Special Exhibitions & Gallery Installations 2014

THE GREAT WAR: Printmakers of World War I
July 28 – November 9, 2014
Complimentary admission
This exhibition marks the centenary of the commencement of World War I on July 28, 1914. Rather than presenting a chronology of events, this exhibition focuses on how artists—many of whom witnessed combat firsthand as official War Artists—represent the moods and transformative experiences particular to this global conflict. The European and American printmakers included here created an invaluable visual record of the war as conducted on the frontlines and the mobilized home front. All of the prints come from the Frank Raysor collection, a promised gift to VMFA. Curated by Dr. Mitchell Merling, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of European Art.

Beyond the Walls
Public opening on Sunday, September 7, 2014, noon – 4 pm
VMFA Hands-on Exhibition Looks Beyond the Palace Walls

In September, the Memorial Foundation for Children Teaching Gallery, located in the MWV Art Education Center, will be transformed into an interactive exhibition where visitors can explore daily life in imperial China. In contrast to the world of the emperor on display in Forbidden City, this hands-on exhibition will provide a glimpse into the home of a merchant-class family who lived in the 18th century. Visitors will be able to interact through activities that include writing Chinese characters on a touch screen and designing personal, virtual seals. There will also be opportunities to unroll and view reproduction scrolls, like those featured in Forbidden City and in VMFA’s East Asian collection, or play traditional musical instruments and games. Whether visiting as part of a school group, or a multigenerational family, the Teaching Gallery exhibition will offer visitors of all ages a new perspective on China’s imperial past.

Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum, Beijing
October 18, 2014 – January 11, 2015
Ticketed, VMFA members free
Accompanying catalogue
This landmark exhibition will feature more than 180 works of art from the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing (“The Forbidden City”). The largest art museum in China and the largest palace in the world, it is located in the center of Beijing within the ancient Imperial Palace, where 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties resided from 1420 until 1924, when the last emperor was expelled. The Palace Museum was established in 1925 and holds more than 1.8 million works of art and artifacts. The exhibition is part of a groundbreaking multi-year collaboration between VMFA and the Palace Museum. The exhibition will offer a broad perspective on Imperial China during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties with a focus on the 17th and 18th centuries. Featured works—ranging from portraits of emperors and empresses, court paintings, religious sculpture, and ritual objects to fine ceramics, bronzes, lacquerware, jade, costumes, textiles, and furniture—will be combined with 3-D printing technology and architectural features to offer visitors an immersive experience, as if passing through the Forbidden City during the height of its glory and splendor. Forbidden City is presented by Altria Group and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. Curated by Li Jian, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of East Asian Art.

Fine Arts and Flowers
November 5-9, 2014
Complimentary admission
Flowers and fine art unite for an exhibition of beauty and creativity. Floral designers from more than 50 garden club chapters across Virginia interpret masterworks in VMFA’s collection with floral arrangements throughout the galleries. Lectures by prominent floral arrangers, an evening gala, lunches, Sunday brunch in bloom, a fashion show, floral tea, hands-on flower arranging workshop, and other events will take place throughout the four-day exhibition.

Water and Shadow: Kawase Hasui and Japanese Landscape Prints
November 15, 2014 – March 29, 2015
Complimentary admission
Accompanying catalogue
Woodblock prints by Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) poignantly reveal the beauty of Japan’s landscape. These tranquil and dreamlike works evoke nostalgia and longing, exploring the search for individual and national identity in Japan during the early Taisho period (1912-1926), an era of rapid social and cultural change. The exhibition features 100 works by Hasui, including three exceptional and rare painted screens. In addition, five prints by his contemporaries – including Japanese landscape masters Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) and Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915) – reveal how the artist appropriated and reinterpreted earlier and modern styles of printmaking. Water and Shadow includes 74 works from VMFA’s extensive collection of Hasui prints donated by René and Carolyn Balcer, complemented by loans from private collectors in New York and Washington, DC. Organized by VMFA and curated by Dr. Kendall Brown, Professor of Asian Art History at California State University, Long Beach, the exhibition is accompanied by a 228-page, full-color catalogue.

