VMFA Blog

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

Napoleon and Propaganda

In today’s digital age, every owner of a social media account serves as their own minister of propaganda. With each shared photo, observation, and announcement, we control our image and shape the way others perceive us. But even back in Napoleon’s day, paintings, clothing, decorative arts, and political cartoons served as propaganda tools. Napoleon: Power…

A Feast Fit for an Emperor

At VMFA’s Amuse Restaurant, in celebration of the current exhibition Napoleon: Power and Splendor, Chef de Cuisine Greg Haley’s thoughtful and refined Napoleon-inspired menu ranges from the casual Le Burger to a sumptuous Lobster Thermidor. This week, on the heels of Bastille Day and France’s World Cup victory, Chef Haley added a more down-to-earth, traditional…

Terry Melville standing at the entrance of the Napoleon exhibition

Image is Everything: Terry Melville Talks About Personal Branding

The concept of self-branding was revolutionary during the 19th century when Napoleon Bonaparte and his household worked diligently to craft his image as a war hero and later, as emperor of France. But today, one needs only to turn on the television or scroll though social media to see how self-branding has permeated our culture.…

A child enjoying family day

Q&A: Celebrate African and African American Art: Ethiopia

In preparation for the upcoming VMFA Family Day event on Saturday, June 16, Natalie Feister, the museum’s Youth and Family Programs and Events Coordinator, answered a few questions about its Ethiopia theme and festivities, which include music and dance performances, vivid storytelling, and the opportunity to participate in collaborative projects such as a Community Independence…

Dr. Colleen Yarger Standing in front of a Painting of Napoleon

Insights into Napoleon: Power and Splendor with Dr. Colleen Yarger

In Napoleon: Power and Splendor at VMFA, more than 200 exquisite works of art include major masterpieces of paintings, decorative arts, sculptures, and engravings, many of which are on view in the United States for the first time. The innovative exhibition offers an up-close encounter with the propaganda machine that modernized and legitimized the reign…

A view of the Portugal Gallery

VMFA Celebrates the Month of Portugal

This June, VMFA joins a long list of cultural venues across the United States in celebrating the Month of Portugal with its special exhibition, Contemporary Art from Portugal. Organized in collaboration with the Lisbon-based Fundação Luso-Americana (Luso-American Development Foundation), the exhibition features works by six contemporary Portuguese artists. The exhibition is on display in the…

Beneath the Surface of African Art: The Importance of Wood Identification

By Casey Mallinckrodt, Assistant Conservator The conservation initiative in African art funded by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation is allowing the VMFA Conservation Center to deepen capacity by acquiring analytic equipment, engaging specialist consultants, and also by developing specialized expertise within the Conservation staff. This winter Assistant Conservator Casey Mallinckrodt participated in an intensive course…