December 2012 VMFA’s New Acquisitions Celebrate African and African American Culture Acquisitions

The Board of Trustees of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts met on December 16 to approve the acquisition of a focused group of 12th to 20th-century objects by African and African American artists, among other works. The acquisitions underscore VMFA’s ongoing commitment to building, interpreting, and programming a diverse, global permanent collection. Each quarter, after VMFA’s trustees approve proposed acquisitions, the art becomes the property of the Commonwealth of Virginia, exemplifying the museum’s “It’s Your Art” motto.

A series of upcoming public and member programs complement the focused acquisitions.
January 10: Lecture on Rosenwald Fund for 20th-century African American art and education
January 24: Conversation and film on Ethiopia’s sacred arts
February 2: Jazz-themed Family Day
February 15: Presentation on 18th-century Virginia’s enslaved populations
For more information on these programs, visit

Enriching VMFA’s already acclaimed holdings of African art, American painting, sculpture, and photography, the new acquisitions include:


  • Processional Cross, 17th-18th century, Ethiopia, Silver, Gift of Robert and Nancy Nooter
  • Galukoji (Divination Instrument), c.1930, Pende culture (Democratic Republic of the Congo),Wood, fiber, feathers, Aldine S. Hartman Endowment Fund
  • Barber Shop Sign, after 1957. Unidentified artist, Ghana, Paint on panel, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth L. Brown


  • Beauford Delaney (American, 1901-1979), Marian Anderson, 1965, oil on canvas, 63 x 51½”, J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane Fund for American Art
  • Aaron Douglas (American, 1899-1979), The Prodigal Son, ca. 1927, oil on canvas, 26 x 18 ½”, J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane Fund for American Art
  • Elizabeth Catlett (American, 1915-2012), Standing Mother and Child, 1978, bronze, 16-1/16 x 4-3/8 x 3½”, Gift of Richmond Chapter, The Links, Inc.


  • Gordon Parks (American, 1912-2006), Stokely Carmichael, Watts, Los Angeles, CA, 1966, gelatin silver print; printed 1966 or 1967, 13 X 10¼”, Katherine Boone Samuels Memorial Fund
  • Gordon Parks (American, 1912-2006), Untitled, Mobile, Alabama, 1956, pigment print, 13¾ x 13¾, Funds provided by Linda Sawyer, Plantation, Florida

In addition to this resonant array of African and African American objects, additional works of art were acquired by purchase and gift at the December meeting:

  • Unknown Artisan (Albany, New York), Pair of Girandole Mirrors, ca. 1810-1820, Eastern white pine (pinus strobus) and yellow poplar (liriodendron tupipifera), carved, gessoed, and gilded, with ebonized framing around mirrors; iron wire, gilt brass, mirror plate, and cut glass prisms, 38-5/8 x 24-1/3 x 8” each, Floyd D. and Anne C. Gottwald Fund.

38 Works on Paper for the Frank Raysor Collection, donated by Frank Raysor, New York:

  • 15 lithographs by Théodore Géricault (French, 1791-1824): Horses Going to a Fair; A Party of Life Guards; Horses Exercising; The English Farrier; A French Farrier; Lara Blessé; A Horse Being Walked Before the Race, The Race; A Draft Horse Unhitched from its Cart; A Postilion or The Two Harnessed Horses; Cuirassiers Charging an Artillery Battery; Hussar Trumpeter; An Artillery Officer Commanding the Charge; Three Horses Being Led to the Slaughterhouse; Officier d’Artillerie legère de al Guarde Imperiale (Light Artillery Office of the Imperial Guard)
  • 14 works on paper by Alfred Hutty (American, 1877–1954): Windswept; Corner of the Huguenot Church; Smyth Gate; The Garden Gate; Old St. Michaels; Charleston, Cabbage Row; Sea Coast; English Pines; St. Phillips, Charleston; An Oak in Middleton Gardens or: The Middleton Live Oak; The Sword Gate; Flower Vendors at Charleston Market; On the Way House; Ashley Hall
  • One drawing by Alphonse Legros (French, 1837-1911): Portrait of Professor Thomas Huxley
  • Five drawings, one portfolio and one bronze by Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (French, 1850-1923): Colette Enfant et Chats, charcoal; Á la Bodnière, ink; Une Chatte et ses Petits, blue crayon; Bad Horsy, ink; Little Boy with Cat and Dog, ink; Des Chats: Images sans Paroles, ca. 1898, hardback portfolio; Cat, bronze
  • Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, 1696-1770), Negretto, before 1762, etching
  • Edmund Blampied (British, 1886-1966), Farmers Vraicking, ca. 1940-45, oil on canvas, Aesop’s Fables, with His Life Extra Illustrated, illustrations by Francis Barlow, Sebastian LeClerc, and Wenceslaus Hollar, 1666, first edition
  • Eight woodcuts by Julius J. Lankes (American, 1884-1960): New Year’s Greeting—Rothenburg, 1926; “N” Street House, Georgetown, 1923; Two Poplars, 1920; March Day in Georgetown, 1925; March Day in Georgetown (another impression), 1925; Christmas Greeting: Coach, 1925; Plowman Letterhead, 1927; Martinsabteigasse—Cologne, 1927

Donated by Mrs. Nelson L. St. Clair, Jr., Williamsburg, Va.:

  • Antoine-Louis Barye (French, 1796-1875

Large Seated Lion, ca. 1847, bronze (atelier)
Tatar Warrior Checking His Horse (model), ca. 1845, bronze (atelier)
Charging Bull, ca. 1842, bronze (atelier)
Pureblood Arab Stallion (Arab Pur-Sang) (master model) ca. 1873, bronze
Charles VII, The Victorious, ca. 1836–40, bronze (atelier)
Panther of Tunisia (master model), ca. 1832, bronze (Barbédienne)
Les Antilopes, ca. 1830, lithograph
Ours du Mississippi, 1836, lithograph

  • Pierre-Jules Mêne (French, 1810-1877), Boar Attacked by Hounds, ca. 1848, bronze

European Decorative Art

  • Koloman Moser (Austrian, 1868-1918), designer and illustrator, Flächenschmuck (Decorations for Flat Surfaces),1901, Portfolio of 30 loose color lithographs, Swenson Art Nouveau Fund

South Asian

  • Derry Moore (Henry Dermot Ponsonby Moore, 12th Earl of Drogheda) (British, born 1937), Shekhavati Traders, near Jaipur, ca. 1990, digital print from color negative, 32-13/16 x 32-11/16, Funds provided by Mimi Wilson Dozier in honor of Joseph M. Dye, III
  • Indian, Karnataka or Andhra Pradesh, Episode from a picture-story series of the Shri Jaimini Ashvamedha episode of the Mahabharata, mid-19th century, opaque watercolor on paper, 11¾ x 15¾”, South Asian Arts Fund and South Asian Deaccessioning Funds
  • Indian, Malwa, Central India, Illustration to a Ragamala Series: Bangal Ragini, ca. 1680 opaque watercolor on paper, 9¼ x 6 ¾”, Funds provided by Friends of Indian Art in memory of Ranjit Sen

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is a state agency and a model public/private partnership. All works of art are purchased with private funds from dedicated endowments. After the board of trustees accepts the acquisitions, the art becomes the property of the Commonwealth of Virginia to protect, preserve and interpret. The Acquisitions committee meets quarterly.