The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded a $200,000 grant to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for reinstalling and reinterpreting its collection of historical American art – from painting, sculpture and works on paper to the decorative arts of furniture, silver, glass and ceramics. VMFA is in the midst of a massive expansion project that will […]
The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded a $200,000 grant to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for reinstalling and reinterpreting its collection of historical American art – from painting, sculpture and works on paper to the decorative arts of furniture, silver, glass and ceramics.
VMFA is in the midst of a massive expansion project that will add more than 165,000 square feet of space to the existing 320,000-square-foot museum. The expansion, expected to be completed in late 2009, will increase the museum’s gallery space by 50 percent and will cost $130 million.
“This pending transformation offers us an unprecedented opportunity to rethink the overall shape, display and interpretation of the museum’s holdings,” says Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s director.
The new McGlothlin Wing is named for native Virginians James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin, who in 2005 promised to bequeath their substantial collection of American art to VMFA.
The largest amount of the permanent-collection gallery space in the new wing – approximately 11,200 square feet – will be devoted to the exhibition of VMFA’s current American collection, more than doubling its previous footprint.
“For the first time in the museum’s history, the full breadth and depth of our nationally acclaimed American holdings will be available to the public for its edification and enjoyment,” says Dr. Sylvia Yount, VMFA’s Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art.
“We are delighted that the Luce Foundation has recognized the museum’s critical efforts to make our stellar American collection more visible and accessible in our newly expanded space,” Nyerges says. “The foundation’s dedication to increasing public knowledge of American art history is unrivaled, and we are proud to receive their validating support.”
Yount says the Luce grant will allow the museum to display more of its extensive American holdings in a “multilayered, chronological framework punctuated by stylistic, thematic and socio-historical vignettes.
“With such assistance, we are confident the museum can reach broader audiences and embrace a more nuanced approach to the myriad artistic and cultural movements that have helped to shape and define our collective American experience,” she says.
Established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., the Luce Foundation seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious and art communities.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is on the Boulevard at Grove Avenue. VMFA is an educational institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia and in 2008 celebrates 70 years as a leader in statewide arts education.
– The information above was provided by Suzanne Hall at the VMFA