Way back when Edie was in preschool, we began a tradition of going to art museums over spring break. Over the ensuing years, we’ve road tripped to see some pretty fantastic exhibits, including two separate Picasso collections as well as the Tim Burton Retrospective at MOMA. Along the way, we’ve stumbled upon some other great exhibits and collections, as tends to happen when you are messing around in art museums.
When I heard about the “Van Gogh, Manet, Matisse: The Art of the Flower” exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, I knew I had found this year’s spring break museum jaunt.
The title of the exhibit can be slightly misleading – I think they definitely dropped some big names into the title to attract attention to the show. The focus of the exhibit is nineteenth century French floral still lives, featuring over 60 paintings by 30 or so artists, tracing the changes in French art over the century from the Romanticism of the early part of the century to the Impressionists that closed out the century.
There were no photos allowed in the exhibit, so I only have shots I took in the lobby of the banner for the exhibit and the lovely window at the gift shop. The exhibit itself was wonderful- I highly recommend taking it in if you happen to be near Richmond between now and when it closes towards the end of June. There were five Van Goghs, including this one:
Vase with Cornflowers and Poppies, of which the photo does absolutely no justice to conveying the wonder of it, but that’s the case with any Van Gogh. His paintings have an energy with the brush strokes, layers of paint and color that just get lost when flattened in photographs. Some of the earlier pieces in the exhibit from the Romantic period, with lush, beautiful flowers that were so realistic looking one one felt they could touch them were among my favorites as well.
We had spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the galleries that house the permanent collection of VMFA, although we did have one brief intermission that turned into quite the adventure, but that foray deserves its own post. While the name of the exhibit is misleading, the exhibit itself is quite stunning and definitely worth the trip as well as the entrance fee.
6 thoughts on “Spring Break, Part I: VMFA”
What a great tradition! Hope this week was a fun and enlightening spring break!
I do like that Edie likes this tradition. The weather this time of year is so iffy – not always warm enough to do stuff outdoors, so hitting museums works nicely!
What a fantastic way to bring in spring! We have no “great art” so close…it’s a 3 hour journey to Chicago if I want to expose my kids to that level of work.
We are spoiled by our proximity to good art here.
I haven’t been to the VMFA in several years. I need to see that exhibit!
It’s absolutely wonderful, especially if you have a thing for 19th Century French Art or flowers or both!