Willem van Heythuysen (Detail), 2006, Kehinde Wiley, (American, b. 1977), oil on canvas, 96 x 72 in. (243.84 x 182.88 cm). Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund

Black History Month

The Month of February 2019

Throughout the Museum

Celebrate Black History Month with VMFA! This month the museum will be featuring a number of events to highlight the heritage, culture and art of African Americans.

In the galleries, be sure to view African American art in the museum’s permanent collection visit the exhibitions, Patience and Perserverance: The Black Photographers Annual, Volume 4 and Congo Masks: Masterpieces from Central Africa.

African Mask
Talk: Masking Traditions of the Congo
with Dr. Manuel Jordán, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Curator for Africa, Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, AZ
Fri, Feb 1
6:30–7:30 pm
Leslie Cheek Theater
$8 ($5 VMFA members)

Dr. Manuel Jordán, a specialist on the Chokwe-Lunda cluster of peoples, will discuss masking traditions from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This lecture is inspired by the special exhibition Congo Masks: Masterpieces from Central Africa.

First Friday with David Noyes, host of Ambiance Congo WRIR
Fri, Feb 1
6–8:30 pm
Free, no tickets required

Enjoy a special extended First Friday program for a selection of the best of Congolese popular music. From the 1950s to the 21st century, Congolese music is the most widely distributed and music throughout the African continent. It’s also appreciated worldwide—from Western Europe to Japan, Colombia, and the Caribbean.

DJ at an after hours event
VMFA After Hours – Game ON!
Sat, Feb 2
7–11:30 pm
$45 ($35 VMFA or Black History Museum members)

For a night of art, music, and games after dark, join hosts Kelli Lemon and Micah “Bam-Bamm” White plus DJ Lonnie B at the museum!

Profile picture of Hamilton Glass
Open Studio Sunday: Community Mural with Hamilton Glass
Sunday, Feb 3
1–4 pm
Westrock Art Education Center
Free, no tickets required

In Studio 1, assist Richmond-based artist Hamilton Glass with a public art project honoring local African American community leaders and organizers. Visitors are invited to return to VMFA during the week of Feb 21–28 to see the finished mural on display in the Atrium. In Studio 2, be inspired and create a mask that reminds you of your community.

Cross made of metal
GALLERY TALK | 3 in 30: African Art
with Richard Woodward, Curator of African Art, VMFA
Tue, Feb 5, 11–11:30 am
Thu, Feb 7, 6:30–7 pm
Free, no tickets required

Join Richard Woodward for a closer look at three works in VMFA’s collection of African Art.

Film: Black is the Color (2016; 52 min)
Tue, Feb 12, 19 & 26
1–2:15 pm
Leslie Cheek Theater
Free, tickets required

This recent film is a comprehensive survey of great work by African American artists who for so long encountered barriers in the mainstream art world. In it, key artists such as Edmonia Lewis, Whitfield Lovell, Kerry James Marshall, Ellen Gallagher, and Jean-Michel Basquiat are highlighted. Art historians and gallery owners place the works in context—juxtaposing them with racist images of African Americans and setting them against the larger social contexts of Jim Crow, WWI, the civil rights movement, and ingrained racism. As well, contemporary artists discuss their influences.

Profile image of Glenn Ligon
Artist Talk with Glenn Ligon
Thu, Feb 7
6:30–7:30 pm
Leslie Cheek Theater
$8 ($5 VMFA members)

New York–based artist Glenn Ligon will discuss his art and practice which has pursued critical perspectives of American history since the 1980s. This talk will highlight one of VMFA’s recent acquisitions, A Small Band, which is currently on view in the Cochrane Atrium.

Dominion Energy Jazz Café: Jazz Around the Museum
Cloud 9 Band
Thu, Feb 14
6–8:45 pm
Marble Hall
Free, no tickets required

Cloud 9 Band always packs the house with a classy blend of Jazz standards and the latest R&B hits! Featuring Lucy Kilpatrick on keyboard, Juan Nelson on bass, Keith Anderson on sax and Brian Johnson on drums, Cloud 9 Band loves to take its audience on a musical journey to a higher level.

Mayor Levar Stoney giving a presentation for African American Read-In
African American Read-In
Thu, Feb 21
5:30–7:30 pm
Galleries, meet in the Atrium
Free, no tickets required

Literature and fine art come together in African American Read-In at VMFA. See and hear notable figures from the greater Richmond community as they lend their voices in prose and poetry readings throughout the galleries. This year’s readers include VMFA Board of Trustees President Dr. Monroe Harris Jr. In this powerful display of storytelling, experience evocative and poignant pairings of works by African American artists and authors.

Film: Oliver White Hill Social Justice Short Film Competition: Face the dawn not the setting sun
Fri, Feb 22
6:30–8 pm
Leslie Cheek Theater
$8 ($5 VMFA members)

The Oliver White Hill Sr. Foundation presents a screening of the winning entries from its first film competition. Filmmakers, from students through professionals were invited to create short films that highlight the life and legacy of Virginia Civil Rights Attorney and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, Oliver White Hill Sr.

visitors viewing artwork in a gallery
Family African American Read-In
Sat, Feb 23
11 am–noon
Galleries, meet in the Atrium
Free, no tickets required

Bring your family to VMFA to experience this unique event and enjoy readings of African and African American children’s literature by members of the community in front of engaging works of art. Participants include Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. Children will also enjoy music, movement, and enrichment activities. (Intended audience: children ages 2 1/2–8 years; everyone is welcome).

Visitors attending a Jazz Cafe Performance
Dominion Energy Jazz Café
Thursdays 6–8:45 pm
Best Cafe
Free, no tickets required

Groove to a mix of jazz ensembles every Thursday. Dominion Energy Jazz Café is presented to the public by Dominion Energy and VMFA in conjunction with the Richmond Jazz Society. Light fare and beverages available for sale.