VMFA Blog

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

Antietum

Anniversary of Antietam

One-hundred fifty years ago today, 160 miles north of Richmond, a horrific battle near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek marked the turning point in the Civil War. It was the first major confrontation in the conflict to take place on Union soil and remains the single deadliest day in American history with over 23,000 casualties…

Tom Brinda

Clip, dig, and laugh

As a veteran docent of twelve years, I thought no experience at VMFA could rival time spent in the galleries. One of my greatest joys is researching and learning about the art and conversing about it with visitors. This July I was pleasantly surprised to find just how enjoyable volunteering in the sculpture garden could…

Little Girl with Dead Leaves

An uncommon vision

When looking through preview photos on the VMFA’s website, I stumbled upon Édouard Boubat’s Little Girl with Dead Leaves. It is a hauntingly beautiful image, one of melancholy and wonder, and is featured in our free exhibition, “Visions of France.” Boubat, only 20 when he captured the image, wrote a poem about his encounter and…

lilly

A beautiful and symbolic flower

Yesterday was a positively beautiful day.  With the sunshine warming me through wispy clouds and a cool breeze gently carrying the air, I slowly strolled past the reflecting pool.  Shallow and clear, the pool is home to tall grasses and floating water lilies, but my gaze lingered on the lotus.  The bright white petals, blossoming…

Jacob Lawrence

One of the Most Stupendous Scenes in Nature

Upon visiting Harpers Ferry in 1783, Thomas Jefferson was so awestruck by the raw beauty of the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers that he described the view as “perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in nature.” In addition to being a site of great natural beauty, Harpers Ferry, now situated at the…

Maharaja TV CEO 2

Maharaja LIVE

Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Great Kings has made its television debut!  WTVR/CBS 6 News’ executive producer, Jessica Noll, reported live from the VMFA yesterday morning for an exclusive look at one of the museum’s most opulent exhibitions yet.  But as the rest of Richmond watched from home, I had the privilege of observing the broadcast from behind…

Walt Whitman

Reasons to Celebrate Walt Whitman

“Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.” –Walt Whitman Happy Birthday, Walt! 193 years ago today, America’s greatest and most influential poet was born on Long Island, New York. VMFA is honoring Walt Whitman’s life and work in a special summer exhibition—Bold, Cautious, True: Walt Whitman and American Art of the Civil War Era—that opens in…

The passing of an American art icon: Elizabeth Catlett

Bittersweet.  The word comes to mind as I take in the sad news that the magnificent Elizabeth Catlett died on Monday.  Just two weeks shy of her 97thbirthday, this pioneering African American printmaker and sculptor had certainly lived life large.  And last week—little knowing Catlett was facing her final days—VMFA paid tribute to this iconic…

Hobart Cornell

Want Revolutionary Performance? VMFA’s Got It.

After the calamitous yet victorious 1917 Russian Revolution, its supreme political and intellectual leader, V.I. Lenin, declared cinema to be the most important of all the arts.  He saw film as having superior ability to spread the message and inspire change for his formidable task to improve the lives of the masses of the new Soviet…

Caroline Smith, Gold, I Am Woman

Virgina’s talented young artists

The National Scholastic Art Awards hold a long tradition of recognizing promising young artists and supporting their passion. The Awards have an impressive legacy dating back to 1923 and a noteworthy roster of past winners including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford and Joyce Carol Oates. They continue to be the…