Miwako Nishizawa: Twelve Views of Virginia
November 15, 2014 – March 29, 2015
Complimentary admission
Miwako Nishizawa is a California-based Japanese American artist specializing in the traditional shin-hanga Japanese woodblock technique that revitalized the ukiyo-e tradition in early 20th century Japan. As a complement to the VMFA exhibition of shin-hanga artist Kawase Hasui, collectors René and Carolyn Balcer commissioned Nishizawa to execute Twelve Views of Virginia in the shin-hanga style. This focus exhibition features artist proofs from Nishizawa’s series. Prints from the series will be available for purchase in the Museum Shop.

Van Gogh, Manet and Matisse: The Art of the Flower
March 21 – June 21, 2015
Ticketed, VMFA members free
Accompanying catalogue
This exhibition reveals how the traditional genre of still-life painting was re-invented by 19th-century painters, even as the art world was radically transformed by the advent of modernism. The title, taken from an 1888 letter of Vincent van Gogh, suggests the commitment shared by many of van Gogh’s contemporaries to flowers as both a subject and a source of painterly meditation. Well-known artists such as Eugene Delacroix, Gustave Courbet, Henri Fantin-Latour, Edouard Manet, and Paul Cezanne – as well as less-familiar names such as Gerard van Spaendonck, Antoine Berjon, and Simon Saint-Jean – engaged in a sophisticated reworking of traditional imagery, bringing the floral still life into dialogue with emerging models of science and commerce. In the process, they transformed the genre into a reflection on the nature of artistic representation itself. Organized by VMFA and the Dallas Museum of Art, the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue will be the first scholarly treatment of this important subject.

Van Gogh, Manet, and Matisse will feature major loans from institutional members of FRAME (French Regional American Museum Exchange) as well as other important public and private collections. Following its premier at Dallas, the exhibition will travel to VMFA and one other venue. Co-curated by Dr. Mitchell Merling, VMFA’s Paul Mellon Curator and Head of European Art, and Dr. Heather MacDonald, Dallas Museum of Art’s Associate Curator of European Art.

Making America: Myth, Memory, and Identity
September 12, 2015 – January 3, 2016
Ticketed, VMFA members free
Accompanying catalogue
Making America will be the first full-scale multimedia investigation of America’s most enduring cultural phenomenon—the Colonial Revival. Featuring approximately 200 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs, decorative arts, architectural and landscape designs, costumes, and popular culture ephemera—dating from the late 18th century to the present day—VMFA’s landmark exhibition expands the chronological and geographic boundaries of the regionally diverse, multicultural revival. More than just a style or movement, this ongoing hybrid impulse draws from the historical past to understand the present through the creative use of iconic forms and motifs. Making America will explore how and why this desire to revisit—and reinterpret—the pasthas shaped America’s visual landscapes, ideologies, and collective memories in times of celebration and crisis.

Making America, which will travel nationally, is organized by the curatorial team of University of Virginia Commonwealth Professor Dr. Richard Guy Wilson; Dr. Sylvia Yount, VMFA Chief Curator and Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art; and her museum colleagues Dr. Susan J. Rawles, Assistant Curator of American Decorative Art, and Christopher Oliver, Assistant Curator of American Art, all of whom will contribute to the accompanying scholarly catalogue.

Ongoing Special Exhibitions

Catching Sight
Through July 13, 2014
Complimentary admission
Accompanying catalogue
This exhibition sheds new light on a common but often overlooked aspect of British art—the Sporting Print. Featuring 120 works drawn primarily from VMFA’s Paul Mellon Collection, Catching Sight reveals the aesthetic sophistication and accomplishments of the genre. Highly sought-after during the 18th and 19th centuries, these prints endure as symbols of English culture. This exhibition takes an innovative approach to the subject by examining the works from both art-historical and aesthetic perspectives rather than simply as documents of the history of sport and rural culture. Curated by Dr. Mitchell Merling, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of European Art.

