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The Fralin is now open with an entirely reinstalled museum. Admission is free. Click here for hours. Please note, per UVA guidelines, masks are required indoors regardless of vaccination status.

In the News

The Wall Street Journal

Skyscraper Gothic’ Review: A Spire is Born

Oct 14, 2021

‘Jumping Man,” a relief sculpture carved in pine, is a curious relic of an advertising campaign. Under the shadow of a looming skyscraper, we see a young businessman, depicted life-size, as he earnestly jumps on the open bottom drawer of a vertical file cabinet.

That the sculpture is comically bad—the bounding businessman is as inert as a cigar-store Indian—hardly matters. It does just what it was made to do: show that the file cabinets of Shaw-Walker Furniture Co. were “built like a skyscraper.” There could hardly be a better opening to “Skyscraper Gothic,” the small but charming exhibition now on display at the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia.

The heyday of Skyscraper Gothic began around 1900, when architects found that the forms of Gothic architecture—slender buttresses that rose without interruption to a pointed arch aimed skyward—suited the skyscraper, and gave it a visually satisfying vertical thrust that no other style could match. To tell this story, curators Lisa Reilly and Kevin Murphy have assembled some 95 objects in a variety of media, including 41 works on paper and 25 items of decorative art.

 

Skyscrapers, in our modern imagination, are glitzy glass needles. It wasn’t always that way. The nation’s first towers were ornate and detailed. Intrinsically American, the designs embodied the qualities we like to associate with our national image: We’re can-do, bold, strong, technologically advanced, and audacious.

The Fralin Museum’s new show, “Skyscraper Gothic,” explores the history of these early skyscrapers. The curators, Lisa Reilly from UVA and Kevin Murphy from Vanderbilt, have brought together a wonderfully comprehensive assortment of prints, drawings, photographs, paintings, sculptures, furniture, textiles, toys, models, illustrations and decorative arts to showcase the prevalence of both the Gothic style and the skyscraper motif in contemporaneous culture.

Washingtonian

Charlottesville: The Foodie Road Trip

Sep 02, 2021

Charlottesville residents have very strong opinions about food. When my wife and I moved there from Northern Virginia three years ago, every single person we met told us which restaurants we had to try. It was sort of a “Welcome to C’ville—now start eating” greeting.

Post-pandemic, the city remains a great place for DC foodies to spend a weekend away. Folks in these parts enjoy dining out, largely because there’s so much of it. Consider that Charlottesville and State College, Pennsylvania, both college towns, are roughly the same size. According to industry research published by the Barnes Report, Charlottesville has twice as many eating establishments—237 surround UVA, versus 119 around Penn State.

HuffPost has placed Charlottesville in the same ranks as New York and San Francisco for the most restaurants per capita.

The Daily Progress

Fralin reopens with 'Skyscraper Gothic' and more

Sep 01, 2021

In the early years of the 20th century, the skyscraper captured the American imagination in a way that went far beyond its utility as a modern office space.

In “Skyscraper Gothic,” a new exhibition at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, the influence of the iconic buildings on fine art, decorative arts and even toys and games is explored through paintings, prints and other artifacts.

The exhibition is curated by Lisa Reilly, Commonwealth Professor of architectural history at the University of Virginia, and Kevin D. Murphy, Andrew W. Mellon chair in the humanities and professor and chair of the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Vanderbilt University. They teamed up to edit a new book, “Skyscraper Gothic: Medieval Style and Modernist Buildings.”

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia is reopening Saturday, August 28.

The museum has undergone renovations, including replacing the roof and working to make the building more energy efficient.

Staff members say they’re excited to welcome the public back into the galleries after being closed for 17 months.

“We are so excited to hear voices in the galleries again, to see work back up on the wall and throughout the museum. You know, we’ve been spending the last 6 to 8 weeks really reinstalling the museum, getting ready for this moment,” J. Sanford Miller Family Director Matthew McLendon said.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia is set to reopen Saturday after 17 months of renovations.

Renovations included a brand new roof and an environmental systems overhaul, which was critical to preserving artwork inside the museum as well as improving energy efficiency. Cosmetic upgrades included a fresh coat of paint inside and re-finished terracotta floors.

There are six new exhibitions on display inside the museum. One such exhibit is called "Skyscraper Gothic," which investigates how European Gothic architecture was used to create a new language of skyscrapers, and is a curatorial collaboration between Lisa Reilly, commonwealth professor of architectural history at UVA, and Kevin Murphy, Andrew W. Mellon chair in the humanities and professor and chair of the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Vanderbilt University.

