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Willie Anne Wright

Explore the life of Virginia artist Willie Anne Wright and discover how her innovative approach to artmaking and selection of subject matter offers new perspectives for looking at the world.

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Benjamin Wigfall

Explore the life and work of Virginia artist and educator Benjamin Wigfall and learn how his own work as an artist and art educator reflected and shaped the communities where he lived.

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Elegance and Wonder

Elegance and Wonder: Masterpieces of European Art from the Jordan and Thomas A. Saunders III Collection and works from VMFA’s permanent collection are shown together to highlight how certain pairings can spark dialogue about the purpose, meaning and importance an artwork can have on the narrative of art history.

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Conversations in Art

Explore connections between works of art from across time and place. By placing works in unexpected pairings, we can discover new perspectives, overlooked context, and a better understanding of an artwork’s impact on the world.

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Gee’s Bend Quilters

Explore the quilts of Gee’s Bend and discover how they stand out for their flair - composed boldly and improvisationally, in geometric patterns and transform recycled clothes and other remnants into extraordinary works of art.

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The Pattern and Decoration Movement

Explore the Pattern and Decoration Movement of the mid-1970s - mid-1980s and the artists that used decorative motifs and designs as the main subjects of their paintings. By doing so, pushed against an exclusionary Western art historical narrative by referencing marginalized artistic traditions like quilting, metalwork and embroidery.

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Eight Views of Omi: Japanese Woodblock Prints by Ito Shinsui
近江八景の内 伊東深水 木版画

Explore the ancient Japanese province of Omi through the woodblock prints of artist Ito Shinsui, a pioneer of modern Japanese prints.

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Words Matter & Untold History

Words Matter underscores the diversity of contemporary Native experience, highlighting artists who combine text and image to chronicle tragedies of history, but also to supply messages of hope, humor, survival and prosperity. Untold History showcases Indigenous comic book and graphic novel artists and writers who meld contemporary culture with their rich heritage and identity.

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The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse

“The South got something to say.”
André 3000

Explore the themes of the exhibition with selected examples of visual artwork and music. Discover how Black artists and musical legends draw upon visual, sonic, and material traditions to unpack what it means to be in and a part of the Dirty South.

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The Ludwig and Rosy Fischer Collection

Expressionism is our understanding; it’s central concept is not a style, it is a Weltanschauung, a philosophy of life. . . . But it looked like something I had never seen before. People whom I tell about this usually ask me, “Did you like it?” But I cannot answer that! It was beyond “liking.” It was beyond anything I had seen before. It was like entering a new world.—Anne Fischer, 1994

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Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop

"Thus it is valid to state that the Kamoinge Workshop, while operating within an arena of negation, was primarily forged in an atmosphere of hope and not despair."
—Louis Draper

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American Land, American People

Native peoples’ philosophies on land insist that land and people are inseparable parts of a living spirit. The arrival of Europeans, however, introduced a diametrically opposing worldview based on their interpretations of Christianity and expansionism. Presented in pairings, the works here serve to visualize these perspectives and remind us that land is much more than the soil beneath our feet.

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Traverses: Art from the Islamic World across Time and Place

Cutting across continents, cultures, and a millennium, this Installation Story brings together works from VMFA’s permanent collections that were created in regions where Islam is or has been the dominant religion, or by artists from these places. Some themes are recurrent—the written word, self-awareness, cultural tension—but perhaps most apparent is the great diversity of these works.

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The Black Photographers Annual

From 1973 to 1980, a group of African American artists in New York City published The Black Photographers Annual. The idea emerged from the collective of African American photographers known as the Kamoinge Workshop (Kamoinge, from the Kikuyu language of Kenya, means “to work together”). The forty-nine artists featured in the book, however, far exceeded the boundaries of the collective.

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Lillian Thomas Pratt

Virginia Museum of Fine Art’s extensive Russian decorative arts collection is in large part attributed to one donor, Mrs. Lillian Thomas Pratt, whose collection of more than 400 Russian decorative arts objects all began with a fork.

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Alphonse Mucha: Paris 1900

Czech artist Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was a featured artist at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900.

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