Work on the VMFA expansion project continues with the Grand Opening set for May 1, 2010. The Grand Opening of the expanded and transformed Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will be May 1, 2010, VMFA Director Alex Nyerges has announced. The new James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Wing “is now sealed and protected from […]
Work on the VMFA expansion project continues with the Grand Opening set for May 1, 2010.
The Grand Opening of the expanded and transformed Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will be May 1, 2010, VMFA Director Alex Nyerges has announced. The new James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Wing “is now sealed and protected from the elements, allowing interior work to proceed full speed ahead,” he said.
“In less than a year our superb collections will be on view once again for all to enjoy in a spectacular setting that is itself a work of art,” Nyerges said.
In addition to the work on the new wing, the museum is upgrading fire-suppression and other mechanical facilities that serve its present galleries.
Because of safety and accessibility issues and because, in the fall, workers will begin reinstalling thousands of works of art, Nyerges said, “our galleries will be off view after June 28 as we prepare for an even more exciting future that will allow us to serve all Virginians in a transformed facility and in new, improved and livelier ways.”
Nyerges noted that the museum will not close its doors. “We will continue to offer a variety of VMFA events and programs that are important to our local and statewide communities.”
Exhibitions, programs and classes will continue in the Pauley Center and the VMFA Studio School.
- The museum’s extensive statewide programs and exhibitions will not be interrupted. With more than 200 partners statewide, including museums, art centers, primary and secondary schools, college and university galleries, libraries, hospitals, and retirement communities, VMFA serves more than 270,000 Virginians each year in their own communities.
- The popular 3rd Thursdays and Art After Hours series will be ongoing.
- VMFA exhibitions at Richmond International Airport will continue.
- Special occasions such as wedding receptions and corporate events will be accommodated.
Nyerges said no full-time state employee or VMFA Foundation jobs will be affected. “Where necessary, staff members will be reassigned and facilities and activities will be redirected as we focus on the completion and opening of the new McGlothlin Wing and the E. Claiborne and Lora Robins Sculpture Garden.”
Some galleries will remain open until the end of the day on June 28.
- The Great Hall, now showing works from the 17th-century European Age of Magnificence, will be on view though April 19.
- The galleries housing the Lillian Thomas Pratt Collection of Russian Imperial Jewels by Peter Carl Fabergé and the Jerome and Rita Gans Collection of English Silver will be on view through June 14.
- The gallery now showing “Labor and Leisure: Works by African-American Artists” will remain open though June 14.
- Remaining open through June 28 will be the West Wing galleries showing British Sporting Art and Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, along with the exhibition “George Morland: Poet of English Country Life.”
- The VMFA Shop and the Arts Café will also remain open through June 28.
A map showing galleries that are now open, updated weekly, is available online here. Galleries will reopen on May 1, 2010.
When the expanded VMFA opens next May, gallery space will be half again larger and special-exhibition space will double. Some 165,000 square feet will be added to VMFA’s existing 380,000 square feet. More than 5,000 works of art will be displayed, significantly more than were on view before. The cost of the project, which includes the expansion of the museum, the 600-car parking deck that was completed last year and the Robins Sculpture Garden, is approximately $150 million.
The McGlothlin Wing, the parking deck and the Robins Sculpture Garden were designed by London-based architect Rick Mather, who incorporated with Richmond-based SMBW Architects to form the partnership of Rick Mather + SMBW. The 1998 facility plan was developed by planning consultants M. Goodwin Associates Inc. and Randall Stout Architects Inc. Olin Partnership served as landscape architecture consultant to Rick Mather + SMBW for the site design and the Robins Sculpture Garden.
More information on the project is available online by clicking here.
– The information above was provided by Suzanne Hall at the VMFA. Photo by Travis Fullerton (© 2009 VMFA)