VMFA Blog

A blog by staff and others about the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

Nelson Mandela’s greatness as a fighter against apartheid and crusader for justice in South Africa was much celebrated, fortunately, during his lifetime and will stand for the ages as an inspiration to the world. His battle was not easy, but he never bowed or swerved, and four years after his release in 1990 from twenty-seven…

Kerry and Yandong

“Forbidden City” Cultural Exchange Recognized

U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) It’s not everyday that VMFA is cited by the U.S. Secretary of State and the Vice Premier of China. Fact Sheet Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC November 21, 2013   Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong co-chaired the fourth annual U.S.-China Consultation on…

Monkey Business at VMFA

 Allegory of Marital Fidelity, Jan Miense Molenaer. (1633) As a reference librarian, I am often asked to find things for people. These little hunts are often straightforward and informative. But sometimes I get to uncover funny little bits of history and lore along the way. Recently, I received a phone call from a woman in…

There’s no place like VMFA!

I’m excited for Hollywood Costume not just as an intern at VMFA, but as a Fashion Merchandising student at VCU. Since I’ll never get to wear the original Ruby Slippers from Wizard of Oz, I decided to make an inexpensive pair of my own that you can also make at home. After all, Halloween is…

The Sleeping Fishmonger

Celebrating Géricault

Théodore Géricault (1791-1824) was one of the towering geniuses of the Romantic period. Partly self-taught and partly trained by Carle Vernet and Pierre-Narcisse Guerin, he arrived at a wholly personal style with which to portray modern life – turning his back and the grand mythological and religious subjects that had dominated art up to his…

Sisters with faces painted

Art-filled Saturday for Richmond

There is no shortages of things to do this weekend in Richmond. Saturday, in particular, will be a busy day! VMFA will be hosting a Family Day, which will celebrate the Art of Latin America: Peru!The event is packed with free activities for children and adults from 1 to 4 p.m. This will be a…

Breaking Bad_Vince_2403_8x12

Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan: humor, humility, and staying true to your roots

“If I could go back in time and talk to my fifteen-year-old self, I would say ‘Smile a little, talk to people, and don’t be such a sheltered little nerd’.” Usually you don’t hear such honest self-reflection from anyone, let alone a world famous Hollywood producer, director, and writer! But Vince Gilligan is no ordinary…

Bedroom Painting #39

Wesselmann’s pop art inspires poets

The Poetry Society of Virginia recently took an Ekphrastic Day visit to VMFA to write some art-inspired poems. “Ekphrastic” is the poets’ term for poetry inspired by artwork. Below are a couple of poems inspired by our current special exhibition Pop Art and Beyond: Tom Wesselmann. The exhibition ends this Sunday, July 28th, so if…

ARTrageous 2013

ARTrageous, a glittering evening of fun

ARTrageous 2013 looks ahead to Hollywood Costume, a dazzling blockbuster exhibition coming to VMFA in November from the Victoria and Albert Museum. A committee of volunteers, led by Jennifer and Geoff Sisk and Julee and Drew Spitzer, will bring the glamour of Hollywood to VMFA on September 7 for an evening that rivals the thrill…

With respect to Nelson Mandela on his birthday

Today is the birthday of Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former president of South Africa. He is 95. This is an appropriate time to consider a South African work in VMFA’s collection. Sue Williamson, a South African artist, found this object in a thrift shop. It’s a pass book, and a remnant of…