VMFA Board of Trustees President Named One of Richmond Times-Dispatch’s 2018 People of the Year

Dr. Monroe E. Harris Collectively Honored with Marlene Paul and Joseph Seipel for Contributions to Art in Richmond

Richmond, VA––Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Board of Trustees President, Monroe E. Harris, Jr., D.M.D., was named one of the Richmond-Times Dispatch (RTD) 2018 People of the Year at a private luncheon on Monday. The RTD Person of the Year program was introduced in 2015 and recognizes individuals whose contributions and achievements have highlighted the Richmond region. Previous designees have been the UCI Road World Championships organizing team (2015), then-Mayor-elect Levar Stoney of Richmond (2016) and Noah’s Children pediatric hospice founder Dr. Bob Archuleta (2017).

Dr. Harris was elected president of the Board of Trustees for VMFA in July of this year. He has served on the Board of Trustees at VMFA for five years and is the first African American to hold this position in the 82 year history of the institution. Previously, he held the offices of executive vice president and vice president of the Board of Trustees, and as president of the Foundation Board of Directors. He succeeded Michael J. Schewel.

He is past president of the Board of the Virginia Repertory Theatre, board chair of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia and serves on the board of the American Civil War Museum. Dr. Harris has previously served as president of the Virginia Board of Dentistry and the Virginia Board of Medical Assistance.

“Dr. Harris is a pillar of the Richmond community, and we at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts are so pleased to see his enduring accomplishments recognized by Richmond-Times Dispatch,” said VMFA Director Alex Nyerges. “He has been involved with the museum for years and we continue to benefit from his incredible contribution and forward-thinking vision as President of the Board of Trustees.”

For 30 years, Dr. Harris has been an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Richmond and a partner in the practice of Virginia Oral & Facial Surgery. In the community, Dr. Harris frequently provides volunteer care and free oral surgery to patients in Richmond at the Crossover Clinic, the Fan Free Clinic, Donated Dental Services of Virginia and Missions of Mercy.  Dr. Harris also volunteers his time as a mentor for those seeking careers in dentistry and oral surgery.

About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, is one of the largest comprehensive art museums in the United States. VMFA, which opened in 1936, is a state agency and privately endowed educational institution. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret art, and to encourage the study of the arts. Through the Office of Statewide Partnerships program, the museum offers curated exhibitions, arts-related audiovisual programs, symposia, lectures, conferences and workshops by visual and performing artists. In addition to presenting a wide array of special exhibitions, the museum provides visitors with the opportunity to experience a global collection of art that spans more than 6,000 years. VMFA’s permanent holdings encompass nearly 40,000 artworks, including the largest public collection of Fabergé outside of Russia, the finest collection of Art Nouveau outside of Paris, and one of the nation’s finest collections of American art. VMFA is also home to important collections of Chinese art, English silver, and French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, British sporting and modern and contemporary art, as well as renowned South Asian, Himalayan and African art. In May 2010, VMFA opened its doors to the public after a transformative expansion, the largest in its history.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission. For additional information, telephone 804-340-1400 or visit www.VMFA.museum.


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Media Contacts

Jan Hatchette | 804.204.2721 | jan.hatchette @VMFA.museum

Ellie McNevin | 804.204.2680| ellie.mcnevin@VMFA.museum

Lillian Dunn | 804.340.1517| lillian.dunn@VMFA.museum

200 N. Boulevard, Richmond VA 23220