The Quilting Tradition of Gee’s Bend

This article is an excerpt from the museum magazine, VMFA, an exclusive benefit for museum members. See works from the Gee’s Bend quilters on display in the Cosmologies from the Tree of Life: Art from the African American South exhibition. Valerie Cassel Oliver, VMFA’s Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art,…

Neptune Virginia Beach Maquette, 2004. Paul Dipasquale (American, born 1951), bronze, Gift of Aubrey and Peggy Layne

King Neptune Installed in the E. Claiborne and Lora Robins Sculpture Garden

In 2003 the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival requested submission designs for a monumental, 16-foot tall statue of Neptune, the ancient Roman god of the sea, that would be permanently sited on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Fifty entries were received from sculptors from around the country, but none from artists based in Virginia, which led Cameron…

Zulu Beaded Ensembles: Materials Analysis

After the departure of beading expert Hlengi Dube, work continues on the survey of the Zulu ensemble components in order to pair the cultural and structural examination with a scientific materials study. With the insights into the importance of materials choice afforded by this consultation, I sought to characterize as many materials as possible using…

Neer and Far: Experiencing Congo Masks at VMFA

William Neer, VMFA’s curatorial assistant for exhibitions, discusses Congo Masks: Masterpieces from Central Africa, which is curated by Marc Leo Felix, director of the Congo Basin Art History Research Center in Brussels, Belgium. In its only North American venue, the exhibition at VMFA is an innovative and visually compelling display of artistry and cultures, showcasing more…

The Thickness of our lives – Q&A about Howardena Pindell with Tressie McMillan Cottom, PhD

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Tressie McMillan Cottom, PhD, about VMFA’s current exhibition Howardena Pindell: What Remains To Be Seen. Cottom is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has spoken across the nation and the world on technology, higher education, race, gender, class, and social inequality. Her latest…

Chelsea HIggs Wise and Howardena Pindell

Experiencing Howardena Pindell and VMFA through the Lens of Intersectionality

Pindell’s journey presented at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is unique to the artist but not unusual. We’ve heard the tale: the impressive work ethic of a brilliant black mind, occupying double roles, only to still fall short on respect from her white colleagues as well as the white-dominant art world. Pindell worked as…

Outside the Horses Tent by Gifford Beal: Surface Topography Illustration using Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI)

By Sydney Collins, Conservation Photographer; Carol Sawyer, Margaret H. & William E. Massey Sr. Conservator of Paintings; Aleyah Grimes, Meghan Mezera, and Morgan Shedd, IMLS Summer Interns As part of the “Connect to Conservation” program, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was able to host three summer interns with the generous support of the Institute…

Painting Conservation Report and Research Project conducted in anticipation of the 2017 exhibition Frédéric Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

By Carol Sawyer, Margaret H. & William E. Massey Sr. Conservator of Paintings  Jean-Frédéric Bazille, The Artist’s Studio, Rue Visconti, Paris, 1867; oil on canvas, 25 ½ in x 19 in. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 83.4. Unlike Nicolas Poussin’s Achilles among the Daughters of Lycomedes, which contains…