VMFA Blog

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

Mann Antietem

Antietam and the Civil War – another artist’s perspective

Yesterday’s post on Antietam has relevance today with the PBS airing of “Death and the Civil War” tonight at 8 pm EST. According to the WCVE Community Idea Stations: “The shattering Civil War death toll transformed hundreds of thousands of individual lives and the life of the nation as well, from its understanding of the…

Antietum

Anniversary of Antietam

One-hundred fifty years ago today, 160 miles north of Richmond, a horrific battle near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek marked the turning point in the Civil War. It was the first major confrontation in the conflict to take place on Union soil and remains the single deadliest day in American history with over 23,000 casualties…

Little Girl with Dead Leaves

An uncommon vision

When looking through preview photos on the VMFA’s website, I stumbled upon Édouard Boubat’s Little Girl with Dead Leaves. It is a hauntingly beautiful image, one of melancholy and wonder, and is featured in our free exhibition, “Visions of France.” Boubat, only 20 when he captured the image, wrote a poem about his encounter and…

Jacob Lawrence

One of the Most Stupendous Scenes in Nature

Upon visiting Harpers Ferry in 1783, Thomas Jefferson was so awestruck by the raw beauty of the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers that he described the view as “perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in nature.” In addition to being a site of great natural beauty, Harpers Ferry, now situated at the…

Maharaja TV CEO 2

Maharaja LIVE

Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Great Kings has made its television debut!  WTVR/CBS 6 News’ executive producer, Jessica Noll, reported live from the VMFA yesterday morning for an exclusive look at one of the museum’s most opulent exhibitions yet.  But as the rest of Richmond watched from home, I had the privilege of observing the broadcast from behind…

Walt Whitman

Reasons to Celebrate Walt Whitman

“Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.” –Walt Whitman Happy Birthday, Walt! 193 years ago today, America’s greatest and most influential poet was born on Long Island, New York. VMFA is honoring Walt Whitman’s life and work in a special summer exhibition—Bold, Cautious, True: Walt Whitman and American Art of the Civil War Era—that opens in…

The passing of an American art icon: Elizabeth Catlett

Bittersweet.  The word comes to mind as I take in the sad news that the magnificent Elizabeth Catlett died on Monday.  Just two weeks shy of her 97thbirthday, this pioneering African American printmaker and sculptor had certainly lived life large.  And last week—little knowing Catlett was facing her final days—VMFA paid tribute to this iconic…

Hobart Cornell

Want Revolutionary Performance? VMFA’s Got It.

After the calamitous yet victorious 1917 Russian Revolution, its supreme political and intellectual leader, V.I. Lenin, declared cinema to be the most important of all the arts.  He saw film as having superior ability to spread the message and inspire change for his formidable task to improve the lives of the masses of the new Soviet…