The welcome mat is out at VMFA

Most people do not typically see a museum as a fast-paced, dynamic and constantly evolving place.  I think the popularCouple looking at artnotion is that museums are stale and nice places to visit for a history class. Even though I have only been here for three weeks, I can honestly say VMFA is throwing a coup d’état on the traditional expectations of what museum can be.

Having spent some time working in a broadcast TV station in Baltimore I’m used to the idea of tight deadlines, lots of moving pieces, and a constant flurry of activity.  I did not expect to see that same culture translated into the museum setting.  It was a refreshing surprise!  Not only do we acquire and exhibit new art all the time, the museum also offers hundreds of programs a month on campus and across the state.  The variety and depth of these offerings is remarkable especially when it comes to embracing a multicultural global perspective.

Muslem Woman in African hi resThere are many organizations that practice a “check-the-box” mentality. They talk about black people during black history month or Latinos during Hispanic history month or women during women’s history and so forth. Once that month is over the celebrating ends until the next obligatory time period.  VMFA is different.  We celebrate a rich variety of cultural heritages, identities, time periods and faiths every single day.  We do this not out of obligation but because that is who we are.  Our permanent collections are among the finest in the world; representing over 4,000 years of history and depicting life in almost every corner of the earth.    It is hard to imagine building such a comprehensive museum without individuals who understand the incredible value diversity brings.
Darrian P. Mack
Director of Audience Development