VMFA Blog

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

An Artist Passionate About Structures and the Idea of Shelter

Lewis Ginter challenged local and regional artists to complete a structure that was 75 percent natural material. Ehtesham chose dried grass from Lewis Ginter’s grounds and recycled paper from various sources. The completed structure contains 850 bricks of grass and paper. VMFA staff provided Ehtesham with shredded paper to use for the Persian-style dome installation.…

IN OUR OWN WORDS: Native Impressions

  What led to this collaboration? D.H.: I had been out to Grand Forks several times before I officially met Lucy. My portfolio of drypoint portraits of Iraqi survivors of torture from Abu Ghraib prison was on display at the North Dakota Museum the first time I went to Grand Forks, and while I was…

What influences your fashion style?

Do you think you have what it takes to be a fashion designer? If so, what would inspire you and your designs? As part of the Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style exhibition on view through August 27, 2017, VMFA has developed a sketchbook that guides visitors to focus on six ensembles on display,…

When Art Influences Design

In 1965, Yves Saint Laurent’s mother gave him a book where the young designer discovered the modern painter Piet Mondrian. In Mondrian’s paintings, Saint Laurent saw how the rhythm of color could be combined with a bold and forceful line. He would translate this building process into a thick jersey dress, unveiled that same year.…

Every Detail Matters

Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style contains the collection boards for every runway show offered by the designer over 40 years. These collection boards—dating from 1962 to 2002—retrace decades of the maison de couture’s fascinating history and offer a behind-the-scenes look into the creative workings of the fashion house and the private life of…

Haute Couture Starts with a Single Sketch

Producing the intricate, detailed, and carefully tailored fashions that debuted on runways in Paris and beyond was a meticulous process that Yves Saint Laurent followed faithfully. In Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style, on view at VMFA through August 27, 2017, the exhibition provides a behind-the-scenes look at how the fashion genius and his…

Women Can Wear Pants Too

Yves Saint Laurent questioned the traditional representation of the genders—establishing him as a revolutionary even as that debate continues today. As sexual roles began to blur in the 1960s, he saw the possibility of a disruptive new form of seduction, and he created a new identity more complex than the usual opposition between masculine and…

Perfecting his practice at a young age

As a teenager living in Algeria in the 1940s, Yves Saint Laurent took his first steps toward the fashion runway—not with fabric, but with paper. He created intricately designed and accessorized garments for paper dolls, a couture collection being shown publicly for the first time in the United States as part of Yves Saint Laurent:…

Look inside an art museum for a career in technology

As a high school student, Sheila Payaqui went to her first art museum—and it changed her future. “It opened up a whole new world to me, and it showed me that there are so many career options out there,” said Payaqui, who found her fit working in conservation, a behind-the-scenes function that blends art and…