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Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
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Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
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200 N. Boulevard
Richmond, Virginia
United States

ebrowne's picture

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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts started as an American Civil War Confederate veteran’s home

There was even additional housing for their family members until Judge John Barton Payne and Virginia Governor, John Garland Pollard told the veterans to GTFO and turned it into a fine arts museum in 1932.

I mean the veterans weren’t completely evicted because the home was a six-block tract of land, but you see where this is going. Once the museum was given 150 jeweled objects designed by Peter Carl Faberge (including the largest collection of Faberge eggs outside of Russia), all standards were raised and the next 78 years were dedicated to expansions that slowly but surely pushed the veterans out of their home. Karma, perhaps? The expansion began with a 500-seat theatre. Then it was the South Wing, which held four permanent galleries, a loan exhibition gallery, a library, photo lab, art storage rooms and offices. Then it was the North Wing, with its three extra galleries, dining room and gift shop. Unfortunately this building was poo-pooed for it kidney-like shape and was demolished and rebuilt in 2010. And lastly there were sculpture gardens added basically for every wing of the establishment until the entire property covered over 13 acres of land. So by the 1990s all the veterans were outta there.

Another fun fact about the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is that they dreamed up a little thing called the “artmobile,” which was a tractor-trailor that brought art to the rural parts of Virginia before local galleries were a thing and before the art world got all elitist and unapproachable. They definitely played favorites between the rural citizens of Virginia and those poor soldiers.

 

Sources

Sources

  1. "VMFA History - VMFA." Vmfa.museum. Web. 29 July 2017.