VMFA’s First Crowdfunding Initiative Starts Today

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is launching its first crowdfunding campaign to support the exhibition fund.  Supporters will be invited to help build a scaled version of the Forbidden City featuring the hundreds of buildings that make up the complex. The crowdfunding campaign, which starts today, will conclude on October 17, the day before the opening of the exhibition Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum, Beijing, and conclude October 17.

“VMFA has an exciting opportunity to participate in two innovative and exciting developments in contemporary culture: crowdfunding and 3D printing technology. Using these new platforms, VMFA will fuse the accomplishments of China’s Imperial past with Virginia’s present,” said Claudia Keenan, executive director, VMFA Foundation , andVMFA deputy director for resources and the visitor experience.

3D printers will be installed in the Atrium on September 23 and will create the buildings for the duration of the 26-day campaign. VMFA patrons will have the opportunity to donate $10-$500 through the online donation platform Razoo.com with each giving level correlating to an architectural feature of the complex. These levels, which range from the Meridian Gate to the Imperial Ceremonial Halls, each represent a historic element of Chinese life and culture. Using the symbolic framework of the Forbidden City complex, VMFA will use crowdsourced gifts to “help build the city” by tying the gifts to physical components of the city. VMFA is among only a few U.S. museums to promote crowdfunding as a method to invite the donations for a project of this magnitude. The campaign’s goal is $40,000.

The Forbidden City complex in Beijing is a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to two dynasties and 24 emperors, dating back 600 years. The original construction of the Forbidden City required the efforts of millions of workers, but by using 3D printing technology, VMFA will create the scaled model  in a matter of weeks.

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.