The Fralin Museum is ready to welcome the people of Central Virginia back inside its galleries.

The Fralin Museum of Art hosted an art camp for students this summer and the student summer art at New City Art is worth coming to see, which is something one of the artists is barely able to do herself.

“It helps me to express my feelings,” artist Raquel Monroe said.

Monroe lost most of her vision four years ago after being diagnosed with hydrocephalus and a brain tumor. However, it has not stopped her from using art as a gift.

The Little Free Libraries, those book-sharing boxes that have popped up all over the world in the last decade, have inspired another open-access method of sharing media: miniature outdoor art museums, such as the one now on display outside The Fralin Museum of Art in Charlottesville. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

By 6 p.m. on Friday, there were about 40 people milling around on the red brick terrace outside the Fralin Museum, each waiting for their turn to peer into six small cubicles that make up the Little Museum of Art. This was the first exhibit the Fralin has hosted since last March. Lisa Jevack is the museum's special projects coordinator.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia is opening The Little Museum of Art at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 16.

This exhibit is inspired by the little free libraries and the idea of take a book leave a book.

Once this exhibit ends, the artwork will move to the free museum store, where the public can take or leave an art piece of their own.

The art is from Charlottesville and UVA artists.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.- The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia has received a gift of $2 million from Dr. Carol R. Angle. The gift will supplement her previous gift establishing the Angle Exhibition Fund in 2016, the first named endowment to support exhibitions at the Museum. The fund is an example of sustained donor engagement that leads to thoughtful and mission-supporting philanthropy. 

This contribution marks Angle’s ongoing dedication to the Fralin. Most recently in 2020 she endowed the Carol R. Angle Academic Curator position currently held by Jordan Love. 

The Angle Exhibition Fund supports the Museum’s wide-ranging permanent collection and enhances the Fralin’s efforts to mount outstanding exhibitions. The Museum is committed to creating vibrant and intellectually engaging exhibitions that serve the university student, as well as increasingly diverse community and national audiences. 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.- As University of Virginia (UVA) students were sent home due to COVID-19 in March, the staff at the Fralin Museum of Art had to get creative to finish a semester-long docent training course preparing students to lead tours in the museum. The Fralin scheduled students to lead practice tours for each other via Zoom. As the docents gained confidence, they were eager to try their skills with real students, so the Fralin team lined up 30-minute tours with elementary students for the docents to teach. These sessions yielded rich conversation; the elementary students were enthusiastic and talkative, and their teachers immediately requested additional programs. 

American Alliance of Museums (AAM)

What Can Medical Students Learn from the Art History of Epidemics?

Jul 27, 2020

It is an unusual feeling as a medieval art specialist for my subject to suddenly feel globally significant. I suspect some of my colleagues in Renaissance art feel this as well. For those of us who have studied art created after the Black Death of 1348, or the Plague of London in 1665, or during the wave of epidemics that washed over Italian cities every few years between 1500-1700, our current pandemic has felt familiar and brought our knowledge to the forefront.

Just before the museum closed, in fact, two epidemic-related objects from our permanent collection at the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia were on view—a processional cross and a sculpture of Saint Sebastian, both from the fifteenth century.

An online course speedily organized for more than 300 medical school students who were abruptly sent home from the University of Virginia in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the often overlooked connections between medical training and the arts.

Medical school professors Marcia and James Childress put together “Confronting Epidemics: Perspectives from History, Ethics, and the Arts” in a matter of days after the school’s sudden closure in mid-March.

“To provide context, under normal circumstances, medical students start checking in on patients at 5:30 or 6 a.m., stay in the hospital until between 4 and 6 p.m., and spend the rest of the evening studying for examinations,” says Lydia Prokosch, a third-year medical student who took the course. “It was jarring to go from a strenuous yet critical part of our education to having little to no structure.”

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Many facilities are offering online options due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

These include the National Park Service, local governments, and museums.

The art museums at the University of Virginia have also turned to online outlets.

“In times of crisis, we usually do everything we can to keep the museum open, because we know how important it is for people to have a space for those contemplative experiences, a space where they can feel connected to something larger than themselves,” said Matthew McLendon, the J. Sanford Miller Family Director of the Fralin Museum of Art. “This time, though, the best way we could serve our community was to close our doors, so we immediately turned our attention to new online offerings that could provide some of those connections.”

