VMFA Awarded Grant by Institute of Museum and Library Services

Grant supports ARTshare technology initiative

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded $150,000 to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The museum will use the funds to catalogue, digitize, and disseminate its extensive collection of works on paper, as a part of VMFA’s technology initiative, ARTshare.

Representing nearly 30 percent of the museum’s total holdings, the works on paper collection has particular strengths in European, Modern and Contemporary, American, and South Asian art. This project will enhance the in-gallery experience for onsite visitors, introduce collections to audiences far beyond the region, and make an important component of the museum’s permanent collection widely accessible while preserving fragile objects for future generations.

“Our grants are highly competitive.  The Institute of Museum and Library Services enlists hundreds of library and museum professionals throughout the United States to review grant applications and make recommendations on projects most worthy of funding,” said IMLS Director Susan H. Hildreth. “Receiving a grant from IMLS is significant achievement, and we congratulate the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for being among the 2014 IMLS museum grantees.”

IMLS museum grants support a wide variety of projects that create learning experiences, strengthen community communities, care for collections and provide broad public access.

“As a statewide art museum, VMFA continually seeks new ways to share its collections and resources with Virginia’s eight million residents as well as with our digital visitors globally,” said Stephen Bonadies, deputy director for facilities and collections management. “We are honored to have received this second grant from IMLS in support of VMFA’s information infrastructure to strengthen the museum’s capacity to create, preserve, and disseminate digital content.”

 VMFA’s Service to Virginia
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has a rich history of service to the state. In the 1950s, VMFA introduced the Artmobile to bring works from the collection to communities throughout the Commonwealth. That model has been supplanted by an over 700-member statewide partner network, which enables high-security museum-level partners to borrow works of art and provides art centers, community organizations and schools with speakers on the arts, artist workshops, low-security exhibitions, and classroom resources. For the central Virginia region, VMFA’s 2010 expansion brought a 53% increase in gallery space that gives visitors a broader view of our encyclopedic collection. At the same time, general admission became free of charge and the museum extended its hours to be open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The next step in this commitment to accessibility is ARTshare, a major technology initiative to expand VMFA’s digital footprint. Through infrastructure upgrades, digitization of the collection and related assets, and a growing body of online educational resources, ARTshare will create dynamic opportunities for exploration, learning and creative engagement for both on-site and virtual visitors.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. A complete list of museum recipients is available on the IMLS website at www.imls.gov/2014MuseumList. For information about IMLS museum grant programs, see: www.imls.gov/applicants/available_grants.aspx.

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 art – 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 Partnership program includes traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth. VMFA, a certified Virginia Green attraction, is open 365 days a year and general admission is always free. For additional information, telephone 804-340-1400 or visit www.vmfa.museum.