Governor Youngkin Announces Free Admission for State Employees and Preschool and K–12 Teachers to See Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France at VMFA

Richmond, Virginia — Governor Glenn Youngkin announced today that Commonwealth of Virginia employees and preschool and K–12 teachers (public and private) can receive free admission to the highly anticipated exhibition Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France, now open at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA). Active military and their immediate families can also receive free admission through the museum’s year-round extension of the Blue Star Museums program. The exhibition is on view at the museum in Richmond through July 31, 2022.

“We are fortunate to have so many important, enriching cultural resources here in Virginia,” said Governor Youngkin. “I encourage Commonwealth employees and Virginia’s school teachers to take advantage of free admission to see this wonderful art exhibition at VMFA.”

Organized by the Denver Art Museum and for VMFA by Dr. Susan J. Rawles, Elizabeth Locke Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts, Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France celebrates this country’s first wave of expatriate artists to cross the Atlantic Ocean to Europe between 1855 and 1913, seeking unparalleled opportunities to train and exhibit their works. This group of painters then returned to the United States shaping the course of American art.

“We welcome school teachers and our colleagues from the Commonwealth of Virginia to see this exceptional exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO. “Visitors will be captivated by these extraordinary paintings, created during one of the most complex and transformative periods in American art history, by some of this country’s preeminent artists.”

In addition to groundbreaking works by James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Mary Cassatt, the special exhibition also features paintings by other celebrated artists including Cecilia Beaux, William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, Winslow Homer, Maurice Prendergast, John Singer Sargent and Henry Ossawa Tanner.

For more information about exhibitions now on view and to make plans to visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, visit

Ticket Information

VMFA is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission. Regularly priced tickets for the special exhibition Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors 65+, and $10 for youth 7–17 and college students with ID. The exhibition is free for VMFA members, children ages 6 and under, as well as Commonwealth of Virginia employees and preschool and K–12 teachers (public and private). The exhibition is also free to active-duty military personnel and their immediate families.

Commonwealth employees and educators should call 804.340.1405 to make their reservations and show their employee IDs or badges at the Visitor Services Desk in the museum, when picking up their tickets. One free ticket is available per badge. Reservations for first-available tickets to the exhibition can also be made in person at the Visitor Services Desk. Tickets are scheduled to help limit gallery capacity during the pandemic. For current information about the museum’s COVID-19 protocols, visit

About the Sponsors

Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France is organized by the Denver Art Museum. The national exhibition tour is sponsored by Bank of America and is sponsored in Virginia by Jane Joel Knox, Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Exhibition Endowment, Julia Louise Reynolds Fund, Lilli and William Beyer, Dr. Donald S. and Beejay Brown Endowment, Nancy and Wayne Chasen, Dorothy Ryland Garber Claybrook Trust, The Jeanann Gray Dunlap Foundation, Elisabeth Shelton Gottwald Fund, Alexandria Rogers McGrath, Richard S. Reynolds Foundation, Birch Douglass, E. B. Duff Charitable Lead Annuity Trust, Mr. and Mrs. R. Augustus Edwards III, Richard and Jean Hofheimer, William and Pamela O’Connor, Patricia P. Pusey, Anne Marie Whittemore, Mr. and Mrs. William E. Collin, Page and John Corey, Timothy and Tonya Finton, Mr. and Mrs. David R. Frediani, The Rock Foundation, and an Anonymous Donor.

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 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has begun its $190 million expansion and renovation project led by the international architecture firm SmithGroup. Tentatively scheduled for completion in 2026, the project consists of adding a new wing of nearly 170,000 square feet and renovating 45,000 square feet of existing spaces, while maintaining four acres of green space in the Sculpture Garden. Visitors will experience a seamless journey through the collections in the new wing, which will house contemporary art, African art, American art, a new suite of galleries for rotating special exhibitions, and a special-events space. The expansion and renovation will enable the museum to display more art, welcome more visitors, and provide more enjoyment.

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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Media Contacts 

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