As it did for almost every student, faculty and staff member, the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly changed the course of this semester for the University of Virginia art museums.

Instead of exhibition galleries filled with students and community members, live tours for classes and faculty and all sorts of workshops and events, staff at The Fralin Museum of Art at UVA and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection were suddenly looking at museums full of amazing art, with no one to enjoy it.

And so they got busy, doing what artists and art lovers do best: getting creative.

“In times of crisis, we usually do everything we can to keep the museum open, because we know how important it is for people to have a space for those contemplative experiences, a space where they can feel connected to something larger than themselves,” said Matthew McLendon, J. Sanford Miller Family Director of The Fralin. “This time, though, the best way we could serve our community was to close our doors, so we immediately turned our attention to new online offerings that could provide some of those connections.”

American Alliance of Museums

Quantifying a Commitment to Representation

Mar 18, 2020

I realized last summer that after twenty years in the museum field, I felt deeply frustrated.

When I enrolled in my first museum studies classes in the late 1990s, there were audible and inspiring calls to increase diversity in museums. However, according to recent stories citing dismal statistics, little has concretely changed since then. The data from the largest museums shows that tackling homogeneity and promoting inclusivity has only made incremental progress in museum exhibitions, collections, programming, and staffing. There are many reasons for this but, in my view, a major obstacle is the absence of actionable goals against which museums and museum leadership judge ourselves.

As a relatively new museum director at a thought-leading university, with a truly remarkable group of colleagues to collaborate with, I felt the Fralin Museum of Art needed to enact meaningful change. That’s what led us to announce a new, specific commitment to enrich our exhibition landscape by presenting underrepresented artists.

For indigenous artists all over the world, the march toward representation in museums has been slow and not at all steady. It has come in fits and starts.

In North America, Canadian institutions have generally made more sustained efforts at devoting space and resources to indigenous art than those in the United States. But that has been changing of late.

A current show at the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville offers American viewers a chance to see works by indigenous artists from a remote part of Australia’s Northern Territory known as Arnhem Land.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.- The Fralin Museum of Art and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection partnered to present The Inside World: Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Memorial Poles. 

The Inside World, on view at the Fralin Jan. 24-May 24, 2020, presents 112 memorial poles by 55 artists from remote Aboriginal communities in the tropical northern region of Australia known as Arnhem Land. With this collaboration, which illustrates the potential impact that partnership could have on serving students, faculty and visitors, the two museums are exploring the possibility of sharing a larger space on University Grounds in the future. 

“The Inside World is an exciting opportunity for the Fralin Museum of Art and Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection — the only museum dedicated to Aboriginal art outside of Australia — to serve students, faculty and visitors in a new way,” said Matthew McLendon, the J. Sanford Miller Family Director at the Fralin. “By coming together in one location, we are able to present visual and academic experiences that advance new ideas and new ways to view the world.” 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Rooms filled with priceless, delicate, one-of-a-kind pieces of work. It’s the perfect place for a group of rambunctious toddlers to explore their artistic talents, right? Absolutely.

It’s not exactly what you’d expect to find inside the Fralin Museum of Art. Fun for the Young, a chance for two to four-year-olds and their adult companions to find their inner creative souls.

“I wouldn’t really think ‘oh, I’m going to take my kids to a museum’,” Shannon Williamson, of Charlottesville, said. “It wouldn’t be the first thing on my list as a stay at home mom in Charlottesville.”

Of course, there’s a method to the madness. Read a couple of books, look at some art, and then enjoy an art-making experience all together while dad or grandma makes sure to get it all on camera.

What do Georgia O’Keeffe and the video game Minecraft have in common?

According to Frankie Mananzan, a third-year University of Virginia student, these are the kinds of questions she faces daily.

As chair of the Student Docents at The Fralin Museum of Art at UVA, Mananzan gives tours of the gallery spaces and engages with curious museum guests of all ages. Following The Fralin’s mission to embrace the validity of any visitor’s opinions on the art they encounter, some interesting comparisons arise.

The Minecraft comment came from a 10-year-old museum patron, and is a prime example of why Mananzan became a docent in the first place.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.- The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia has received a gift of nearly $1.6 million from Dr. Carol R. Angle. In creating this endowment, the University of Virginia matched this gift by adding additional funds totaling nearly $800,000, through the University’s Bicentennial Professors Fund. The endowment supports and names the museum’s academic curator position, the Carol R. Angle Academic Curator. Since its inception in 2012 through funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, M. Jordan Love has held this position. 