Posing Beauty in African American Culture
Through July 27, 2014
Ticketed, VMFA members free
Accompanying catalogue
Posing Beauty in African American Culture examines the contested ways in which African and African American beauty has been represented in historical and contemporary contexts through a diverse range of media including photography, film, video, fashion, advertising, and other forms of popular culture such as music and the Internet. The exhibition explores contemporary understandings of beauty by framing the notion of aesthetics, race, class, and gender within art, popular culture, and political contexts. Drawn from public and private collections, Posing Beauty features approximately 90 works by artists such as Carrie Mae Weems, Charles “Teenie” Harris, Eve Arnold, Gary Winogrand, Sheila Pree Bright, Leonard Freed, Renee Cox, Anthony Barboza, Bruce Davidson, Mickalene Thomas, and Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe. Posing Beauty in African American Culture is curated by Deborah Willis and organized by the Department of Photography & Imaging at New York University. The traveling exhibition is administered by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions, Pasadena, Calif. Sponsored by Dominion Resources. This exhibition is also supported by Richmond (VA) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated. The Banner Exhibition Program at VMFA is supported by the Julia Louise Reynolds Fund.

Identity Shifts
A companion exhibition to Posing Beauty, this collection-based display features works by African American artists who use representations of the human figure or some aspect of the body (including hair) to explore how we construct and perceive personal and cultural identity.  The selection of paintings and sculptures—from the 1970s to the present—features an array of perspectives and styles that underscore the complex factors informing conceptions of race and gender.  Many of the 21st century artists—such as iona rozeal brown, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and Robert Pruitt—mix national, international, historical, and pop-culture references with personal stylistic preferences to produce images that provoke more questions about identity than they answer. The selection of photographs offers a survey of 20th to 21st-century work—from James VanDerZee to Carrie Mae Weems to Hank Willis Thomas—while also highlighting the work of lesser-known artists, such as Richmond native Louis Draper, who played a primary role in founding the first African American photography collective, Kamoinge, in 1963. Many of these works will be on view at VMFA for the first time. Curated by Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

States of Change in Africa
Through December 31, 2014
Complimentary admission
Two recently acquired works in the African collection provide insight into far-reaching social and economic changes associated with the independence movement that swept across Africa during the 1950s and 1960s, bringing an end to European colonialism officially, if not in reality. The upbeat Barber’s Sign from Ghana, infused with the optimism of the new era, suggests modern hairstyles for fashionable personal identity, while celebrating the name Ghana along with the red, yellow, green, and black state colors the new nation adopted after declaring autonomy from Britain in 1957. Revealing another aspect of the transition, the haunting photo montage, Untitled 21, from the suite Mémoire, by Congolese artist, Sammy Baloji investigates the impact of industrial development in the Belgian Congo during the colonial era and its demise after independence in 1960. In this focus installation, both the sign and the photo montage are presented with related works to portray the historic context more broadly and cast a sharper focus on the nature of the changes in society and art that have played out in Africa during the second half of the 20th century. Curated by Richard B. Woodward, Curator of African Art.

Signs of Protest: Photographs from the Civil Rights Era
Through September 7, 2014
Complimentary admission
Signs and protests were inseparable in the 1960s, with words painted or printed large scale to produce maximum impact when photographed or filmed by the media. Like a visual bullhorn, they both amplified and unified the voices fighting injustice. This exhibition includes photographs that feature protest signs, as well as images of the larger culture of resistance surrounding them, with an emphasis on Civil Rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Stokely Carmichael. Benedict Fernandez’s powerful portfolio, Countdown to Eternity, documents the last year of King’s life. Other images express the need for opposition, such as Gordon Parks’ striking photograph of an aunt and niece standing under the neon sign, “Colored Entrance,” outside a movie theater in Alabama. Likewise, Richard Anderson captured a sit-in at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Richmond, Virginia, with a “Restaurant Closed” sign prominently advertising the store’s refusal to serve its African American customers. Signs of Protest is part of an exhibition and program initiative highlighting civil rights and social justice with six cultural organizations in Richmond in early 2014. Signs of Protest is sponsored by Dominion Resources. Curated by Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Ryan McGinness: Studio Visit
Through October 19, 2014
Complimentary admission
Ryan McGinness’s creative process for his 2009 painting Art History Is Not Linear (VMFA) is the focus of this inventive exhibition. Commissioned by VMFA, the artist’s 16-panel painting contains 200 icons inspired by works from the museum’s collection. A three-part exhibition, the first gallery provides a glimpse of McGinness’ studio practice, the second displays a selection of the objects McGinness chose from the museum’s collection alongside his sketches and final image, and the last portion features early works the artist made while growing up in Virginia Beach. The exhibition promises to engage a wide audience, and an exciting array of education programs will encourage young viewers to seek out favorite works in the collection and actively participate in their own process of exploration and interpretation. Curated by John B. Ravenal, Sydney and Frances Lewis Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Collections and Gallery Installations

Permanent Collection on Tour: Fabergé
VMFA’s Fabergé Gallery is closed while the acclaimed collection is on tour, however the Imperial Rock Crystal Easter Egg and some additional objects by Faberge have been installed in the Vaulted Hall adjacent to the Marble Hall.

