Alexis Assam Named VMFA’s Regenia A. Perry Assistant Curator of Global Contemporary Art

New Position Will Support Activities of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art

Richmond, Virginia — The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Alexis Assam to the position of Regenia A. Perry Assistant Curator of Global Contemporary Art. Assam comes to VMFA from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she worked as the Constance E. Clayton Curatorial Fellow in the Contemporary Art department.

“It gives me tremendous pleasure to welcome Alexis to the department of Modern and Contemporary Art,” said Valerie Cassel Oliver, VMFA’s Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. “She will be an invaluable asset in upcoming acquisitions, exhibition developments and future projects for the museum.”

“Alexis will have an important role in continuing to build the museum’s inclusive collections and in developing relevant, meaningful exhibitions that will resonate with our visitors,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO.

While at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Assam played an integral role in the Philadelphia presentation of Senga Nengudi: Topologies. She assisted in other exhibitions and installations including Fault Lines: Contemporary Abstraction by Artists from South Asia and Expanded Painting in the 1960s and 1970s. Assam was also a member of the African American Art Working Group collaborating with peers on initiatives to diversify exhibitions, collections and programming at the museum.

Prior to her time at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Assam worked as the Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellow at the Saint Louis Art Museum, where she co-curated The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection. Assam earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art history from Florida State University. 

“I am so proud to be selected for this newly created position named for Regenia A. Perry, an important art historian and curator,” said Assam. “The collection at VMFA and the museum’s commitment, advanced by its strategic plan, to diversify the collection by dedicating one-third of its acquisition funds to African and African American art speaks directly to my curatorial priorities. I look forward to working with the entire curatorial team and colleagues across the museum to present exhibitions that are timely, engaging and accessible to all VMFA visitors.”

For more information about the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, visit

About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, is one of the largest comprehensive art museums in the United States. VMFA, which opened in 1936, is a state agency and privately endowed educational institution. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art, and to encourage the study of the arts. Through the Office of Statewide Partnerships program, the museum offers curated exhibitions, arts-related audiovisual programs, symposia, lectures, conferences, and workshops by visual and performing artists. In addition to presenting a wide array of special exhibitions, the museum provides visitors with the opportunity to experience a global collection of art that spans more than 6,000 years. VMFA’s permanent holdings encompass nearly 50,000 artworks, including the largest public collection of Fabergé outside of Russia, the finest collection of Art Nouveau outside of Paris, and one of the nation’s finest collections of American art. VMFA is also home to important collections of Chinese art, English silver, and French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, British sporting, and modern and contemporary art, as well as renowned South Asian, Himalayan, and African art. In May 2010, VMFA opened its doors to the public after a transformative expansion, the largest in its history. 

The museum has undertaken an exciting $190 million expansion and renovation, anticipated to be complete in late 2025. International architectural firm SmithGroup is charged with designing a 105,000-square-foot wing for contemporary art, African art, photography, special exhibitions and events; a new 40,000-square-foot collections center to accommodate an expanded conservation department and collections storage; and 45,000 square feet of renovations to the museum’s 1936 building, 1970 building and Leslie Cheek Theater. 

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission. For additional information, telephone 804.340.1400 or visit

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