peter Carl Faberge; European and American masterpieces of painting, including works by Francisco Goya, John Singer Sargent and Claude Monet; the collection of ancient, classical and Egyptian art, including a rare, life-sized marble statue from the 1st century AD of the Roman emperor Caligula; one of the world's leading collections of the art of India, Nepal and Tibet; and a special loan collection of English silver.

COLLECTION HIGHLIGHTS TOURS

Tours highlighting the museum's collections are offered Tuesday through Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and Thursday evening at 6 and 7 p.m. to walk-in visitors. Tours last approximately 50 minutes and are free and open to the public. No reservations are required. Exceptions may apply at holidays. All tours begin in the main lobby. Telephone 804/340-1435 for details.

http://www.vmfa.state.va.us

 
PERMANENT GALLERIES


The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts serves hundreds of thousands of visitors annually through extensive exhibition and arts education programs in Richmond and throughout the Commonwealth.

The gallery complex presents a panorama of world art spanning creative achievements from ancient times to the present. Outstanding features are the Mellon collections of British Sporting Art and French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, including nine original waxes and seven bronzes by Edgar Degas; the Lewis collections of Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, Art Deco and Modern decorative arts, and Modern and Contemporary painting and sculpture; the Pratt Collection of Russian imperial Easter eggs and objects
of fantasy from the workshops of master jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé; the Gans collection of English silver; European and American masterpieces of painting, including works by Francisco Goya, John Singer Sargent and Claude Monet; the collection of Ancient, Classical and Egyptian art, including a rare, life-sized marble statue from the 1st century AD of the Roman emperor Caligula; and one of the world's leading collections of the art of India, Nepal and Tibet.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, an educational institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, is Metropolitan Richmond's most popular cultural attraction. The museum is on the Boulevard at Grove Avenue. The galleries
are open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Thursday nights until 8 p.m.). Visitors are encouraged to keep the museum free to all by making a donation ($5 suggested). For additional information about exhibitions and programs, telephone 804/340-1400.
http://www.vmfa.state.va.us
 
 

Hours

Admission & Directions

Suggested admission donation is $5.
(An additional fee may be charged for special loan exhibitions.)
For exhibition and event information, telephone 804/340-1400.

The Virginia Museum is on the Boulevard at Grove Ave.

Key Personnel

Michael Brand, Director


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