VMFA’s Teen Terns Reflect on The Dirty South Exhibition

This summer, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts had five “Teen Terns” join the Education and Marketing teams during the months of June, July, and August. Teen Ternships are paid internship opportunities for Richmond-area high school students who have previously participated in VMFA’s Museum Leaders in Training (MLiT). This year, we had an additional Teen…

Valerie Cassel Oliver (left) and Jan Hatchette (right). Photo by Sandra Sellars ⓒ Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Years in the Making: Behind the Scenes with Valerie Cassel Oliver

When the public experiences an exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, they see not only the art on view but also the culmination of years of work by teams of museum professionals who take a curator-led journey from conception to realization. While an exhibition’s star attractions are the works of art on view,…

Archery, an acrylic painting by Sukenya Best

Inside Out

VMFA Staff Art Exhibition 2021 INSIDE OUT is organized every two years. The exhibition is open to all staff, and any artwork submitted by a VMFA employee is included in the exhibition. Now in its fourth showing, INSIDE OUT is organized by Mary Holland, VMFA’s Thomas C. Gordon, Jr. Director of the Studio School. Holland…

Coronation Theme: Organon, 2008, Nadine Robinson (American, born England, 1968), speakers, sound system, mixed media. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, given by John F. Wieland Jr. in memory of Marion Hill, 2008.175. Image: © Nadine Robinson

Dirty South: Its Meaning and Influence

“Dirty South” is an expression that endearingly refers to the southern part of the United States—from Virginia to Florida, Texas, and the states in between—whose Black traditions and artistic expressions have shaped the culture of the region and the nation. The term describes an identity born out of the southern landscape and its agriculture as…

Natural Bridge, Virginia, 1860, David Johnson (American, 1827–1908), oil on canvas. Private Collection.

Community Conversation: The Natural Bridge and the Monacan Indian Nation

Johanna Minich: I know discussions happened early in the VMFA exhibition planning process on how to include the indigenous presence in the overall exhibition theme. Chris, as the curator of Virginia Arcadia, can you tell us a little bit about how this collaboration came about? Chris Oliver: As I was assembling a checklist of potential…

The Sounds They Saw: Kamoinge and Jazz

By Dr. John Edwin Mason Author’s Note: This blog post draws heavily on an essay, also called “The Sounds They Saw: Kamoinge and Jazz,” that I wrote for the exhibition catalogue Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop. I’m grateful to the photographer Herb Robinson, a member of Kamoinge, for selecting the music that…

Delving into Draper

Sandra Sellars is an assistant photographer at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and VMFA’s Louis Draper Archive photographer. Sellars is also an award-winning photojournalist for the Richmond Free Press—a Black–owned and operated newspaper. She will be a featured presenter in VMFA’s free seven-part virtual symposium titled The Kamoinge Workshop: Collaboration, Community, and Photography, which…

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,…