VMFA’s historical American art collection represents three centuries of cultural exchange and development and features painting, sculpture, works on paper, and decorative arts.
Click on the image for a virtual view of VMFA’s American Modernism Gallery, featuring art from the mid-20th century. The galleries have changed a bit since this image was made, but here you can get an idea of the kinds of objects on display in the museum. When you come to the museum you will be visiting this gallery exploring just a few objects like these.
As you take a look around consider:
Yes! The objects displayed in these galleries are real examples of art made by artists working and living in America during the mid-20th century. By caring for and studying these objects in museums like VMFA, we are able to connect with these artists, consider how they understood the world around them, and explore how they visually shared stories and ideas.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a scholar or an art specialist to take a closer look and begin exploring. All you need is a little bit of time and some curiosity!
Use these simple steps to take a closer look at this painting from 1965.
1.Take a brief look at this object and write down your first impression by finishing this sentence: “This painting is…” (you can write anything. A single word, a full thought…even a question).
Now you’ve looked at this painting for at least 30 seconds. Look at your list of sentences. You’ve just connected with a piece that artist Beauford Delaney painted over 50 years ago. Click on the image to find out more about this object. What are you still curious about? What new ideas do you have?