The majority of VMFA’s world-renowned collection Faberge collection is on international tour. Current venue: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Quebec (through October 5, 2014)

Truland Foundation Media Resource Room
Visitors to the Sydney and Frances Lewis Mid to Late-20th Century Galleries will discover a newly outfitted space designed to bring the artists featured in our Modern and Contemporary collections to life. Equipped with selections of VMFA catalogues and a video kiosk, the Truland Foundation Media Resource Room is a place to discover the stories behind some of the most popular holdings in these collections. Listen to artist interviews using the touch screen in the kiosk and deepen your understanding of the artistic process. The space and kiosk were a gift of former VMFA trustee and President of the Truland Group, Robert W. Truland, and his family. VMFA’s Canvas membership group donated funds to help support the artist interviews.

VMFA MeadWestvaco Art Education Center Exhibitions
Summer Art Adventures 2013, through August 18, 2014
#VMFAselfie and Community Tapestry Project Exhibition, through August 2014
Outside the Walls, September 7 2014 – May 2015

VMFA Studio School Exhibitions
The Alchemy of Pots & Prints IX, through July 3, 2014
Inside/Out: VMFA Staff Art Exhibition, July 14 – August 22, 2014
Studio School Faculty Exhibitions, September 8 – October 17, 2014
Recent Paintings, October 24, 2014 – January 9, 2015
Dreams, Imagination and Desire, February 2 – 27, 2015
Beginning, Middle and Beyond: Recent Photographs, March 6 – April 10, 2015
Recent Paintings (works by students of Joan Elliott), April 17 – May 22, 2015
The Alchemy of Pots & Prints: Number 10, June 1 – August 21, 2015

VMFA Pauley Center Exhibitions
In Line by J.T. Kirkland, through August 10, 2014
Coolly Cool: Pastels by Steve Bernard, August 16, 2014 – February 16, 2015

Amuse Restaurant & Claiborne Robertson Room Exhibitions
The Next Play: paintings by Megan Marlatt, through July 6, 2014
Insist/Resist by Sarah Yoder, July 7, 2014 – February 8, 2015

VMFA Statewide Exhibitions
From Picasso to Magritte: European Masters from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Va., through August 23, 2014
Featuring 35 19th- and 20th-century works from VMFA’s European collection, this exhibition re-examines one of art history’s most popular time periods through an array of paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures by a number of leading artists including Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Edgar Degas, René Magritte, Paul Cézanne, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Vincent van Gogh among others. The works span nearly 150 years—from an 1816 drawing by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres to a 1960s watercolor by Georgio Morandi—and survey various stylistic movements such as Impressionism, Cubism, German Expressionism, and Surrealism.

VMFA at Richmond International Airport
Modern Ruins: photographs by Miranda Elliott, through July 20, 2014
Susan Sterner: Photographs from El Salvador and Brazi, July 21, 2014 – January 4, 2015

NOTE: Exhibitions are subject to change. General admission to VMFA permanent collections is always free. Some special exhibitions require an admission fee, and members receive free admission to all ticketed exhibitions, as noted in each description.

About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
VMFA’s permanent collection encompasses more than 33,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of world history. Its collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, English silver, Fabergé, and the art of South Asia are among the finest in the nation. With acclaimed holdings in American, British Sporting, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist, and Modern and Contemporary—and additional strengths in African, Ancient, East Asian, and European—VMFA ranks as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States. Programs include educational activities and studio classes for all ages, plus lively after-hours events. VMFA’s Statewide program features traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth. VMFA is open 365 days a year and general admission is always free. For additional information, telephone 804-340-1400 or visitwww.vmfa.museum.

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