Talks + Lectures

Get tickets on-site, online, or by phone at 804.340.1405.


Talk & Performance: Ansel Adams: America

Fri, Sep 24, 6:00–7:30pm | Leslie Cheek Theater 
DR. CHRISTOPHER C. OLIVER, Bev Perdue Jennings Assistant Curator of American Art
, VMFA, and MICHAEL JEFRY STEVENS, pianist/composer

Celebrate the opening of the special exhibition Ansel Adams: Compositions in Nature with excerpts of “Ansel Adams: America,” composed by Chris and Dave Brubeck and performed by pianist/composer Michael Jefry Stevens, as a tribute to one of America's most celebrated photographers. Dr. Oliver, the exhibition curator, will introduce the concert with an exploration of Adams's lifelong connection to music.

$8 ($5 VMFA members)

 


Talk & Performance: Ansel Adams: America - LIVE STREAM

Fri, Sep 24, 6:00–7:30pm | Livestream
DR. CHRISTOPHER C. OLIVER, Bev Perdue Jennings Assistant Curator of American Art
, VMFA, and MICHAEL JEFRY STEVENS, pianist/composer

Celebrate the opening of the special exhibition Ansel Adams: Compositions in Nature with excerpts of “Ansel Adams: America,” composed by Chris and Dave Brubeck and performed by pianist/composer Michael Jefry Stevens, as a tribute to one of America's most celebrated photographers. Dr. Oliver, the exhibition curator, will introduce the concert with an exploration of Adams's lifelong connection to music.

Free, registration required. 

 


Ansel Adams Up Close and Personal

Fri, Oct 8, 6:30–7:30pm | Leslie Cheek Theater
ANDREA GRAY STILLMAN, former assistant to Ansel Adams and independent scholar

In this intimate view of Ansel Adams, Stillman draws on her experiences managing the sales of hundreds of his photographs, editing his writings, organizing his archive, and accompanying him on extensive travels. She will share anecdotes of Ansel’s early life in San Francisco where he wrestled with the decision to pursue a career as a pianist or as a photographer of America’s wild places.

$8 ($5 VMFA members)

 


Mary Lynn Kotz Award For Art in Literature

Friday, Oct 15, 6 - 7:30 pm | Marble Hall

The Library of Virginia and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts are pleased to announce the winner of the annual Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award. The judges selected Gaylord Torrence’s book Continuum: North American Native Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Gaylord Torrence will be recognized in-person Friday, October 15, 2021 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. This event will feature a presentation by the award honoree, Gaylord Torrence, followed by a book signing and reception.

$8 (VMFA or Library of Virginia members $5)

Tintype of Gaylord Torrence by photographer Will Wilson


Ansel Adams Up Close and Personal - LIVE STREAM

Fri, Oct 8, 6:30–7:30pm | Livestream
ANDREA GRAY STILLMAN, former assistant to Ansel Adams and independent scholar

In this intimate view of Ansel Adams, Stillman draws on her experiences managing the sales of hundreds of his photographs, editing his writings, organizing his archive, and accompanying him on extensive travels. She will share anecdotes of Ansel’s early life in San Francisco where he wrestled with the decision to pursue a career as a pianist or as a photographer of America’s wild places.

Free, registration required.

 


Curator's Talk: The Reinstallation of the Mellon Collection

Wed, Oct 27, 6:30–7:30pm | Leslie Cheek Theater
DR. SYLVAIN CORDIER, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art

The collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts given to VMFA by Paul and Rachel Mellon constitute an essential facet of the museum’s identity. The galleries dedicated to this unique constellation of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, sporting art, and Jean Schlumberger jewelry have been completely redesigned and will open to the public this autumn. These gallery spaces will renew the discourse around this wide-ranging collection, incorporating the directives of contemporary museology while remaining respectful to the donors' vision for their collection. Please join Dr. Sylvain Cordier, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art, for a discussion of the specific motivations and principles that guided this ambitious reconceptualization of the Mellon Collection’s display.

$8 ($5 VMFA members)

 


Curator's Talk: The Reinstallation of the Mellon Collection - LIVE STREAM

Wed, Oct 27, 6:30–7:30pm | Livestream
DR. SYLVAIN CORDIER, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art

The collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts given to VMFA by Paul and Rachel Mellon constitute an essential facet of the museum’s identity. The galleries dedicated to this unique constellation of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, sporting art, and Jean Schlumberger jewelry have been completely redesigned and will open to the public this autumn. These gallery spaces will renew the discourse around this wide-ranging collection, incorporating the directives of contemporary museology while remaining respectful to the donors' vision for their collection. Please join Dr. Sylvain Cordier, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art, for a discussion of the specific motivations and principles that guided this ambitious reconceptualization of the Mellon Collection’s display.

