VMFA Blog

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

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Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan: humor, humility, and staying true to your roots

“If I could go back in time and talk to my fifteen-year-old self, I would say ‘Smile a little, talk to people, and don’t be such a sheltered little nerd’.” Usually you don’t hear such honest self-reflection from anyone, let alone a world famous Hollywood producer, director, and writer! But Vince Gilligan is no ordinary…

Bedroom Painting #39

Wesselmann’s pop art inspires poets

The Poetry Society of Virginia recently took an Ekphrastic Day visit to VMFA to write some art-inspired poems. “Ekphrastic” is the poets’ term for poetry inspired by artwork. Below are a couple of poems inspired by our current special exhibition Pop Art and Beyond: Tom Wesselmann. The exhibition ends this Sunday, July 28th, so if…

ARTrageous 2013

ARTrageous, a glittering evening of fun

ARTrageous 2013 looks ahead to Hollywood Costume, a dazzling blockbuster exhibition coming to VMFA in November from the Victoria and Albert Museum. A committee of volunteers, led by Jennifer and Geoff Sisk and Julee and Drew Spitzer, will bring the glamour of Hollywood to VMFA on September 7 for an evening that rivals the thrill…

With respect to Nelson Mandela on his birthday

Today is the birthday of Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former president of South Africa. He is 95. This is an appropriate time to consider a South African work in VMFA’s collection. Sue Williamson, a South African artist, found this object in a thrift shop. It’s a pass book, and a remnant of…

Wendy

Conservators gather at VMFA for five intensive days of study

In conjunction with the Virginia Conservation Association, and with a grant from the Foundation for the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, VMFA is hosting a workshop for practicing conservators on the Modular Cleaning Program formulated by Christopher Stavroudis, a conservator in private practice in Los Angeles and Richard Wolbers, professor of…

Conservator

Conserving art for the ages

Conservation is one of many essential activities happening at VMFA. While you may be aware of some of the museum’s high profile projects, such as the removal and realignment of Caligula’s head or the discovery of condition changes and intentional artistic alterations in John Singleton Copley’s portrait of Mrs. Isaac Royall in the American galleries,…

Charging Bull

From French sculpture to America-inspired silhouettes

Featuring more of the recently acquired pieces added to your permanent collection at the VMFA by our privately funded acquisition program, these pieces explore forms from small-scale bronze French sculpture to a black cut-paper silhouette depicting America’s racial and gender tensions. For more than a decade, Mrs. Nelson St. Clair Jr. has been enriching VMFA’s…

Cornell

Rembrandt film deflates the vane and vacuous

Perhaps the greatest painter in European art, Rembrandt van Rijn also became the namesake of a particular style of cinematic lighting used often in Film Noirs and most any moody set piece. Therefore, it should be of no surprise that the brash Baroque artist made for a compelling subject in Alexander Korda’s 1936 British film…

Indian-influenced aquisitions

The last feautured new additions to your art collection–attained through our privately supported acquisition program–are of Indian influence, adding to the South Asian collection. The most intriguing of the variously shaped bronze artifacts produced in great quantities in north India during the 3rd through 2nd centuries BCE are those of abstracted humanoid design. How these…

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VMFA campers create & reflect

Kids summer camps are in full swing at the museum this week! The children are having a ball creating art at the MVW Art Education Center and learning about art in the galleries. From pastel still-life drawings to colorful sculptures, these summer camps offer a variety of artsy subjects to explore. After lunchtime today, a…