Style is an expression of identity. In many cases style represents a unique personality, while for others it speaks to an entire culture, belief, or movement. Travel through the VMFA galleries to see how art can express attitude, status, trends, spirit, and thoughts!
American Art Gallery, Level 2
How do artists capture something that cannot be seen? In this portrait of famous singer Marian Anderson, Beauford Delaney was interested in portraying not only her likeness, but her beautiful voice and inner spirit. Do you think he has accomplished that? Explain how or how not.
Ancient Art Gallery, Level 2
Agrippina, mother of the infamous Emperor Caligula, sports a hairstyle with waves in the front—similar to the portrayal of goddesses—while in the back she displays cork-screw curls, her signature style that became a trend in her day. What celebrity hair trends are popular now?
Mid to Late 20th–Century Art Gallery, Level 2
Barkley L. Hendricks paints colorful, approximately life-sized portraits of everyday people, such as these two sisters. He pays special attention to jewelry, clothing, skin tones, patterns, and textures, while also playing up their self-aware fashion statement. What do you think their style says about them and why?
European/Baroque Art Gallery, Level 2
In the 1600s, commerce flourished in the Netherlands, and the upper-middle class grew.
As they became wealthier, laws were established to prohibit commoners from dressing
lavishly, in order to separate them from nobility. Extravagant materials such as silk and lace worn by this gentleman enhance his clothing’s plain appearance. How can clothing distinguish people today?
African Art Gallery, Level 2
This extraordinary object represents the Yoruba concept of the inner and outer head.
On the pedestal there is a Yoruba proverb that says, “May my inner head not spoil the external one.” What do you think the message of that proverb is?
Beauford Delaney, Marian Anderson, 1965
Unknown, Agrippina the Elder, mid-1st century A.D.
Barkley L. Hendricks, Sisters (Susan and Toni), 1977
Gerard Ter Borch, Male Portrait, ca. 1640
Unknown, Ilé Orí (House of the Head), 19th-20th century