The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ outstanding permanent collection belongs to the citizens of Virginia and should be enjoyed by everyone. ARTshare is an ambitious, multiyear initiative to expand opportunities for digital learning and outreach at VMFA. Through innovative tools that enhance the gallery experience and extend it beyond the museum’s walls, your donation to ARTshare enables visitors—both onsite and online—to engage with Virginia’s art collection in new and dynamic ways:
- Digitize VMFA’s extensive cultural assets, making high-resolution images of our nearly 50,000 objects and related archival materials freely available to all
- Interpret our encyclopedic permanent collection through a mobile app, revamped website, in-gallery interactives, and an ever-expanding suite of digital educational resources
- Integrate arts learning into preK-12 classrooms throughout Virginia by offering teachers resources related to math, history, geography, science, literature and world languages rooted in the museum’s collection
- Empower all visitors to explore the world-class collections for which VMFA has become known, finding their own connections and inspiration
Recent Progress and Ongoing Projects
Digitizing the Collection and Archives
- Digitizing a collection of VMFA’s size is multi-year project. More than 10,000 works of art have been digitized. Those works currently on view in the galleries—approximately 10% of the collection—are also available via the museum’s website.
- VMFA has also begun digitizing its archival holdings. The Lillian Thomas Pratt Collection of Fabergé and Russian Decorative Arts is now available for visitors and scholars to explore thanks to a pilot project funded by National Endowment for the Humanities.
Sharing the Collection
- VMFA on the Road, a reimagination of the original Artmobile designed to meet the needs of 21st-century Virginians, began traveling the state in 2018. Both a mobile museum and a classroom, the VMFA on the Road vehicle is outfitted with a themed exhibition featuring original works of art as well as hands-on activities, classroom materials to share with teachers in each location visited, and digital components based on Virginia Standards of Learning.
- Nearly 300 objects from VMFA’s collection and several gallery views are available on the Google Art Project, which features 45,000 works of art from 250 museums, galleries, and cultural heritage institutions around the world.
- VMFA began contributing to Art Babble, a repository of art-related videos, in 2015.
- Digital images from VMFA’s collection are also available on Artstor, a scholarly resource with 1.9 million images from museums, libraries, and photo archives.
- The recently renovated Fabergé and Russian Decorative Arts Galleries feature multiple interactives that are also available online via the VMFA website.
- VMFA’s distance learning program enables students across Virginia to interact with a VMFA educator broadcasting live from the museum’s galleries. The pilot phase of this project is geared towards students in grades 6-12 and community colleges.
- VMFA’s Learn site offers an ever-expanding library of educational resources. Grounded in Virginia’s Standards of Learning, these online resources are available to students, teachers, and visitors of all ages at no cost, including:
Gallery guides and gallery hunts for families with children
Teacher-directed gallery tours, pre- and post-visit activities, and lesson plans
Special exhibition resources such as audio guide content, didactic panels, lectures, and digital interactives like the award-winning Beyond the Walls mobile app
Audio clips and artist videos featuring Chuck Close, Esther Mahlangu, Ryan McGinnis, Julie Mehretu, Robert Pruitt, Hank Willis Thomas, among others
Art in Depth Modules on ten conservation projects created by student participants in M.Lit program
VMFA extends its gratitude to all those who have contributed to ARTshare. With your support, we can make the museum’s collection, archives, and resources more accessible than ever before. In addition to giving online, you may also make a tax-deductible gift by phone 804.340.1478 or by mail.