VMFA Blog

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

Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art

by Dr. Leo Mazow, VMFA’s Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art On view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts through March 19, 2023, Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art explores the guitar as visual subject, enduring symbol, and storyteller’s companion. In the latest issue of VMFA magazine, Dr. Leo Mazow, the exhibition’s curator,…

7 Songs and Their Storied Strings

Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, runs through March 19, 2023. For true music lovers who want to enhance the exhibition experience, there’s a Storied Strings Spotify playlist available for further reflection and listening enjoyment. Its tracks are inspired by the exhibition’s narrative and themes and pay…

On the grounds of the Legacy Museum (Photo: Curtis Kearns)

Civil Rights Trail: Turning Points and Shifting Perspectives

As a Black woman who was raised in New England, Paula Saylor-Robinson, VMFA’s Director of Audience Development and Community Engagement, has viewed the South, especially the Deep South, through the experiences of her South Carolina–born parents, who moved north for more opportunities. This past March she reconsidered her long-held assumptions of the southern region of…

Dr. Susan J. Rawles, Elizabeth Locke Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts

American Art, French Influence, and a Transitional Age

On view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from April 16 through July 31, 2022, Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France explores American painting in the advent of modernism, uncovering the rich variety and complexity that developed when French avant-garde philosophies and styles melded with American individualism. The exhibition is assembled from international…

Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits exhibition catalogue

VMFA Publishes Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits

The following excerpt is from the introductory essay to the exhibition catalogue Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits, published by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Written by Dr. John Henry Rice, the exhibition’s curator and VMFA’s E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art, the 162-page book explores the trajectory of Sherpa’s…

VMFA’s Teen Terns Reflect on The Dirty South Exhibition

This summer, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts had five “Teen Terns” join the Education and Marketing teams during the months of June, July, and August. Teen Ternships are paid internship opportunities for Richmond-area high school students who have previously participated in VMFA’s Museum Leaders in Training (MLiT). This year, we had an additional Teen…

Valerie Cassel Oliver (left) and Jan Hatchette (right). Photo by Sandra Sellars ⓒ Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Years in the Making: Behind the Scenes with Valerie Cassel Oliver

When the public experiences an exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, they see not only the art on view but also the culmination of years of work by teams of museum professionals who take a curator-led journey from conception to realization. While an exhibition’s star attractions are the works of art on view,…

Archery, an acrylic painting by Sukenya Best

Inside Out

VMFA Staff Art Exhibition 2021 INSIDE OUT is organized every two years. The exhibition is open to all staff, and any artwork submitted by a VMFA employee is included in the exhibition. Now in its fourth showing, INSIDE OUT is organized by Mary Holland, VMFA’s Thomas C. Gordon, Jr. Director of the Studio School. Holland…