With an atrium, a forty-foot-high glass wall, new galleries, restaurant, café, and sculpture garden, the reopening of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) on May 1 is the latest in a series of important museum renovations and one of the most anticipated. The 165,000 square-foot expansion, designed by the London-based American architect Rick Mather and the Richmond firm SMBW, is connected to the various other parts of the museum with a series of walkways and surrounds a new sculpture garden designed by the veteran landscape firm Olin Partnership.
In the new wing, the McGlothlin Galleries of American Art will open with an exhibition of promised works from the collection of James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin, including a roll call of American greats—George Bellows, Robert Henri, Winslow Homer, James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, and John Singer Sargent, among others.
Known for its collections of art nouveau and art deco donated by Sydney and Frances Lewis as well as the Paul Mellon Collection of painting and sculpture, the VMFA will also have on view the sumptuous aesthetic movement bedroom from the Worsham-Rockefeller house in Manhattan, recently donated by the Museum of the City of New York.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond · reopens May 1 · www.vmfa.state.va.us
Photos: Renderings by Rick Mather Architects of the new wing at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.