The Wall Street Journal offered earlier this week an appreciation of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and its huge new addition
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.)
The VMFA’s brightest stars are a permanent constellation that includes five Fabergé Imperial eggs (said to be the largest such public collection outside of Russia), a bevy of Tiffany lamps, and philanthropist Paul Mellon’s distinguished collections of British sporting art and French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. The museum’s eclectic holdings include one of this country’s consummate collections of Indian and Himalayan art, an outstanding assortment of French art nouveau furniture, and a superb treasury of English silver that will soon shine even brighter with a gift of 50 English silver objects from the museum’s longtime collector/patron Rita Gans.
Virginia is for Art Lovers (Wall Street Journal)