VMFA Receives Significant Gift Supporting the Museum’s Upcoming Expansion and Amuse Restaurant

Amuse Dining Room and Terrace Renamed for Eda Hofstead Cabaniss

Richmond, Virginia — The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is the recipient of a generous contribution from Eda “Edie” Hofstead Cabaniss. Her gift will support a new wing and second exhibition suite, both spaces that are part of the museum’s current expansion project. The museum’s Amuse dining room and terrace will be named to honor her.

Mrs. Cabaniss, who is a current Trustee and served on the VMFA Foundation Board from 1999 to 2012, said, “I was fortunate to serve on the Board of Directors for the VMFA Foundation when Amuse opened, and it has been consistently fabulous ever since. Like the museum itself, Amuse blends the best of many traditions with a sense of adventure and style.” Amuse restaurant was selected as Restaurant of the Year in 2011 by the Richmond publication Style Weekly, just one year after opening.

Mrs. Cabaniss has long been a supporter of VMFA. Soon after settling in Richmond with her husband, Robert W. Cabaniss Jr., in 1970, Cabaniss received a volunteer placement through the Junior League to provide school children with tours of the museum, including the famed Fabergé collection. VMFA’s Eda Cabaniss Fabergé Galleries, which opened in 2016, were championed by Mrs. Cabaniss and named in her honor.

“We are extremely grateful to have Edie as a significant donor and supporter of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,” said VMFA Director and CEO Alex Nyerges. “Through her generosity and contributions to exhibitions, Amuse, the Fabergé Galleries and our upcoming expansion, she has helped to make the museum a wonderful experience for all of its visitors.”

Mrs. Cabaniss served on the VMFA Foundation Board during the museum’s 2010 expansion, helped to launch the expansion of the museum’s exhibition program and sponsored several blockbuster exhibitions including Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, ParisFabergé RevealedChihuly at the Virginia Museum of Fine ArtsForbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum, BeijingYves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style and, most recently, Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities.

As a member of the Belvedere Society, a generous group of lifetime contributors, Mrs. Cabaniss’ support has also included a major gift to the 2016 Fine Arts and Flowers exhibition, VMFA’s 2018 Collecting for the Commonwealth/Preserving for the Nation: Celebrating a Century of Art Patronage, 1919–2018 exhibition at the Winter Antiques Show and the installation of Kehinde Wiley’s remarkable sculpture Rumors of War in 2019.

“Richmond has such a gem in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,” Mrs. Cabaniss said. “With the upcoming expansion, the museum will be able to showcase more of its collections and grow an already exceptional exhibition program. I am delighted to play a part in its next transformation with this gift.”

For more information about the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, visit www.VMFA.museum.

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 www.VMFA.museum.


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Media Contacts 

Jan Hatchette | 804.204.2721 | jan.hatchette@VMFA.museum

Amy Peck | 804.773.1791 | amy.peck@VMFA.museum

Kyla Coleman | 804.204.2702 | kyla.coleman@VMFA.museum


200 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., Richmond VA 23220