University to Host 2nd Virginia Museum Art Exhibition

Silkscreen of Marilyn Monroe

"Marilyn" by Andy Warhol. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.  Gift of Sydney and Frances Lewis. Photo: Katherine Wetzel. © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

For the second time, the Radford University Art Museum will host a traveling exhibition from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond. “Goya, Dali, Warhol: Masterpieces of World Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts” will be on campus from Jan. 19 to March 2, 2012.

The traveling exhibition continues the VMFA’s 75-year anniversary celebration showcasing dozens of timeless pieces from the museum’s permanent collection. Since 1936, the Richmond-based museum has shared its collections with citizens across the commonwealth. In honor of its 75th anniversary, VMFA organized two special exhibitions of about 50 works to travel across Virginia.

In January 2011, the university hosted the debut of the VMFA’s first touring exhibition: “Van Gogh, Lichtenstein, Whistler: Masterpieces of World Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.” Hosting both exhibitions further strengthens the relationship between the university and the commonwealth’s most prestigious art museum, said Professor Steve Arbury, director of the Radford University Art Museum.

“This is indeed an honor for the RU Art Museum,” Arbury said. “As far as I know, we are the only institution that will have hosted both shows. It demonstrates that our new facility is top-notch and can accommodate major exhibitions of art from renowned institutions.”

In advance of the first VMFA exhibition, the Radford University Art Museum underwent a significant gallery renovation that included installation of new bamboo floors, climate controls, museum-standard lighting and an enhanced security system.

The second exhibition is expected to include Salvador Dali’s “The God of the Bay of Roses,” Francisco Goya’s “The Sleep of Reason,” Andy Warhol’s three silkscreen “Marilyn” prints, John Constable’s “Branch Hill Pond, Hampstead Heath” and a bronze sculpture of a condor by Edouard-Marcel Sandoz.

Robin Nicholson, VMFA’s deputy director for art and education, said the museum welcomes another opportunity to partner with Radford University and bring a taste of the museum’s world treasures to residents of Southwest Virginia. “We are delighted to be able to offer another major exhibition –“Goya, Dali, Warhol” – in 2012,” Nicholson said.

The “Van Gogh, Lichtenstein, Whistler” traveling exhibition drew more visitors to the Radford University Art Museum during its first month than the venue had seen in the previous 12 months combined.

“This clearly demonstrates the power of great art to appeal to audiences across Virginia,” Nicholson said. “We are aware that for many in Southwest Virginia, a trip to Richmond is difficult or impossible. Bringing our great art to communities such as Radford is a vital and essential part of our mission as Virginia’s Museum of Fine Art.”

The Radford University Art Museum at the Covington Center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call (540) 831-5754.

Jan 10, 2012
Keith Hagarty