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Do you enjoy fine art? If so, then the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia is a must-visit place in Richmond. Unique, expansive, and rich in history, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is a breathtaking example of fine art in one of America’s oldest cities. Here’s what you can expect when you visit this museum.

History of the Museum

It was in the middle of the Great Depression on January 16, 1936, that Virginia business leaders and politicians decided to invest in the future of art by opening the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. The building was designed by Peebles and Ferguson Architects of Norfolk in an English Renaissance-style.

The purpose of the museum was to serve as the headquarters for educational resources and the world’s best art both in the present and in the past. The state-operated museum was run in partnership with private donors, and was in the works long before the 1936 launch date. In 1919, Judge John Barton Payne donated his collection of 50 paintings to the commonwealth. He then went on to put up a $100,000 grant to anyone who could build a museum to house his art collection.

Virginia Governor John Garland Pollard accepted the challenge. He went on to raise funds from donors and also started campaigning to use state revenues to invest in the museum to cover operating expenses. In 1934, the General Assembly approved authorization to fund the museum from the Federal Works Projects Administration.

In 2010, some near hundreds of years later, the museum finished a four-year expansion project which added another 165,000 square feet to the museum. This expansion was the result of architect Rick Mather and a local Richmond architectural firm.

The newest wing of the museum is the James W. and France G. McGlothlin Wing. It houses countless galleries such as the American Art collection and the Lewis collection which features Art Deco pieces. The three-story Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Atrium connect the previous two wings of the museum, bringing harmony between the three. The glass walls and interior bring in extensive natural lighting and also provide a glimpse of the museum’s artwork.

Regardless of the type of art you enjoy, there is now something for everyone in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Visiting the Museum

Do you live in Richmond, Virginia? Are you passing through looking for fun activities for the entire family? If so, then the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is one of the topmost extensive Us art museums that possesses over 5,000 years of art from all over the globe. The museum is open every day of the year, and general admission is completely free of charge. However, the museum is so large that it can take at least two days to fully experience and explore. It’s a good idea to explore the exhibits via the website to see which ones you most want to visit, so you never miss what you’re looking for. Check out the resource center as well if you’re a student or just hungry for more information about art.

The museum also has 20/21 century art collections that include Native American and African artifacts. The museum shop is also available so you can pick up a few souvenirs on your way through the museum. And if you need a bite to eat, the museum also has a café.


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