The Quilting Tradition of Gee’s Bend

This article is an excerpt from the museum magazine, VMFA, an exclusive benefit for museum members. See works from the Gee’s Bend quilters on display in the Cosmologies from the Tree of Life: Art from the African American South exhibition. Valerie Cassel Oliver, VMFA’s Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art,…

The Thickness of our lives – Q&A about Howardena Pindell with Tressie McMillan Cottom, PhD

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Tressie McMillan Cottom, PhD, about VMFA’s current exhibition Howardena Pindell: What Remains To Be Seen. Cottom is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has spoken across the nation and the world on technology, higher education, race, gender, class, and social inequality. Her latest…

Full Circle: VMFA Curator Valerie Cassel Oliver on Howardena Pindell

Howardena Pindell has consistently broken new ground during her five-decades-long artistic career. In 1967, she was the first female African American to graduate from Yale University’s MFA program then began working as the first female black curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her diverse body of art—from abstract canvases to photography…

African American Read-In: Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney recites “Wise I” by Amiri Baraka in front of Sanford Biggers’s artwork Overstood

African American Read-In at VMFA

The galleries at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts were full of a different kind of art — literature — at the African American Read-In (AARI). This annual event, which occurs during Black History Month, celebrates African and African American art and literature as community leaders read aloud in front of African and African American…

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…

“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

Objects Conservation Internship Experience

Our names are Keisha Horne and Sydney Johnson, and we were the Andrew W. Mellon interns in Objects Conservation at VMFA during summer 2016. Both of us are recent college graduates—Keisha from James Madison University and Sydney from Virginia Commonwealth University—with bachelors’ degrees in art history and a strong interest in objects conservation. We wanted…