VMFA Blog

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

Chaplin’s Circus synonymous with cinema

If there is one iconic image that signifies “Cinema” it is Charlie Chaplin in his Little Tramp costume shuffling down the road into the sunset. It is a form that has taken on logo status as an all-telling symbol of motion pictures. This figure, spanning many generations, means MOVIES. As the first international super star…

The mummy returns

The art handlers and exhibit designer were slightly disturbed by my seemingly morbid interest as I pestered them week after week asking: “So, when’s the mummy going to be installed?!” I can’t help it… my interest in mummies stretches as far back as I can remember. Children seem to be so fascinated by mummies, but…

Picasso Served Up in Rich Cinematic Terms

What is it about Merchant Ivory films that make them so handsome and erudite and yet so entertaining and giving? It is the touch that the team of Producer Ismail Merchant, Director James Ivory, and Screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has treated audiences to for decades. This critic grieves that there be no one in this…

Julian Schnabel, with Tina, in his studio in Brooklyn.

Julian Schnabel & Pablo Picasso

Julian Schnabel, known for films like Basquiat and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, will be discussing his own art and Picasso’s, both currently on display at the museum. Describing himself as primarily a painter, Schnabel has followed Picasso’s example, establishing himself in the art world by intelligently reinterpreting the old masters and confidently asserting…

African-inspired fashion show at VMFA

Last night was a packed house full of style and excitement with beautiful models and artful fashions inspired by Africa. In honor of the newly installed African collection and the extraordinary exhibtion Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art of Ancient Nigeria.  

VMFA’s Past is now Present

I’m excited about the installation of permanent outdoor signs on VMFA’s campus that interpret the history of the Confederate Soldiers’ Home—a residential compound for poor and infirm southern veterans that once stood on the site between 1885 and 1941. Established by R. E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans, the camp included, among many buildings:…

A student visits Picasso

While attending a Picasso exhibition in Paris during the summer of 1955, Frederick Baldwin–a young American journalism student from Columbia University–asked: why not visit the artist instead? “I wanted to see Pablo Picasso. I don’t suppose that anybody felt less qualified or had less of an excuse than I did. But to me he was…

Richmond-Guitar-Quartet

Guitar music inspired by Picasso

The Richmond Guitar Quartet and special guest Adam Larrabee will preform a FREE guitar concert featuring new compositions of pieces by composers such as Ravel, Satie, and Severac as well as contemporary compositions such as Chick Corea’s “Spain.” Advance tickets are required and can be reserved by calling Visitor Services at 804.340.1405 or buy online.

Kids in atrium hi res

A Picasso-inspired musical performance

The Richmond Symphony is offering a free concert in April 14 at 7 p.m. in the Cochrane atrium. The program celebrates the wealth of creative activity that marked Paris in the early 20th century. Using the Picasso exhibition as the beginning of a colorful journey, the Symphony will perform music by composers whose works were…

James River Film Festival this week at VMFA

It started 18 years ago as the brainchild of Mike Jones, VCU film teacher and former owner of the legendary Biograph Theater here in Richmond. It was conceived as a non-profit showcase for very significant film-related events drawn primarily from the world of independent and avant garde cinema, and has certainly lived up to the…