A blog by staff and others about the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts


A Bird’s Eye View of Félix Bracquemond

In 1874, French printmaker Félix Bracquemond (1833-1914) submitted more works than any other artist to the inaugural impressionist exhibition. The work Bracquemond displayed—at his friend Edgar Degas’s invitation—included portraits of his artistic contemporaries, naturalistic landscapes, reproductive etchings of historical European paintings, and emblematic images of birds accompanied by poems (such as Margot the Critique, or The…

Maggie Ingram

Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes Help Kick Off Black History Month Performances at VMFA

VMFA is showcasing African American artists in honor of Black History Month. “The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is dedicated to representing African American artists throughout the entire year,” Director Alex Nyerges says. “We are honored to join in the nation’s celebration of African American history and the cultural arts.” VMFA is not only celebrating…

McGinness Painting

Sharing Our Art with the Commonwealth

“It’s your art” isn’t just a tagline for VMFA. Our Statewide Program, through which we share our permanent collection with museums, arts centers, galleries, schools, and libraries throughout Virginia, shows just how committed we are to these words. A unique example of this commitment will be happening at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in…

Édouard Manet (French, 1832–1883) Flowers in a Crystal Vase, ca. 1882, oil on canvas, 127/8 × 95/8 in. National Gallery
of Art, Washington, D.C., Ailsa Mellon Bruce

Happy Birthday, Édouard Manet!

Born January 23, 1832, French painter Édouard Manet was one of the first 19th artists to use the modern world as the subject of his art. “I paint what I see and not what others like to see,” he said. While the striking honesty in his subject matter, including prostitution, drinking, and war, scandalized the…

92.152 v1 TF

Happy Birthday, John Singer Sargent!

American painter John Singer Sargent was born 159 years ago today. The year he turned 28, the young artist exhibited a portrait of the notorious Parisian socialite Virginie Avegno Gautreau under the evocative title, Madame X (currently in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art), at the 1884 Paris Salon. Critics decried both the…


Start the New Year with ChinaFest!

VMFA is ringing in the New Year with a cross-cultural celebration in honor of the Forbidden City exhibition. The 10th annual ChinaFest! Year of the Wood Sheep Family Event on Saturday, January 3, will feature nine treasure-making art activities as well as multiple performances and demonstrations. Here are some things that we learned while planning…