VMFA Blog

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

Saturday Salutations

Recognize the power of your practice as we celebrate our community impact during Project Yoga Richmond’s 7th annual Saturday Salutations. Join PYR on select Saturdays from May to October on the VMFA’s Belvedere Deck to increase access to yoga. Each class our ambassadors will highlight aspects of our yoga and mindfulness outreach programs across the…

Beneath the Surface of African Art: Feather Identification with Dr. Carla Dove

Ainslie Harrison and Casey Mallinckrodt We (VMFA conservators Ainslie Harrison and Casey Mallinckrodt) recently travelled to Washington DC with the VMFA’s Yoruba Ogboni Society Plaque (#2000.97) to consult with Dr. Carla Dove in the Feather Identification Lab at the National Museum of Natural History. Dr. Carla Dove generously agreed to take a break from her…

Parallels in warriors and war

Today we remember D-Day and honor those who fought on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. This was the largest air, land, and sea invasion in history and led to the liberation of Europe. Over the vast span of time and cultures, we continue to see parallels in warriors and war. This vase…

VMFA team curates DePillars retrospective

Double Vision to close June 3 at Richmond’s Black History Museum An exhibition scheduled to close early next month reflects the growing interaction between the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. Even the focus of the exhibition—a lifetime retrospective of paintings by the late Murry DePillars…

Beneath the Surface of African Art: Studying an 18th Century Ethiopian Cross

The research on the African Collection being carried out as part of the recently awarded Andrew W. Mellon grant is continuing to produce new insights into the objects in our collection. For example, as part of a comprehensive study of the Ethiopian crosses in our collection, an 18th century hand cross (#2015.319) has undergone a…

“Three Musicians” by Romare Bearden

“Three Folk Musicians” is one of the most renowned works by American artist Romare Bearden (1911–1988). Incorporating hand-painted papers and photographs torn from magazines, Bearden’s collages of this period present complex images of African American life from multiple perspectives. Music: “Music Box Rag”, performed by the Heftone Banjo Orchestra

Revisiting Esther Mahlangu at VMFA

A lively spontaneity results from this approach, revealing the human touch of creation. No straight edge is used, no tape. Just the eye and the hand—although it’s important to mention the acrobatics and exertion also! Esther and Marriam painted standing, sitting, kneeling, and even reclining on scaffolding, ladders, and the floor. All the climbing was…