VMFA’s state-of-the-art traveling museum and art studio launched in October 2018. The climate-controlled 53-foot Volvo trailer includes Wi-Fi to connect visitors with VMFA educators and interactive components to meet their 21st-century expectations. The main attraction of VMFA on the Road, however, is the opportunity for residents of the Commonwealth to see and experience works of art from the VMFA collection up close. VMFA on the Road is traveling to remote corners of Virginia by way of the museum’s Statewide Partners program, which includes 1,000 locations—from community centers and small museums to colleges and universities.
Beginning Spring 2020, VMFA on the Road will feature the exhibition A View from Home: Landscapes of Virginia. The paintings, photographs, woodblock prints, and engravings from the museum’s permanent collection represent various styles and periods. Featured artists include Adele Clark, Hullihen Williams Moore, George H. Benjamin Johnson, Miwako Nishizawa, and others. A View from Home takes the place of VMFA on the Road’s first exhibition, How Far Can Creativity Take You: VMFA Fellowship Artists, which included works by Sally Mann, Cy Twombly, Dennis Winston, and others.
Brian Palmer, VMFA On the Road
Brian Palmer is a Richmond-based photojournalist whose work has appeared in many prominent publications. As seen in this video from the new traveling exhibit, A View from Home: Landscapes of Virginia, Brian and his wife Erin Hollaway Palmer volunteer to reclaim and restore the once-neglected Evergreen Cemetery. Founded in 1891, it is the resting place of Maggie Walker, the first African American female bank president; John Mitchell, the influential editor of the Richmond Planet, one of America’s first African American newspapers; and countless other members of Richmond’s African American community—many of whom were born enslaved. By the early 1970s, the cemetery had fallen into disrepair. Brian Palmer’s photos chronicle the impact nature has had on the cemetery as well as the ongoing restoration effort. “This was an opportunity to reclaim history, literally, with our hands, one headstone at a time.” In 2019, UNESCO named Evergreen Cemetery a “site of memory” associated with its Slave Route Project. Palmer’s photo, Untitled, Evergreen Cemetery, 2017, can currently be seen on the VMFA Artmobile.
Hullihen Williams Moore, VMFA On the Road
Virginia encompasses 554 of the more than 2,180 miles of footpath that form the Appalachian Trail-more than any other state. Hullihen Moore spent twenty years photographing a series of scenes of the Shenandoah, a project connecting the beauty of the wilderness to the beauty of its history. His exquisite photographs convey a sense of personal and natural history, while revealing the artist’s visual emotional relationship with the landscape. This video and his photo, Appalachian Trail and Mist, Shenandoah National Park, 1994 can be seen onboard the Artmobile as part of its new traveling exhibit, A View from Home: Landscapes of Virginia.
In 1953 the museum was among the first in the world to have what was then known as the Artmobile. For four decades, as many as four Artmobiles toured 59 exhibitions and served more than 2.5 million Virginians. Due to conservation concerns and the fragility of traveling works of art, VMFA replaced the program in the early 1990s with a strategy to develop stronger partnerships with schools, community centers, and museums around the state. Since that time, VMFA has developed a robust Statewide Partners program as well as VMFA on the Road, which hopes to reach an unprecedented number of Virginians with innovative art experiences.
We are grateful to the following donors whose generous gifts made VMFA on the Road possible.
The Commonwealth of Virginia
The Council of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
The William and Mary Greve Foundation, Inc.
The Francena T. Harrison Foundation Trust
Mr. and Mrs. William T. Miller
Dr. and Mrs. Harry A. Wellons, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Peter I. C. Knowles II
The Wall Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. John W. West III
The Reverend Doctor Vienna Cobb Anderson
Louise B. Cochrane Foundation
The Cook Foundation
Ralph R. Crosby, Jr.
The Jeanann Gray Dunlap Foundation
Anne and Gus Edwards
To schedule a VMFA on the Road Residency, please contact Jeffrey Allison (Jeffrey.Allison@vmfa.museum)