Free, registration required.

 


Curator's Talk: Man Ray: The Paris Years

Fri, Oct 29, 6:30–7:30pm | Leslie Cheek Theater
DR. MICHAEL TAYLOR, Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Art and Education

This lecture focuses on the innovative portrait photographs that Man Ray (the pseudonym of Emmanuel Radnitzky) made in the French capital between 1921 and 1940. In the early decades of the 20th century, Paris became famous as a powerful and evocative symbol of artistic freedom and daring experimentation, drawing a large number of artists, architects, composers, dancers, fashion designers, filmmakers, musicians, and writers. Shortly after his arrival in July 1921, Man Ray embarked on a sustained campaign to document the international avant-garde in Paris in a series of remarkable portraits that established his reputation as one of the leading photographers of his era. Man Ray’s portraits went beyond recording the mere outward appearance of the person depicted and aimed instead to capture the essence of his sitters as creative individuals, as well as the collective character of Les Années folles (the crazy years) of Paris between the two world wars.

$8 ($5 VMFA members)

 


Curator’s Talk: Man Ray: The Paris Years - LIVE STREAM

Fri, Oct 29, 6:30–7:30pm | Livestream
DR. MICHAEL TAYLOR, Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Art and Education

This lecture focuses on the innovative portrait photographs that Man Ray (the pseudonym of Emmanuel Radnitzky) made in the French capital between 1921 and 1940. In the early decades of the 20th century, Paris became famous as a powerful and evocative symbol of artistic freedom and daring experimentation, drawing a large number of artists, architects, composers, dancers, fashion designers, filmmakers, musicians, and writers. Shortly after his arrival in July 1921, Man Ray embarked on a sustained campaign to document the international avant-garde in Paris in a series of remarkable portraits that established his reputation as one of the leading photographers of his era. Man Ray’s portraits went beyond recording the mere outward appearance of the person depicted and aimed instead to capture the essence of his sitters as creative individuals, as well as the collective character of Les Années folles (the crazy years) of Paris between the two world wars.

Free, registration required.

 


Paul Mellon Lecture: Van Gogh and the Olive Groves

Thu, Nov 4, 6:30–7:30pm | Leslie Cheek Theater
DR. NICOLE R. MYERS, The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Senior Curator of European Art, Dallas Museum of Art

Between June and December 1889, Vincent van Gogh produced a stunning series of fifteen paintings dedicated to the olive groves that dotted the rugged countryside outside his residence at the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Bold and experimental, they comprise one of the most ambitious series in the artist’s oeuvre. Yet despite the aesthetic and symbolic significance that van Gogh ascribed to them, they are surprisingly obscure. In this lecture, Dr. Myers will contextualize the olive grove series within van Gogh’s artistic production and explore the deeply personal, often religious resonance the motif held for the painter.

Free, tickets required.


Paul Mellon Lecture: Van Gogh and the Olive Groves - LIVE STREAM

Thu, Nov 4, 6:30–7:30pm | Livestream
DR. NICOLE R. MYERS, The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Senior Curator of European Art, Dallas Museum of Art

Between June and December 1889, Vincent van Gogh produced a stunning series of fifteen paintings dedicated to the olive groves that dotted the rugged countryside outside his residence at the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Bold and experimental, they comprise one of the most ambitious series in the artist’s oeuvre. Yet despite the aesthetic and symbolic significance that van Gogh ascribed to them, they are surprisingly obscure. In this lecture, Dr. Myers will contextualize the olive grove series within van Gogh’s artistic production and explore the deeply personal, often religious resonance the motif held for the painter.

Free, registration required.


Talk and Book Signing: Ansel Adams and the Natural Scene

Fri, Dec 10, 6:30–8:30pm | Leslie Cheek Theater
DR. REBECCA SENF, Chief Curator, Center for Creative Photography

Talk: 6:30 pm | Leslie Cheek Theater
Book Signing (free, no tickets required:) 7:30 pm | Conference Center Suites

Ansel Adams scholar Rebecca Senf recently published Making a Photographer: The Early Work of Ansel Adams, a new book on the acclaimed photographer that looks at the source of his lifelong investments in landscape and environmentalism. She will discuss how his early experiences connected him to the wilderness and how his decades of thinking about nature and photography led to the creation of his celebrated signature style. Her talk will feature his iconic images and lesser-known early works and will provide a sense of who Ansel Adams was and how that influenced who he came to be.

$8 ($5 VMFA members)

 

 


Artist Talks

We have over 25 videos of artists discussing their work in their own words and explore works in the VMFA permanent collection.