The WSJ on the VMFA Expansion

by | Jun 9, 2010 | ART

‘I could just cry, I’m so excited!” gushed a members-preview visitor who came upon American art curator Sylvia Yount at the newly installed, extravagantly opulent Worsham-Rockefeller Bedroom, an irresistible crowd magnet in the new McGlothlin Wing of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

‘I could just cry, I’m so excited!” gushed a members-preview visitor who came upon American art curator Sylvia Yount at the newly installed, extravagantly opulent Worsham-Rockefeller Bedroom, an irresistible crowd magnet in the new McGlothlin Wing of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

As I toured the galleries with the VMFA’s ebullient director, Alex Nyerges, and his house-proud curators, it was clear that the 165,000-square-foot expansion, designed by the American-born, London-based architect Rick Mather, had deftly accomplished its purpose—providing art-friendly spaces for the museum’s large and growing collections and temporary exhibitions, while simplifying the complexities of navigating the museum’s original 1936 building, three successive additions and the new wing. The expansion provides 50% more gallery space for the permanent collection and twice as much space for major special exhibitions.

Considering the importance and allure of its diverse collections of some 22,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of international art history, the VMFA has been undeservedly under the radar of the nation’s art devotees. It is perhaps best known by non-Virginians not as a travel destination but as a steppingstone for museum directors on their way to more prominent institutions—Katharine Lee Reid to the Cleveland Museum of Art; Michael Brand to the J. Paul Getty Museum. (Both have since left those posts.)

FULL STORY HERE

R. Anthony Harris

R. Anthony Harris

I created Richmond, Virginia’s culture publication RVA Magazine and brought the first Richmond Mural Project to town. Designed the first brand for the Richmond’s First Fridays Artwalk and promoted the citywide “RVA” brand before the city adopted it as the official moniker. I threw a bunch of parties. Printed a lot of magazines. Met so many fantastic people in the process. Professional work: www.majormajor.me




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