This is the second endowment created by Angle for the Fralin. Now retired in Charlottesville, Angle has made it her mission to address many of the world’s greatest challenges. After spending 45 years at the University of Nebraska Medical Center as a pediatrician, nephrologist and toxicologist, Angle became known as one of the nation’s leading experts on lead poisoning. Today, the self-described “museum hound” and longtime patron of the Fralin has shifted her focus to the arts and education in her community and how it can address both health and community issues. In 2016, Angle also created the Angle Exhibition Fund at the Fralin, which was the first named endowment to support exhibitions at the museum. 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (CBS19 NEWS) -- From now until May, artwork created by aboriginal artists from Australia will be on display on the second level of the Fralin Museum of Art.

Henry Skerritt, the curator at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection says having these pieces of art on display is an incredible opportunity for people in and around Charlottesville to come see.

"This really is a spectacular exhibition, it's a world-class exhibition, and it's the kind of exhibition that we've only been able to bring here to Charlottesville, to central Virginia, because of the collaboration between Kluge-Ruhe and the Fralin Museum of Art, and it's really special for our two institutions to come together to showcase something that people in Charlottesville would never be able to see otherwise," said Skerritt.

The Fralin Museum of Art and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection are partnering to present The Inside World: Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Memorial Poles.

The Inside World, on view at the Fralin Jan. 24-May 24, 2020, presents 112 memorial poles by 55 artists from remote Aboriginal communities in the tropical northern region of Australia known as Arnhem Land. With this collaboration, which illustrates the potential impact that partnership could have on serving students, faculty and visitors, the two museums are exploring the possibility of sharing a larger space on University Grounds in the future.

“The Inside World is an exciting opportunity for the Fralin Museum of Art and Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection — the only museum dedicated to Aboriginal art outside of Australia — to serve students, faculty and visitors in a new way,” said Matthew McLendon, the J. Sanford Miller Family Director at the Fralin. “By coming together in one location, we are able to present visual and academic experiences that advance new ideas and new ways to view the world.”

The homeland of about 12,000 aboriginal people in Australia is more than 10,000 miles from Virginia, but this week at five different locations in Charlottesville, more than 200 works by Australia’s top indigenous artists will be on display. 

The art of Australia’s native people is as old and mysterious to other cultures as its music, and both will be featured at 2 p.m. Saturday in UVA's Fralin Museum of Art.  That’s where 112 painted wooden poles now stand – some of them 14 feet tall, weighing more than 200 pounds.  

This week, something extraordinary will happen in Charlottesville: Four exhibitions of contemporary Aboriginal Australian art will open in four different venues across town, bringing the total number of such exhibitions currently on view to six. And a seventh will open in mid-February.

Having this many concurrent shows of contemporary Indigenous Australian art in one locale is an extremely rare occurrence outside of Australia, if it’s even happened at all, says Henry Skerritt, curator of the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of UVA—the only museum outside of Australia dedicated to Indigenous Australian art.

And it’s some of “the best Australian contemporary art” at that, adds Skerritt. Many of these artists have won prestigious awards, and their work is collected by some of Australia’s major museums (as well as some international celebrities, like comedian Steve Martin). We’re talking “major, heavy-hitter artists,” says Skerritt.

While the field of art is often thought of as a progressive one, social critics — and artists themselves — have long complained of minority groups not being shown their due. A monolithic curation strategy is seen as out of touch and exclusive in a time where diversity is recognized as a strength. Museums and galleries are working to change this. At the University, the Fralin Museum of Art hopes to utilize its extensive historical collection and engage with diverse contemporary artists in order to present a broader range of art.

In September, the museum announced a commitment to have at least 50 percent of its collection come from artists belonging to underrepresented backgrounds. The effort represents a long term effort, and recent exhibitions like “Otherwise” — which showcased queer artists and art interpretations — are evidence of the Fralin living up to its commitment. The Fralin hopes to present diversity not only in race and gender, but also in terms of sexual orientation, geographical origins, socioeconomic status and indigenous perspectives.

In “Time to Get Ready: fotografía social,” a National Museum of Mexican Art exhibit on view at The Fralin Museum of Art, you will find all the classic elements one expects in a “good” photography show. Maria Varela’s photographs are compositionally sophisticated and emotionally intimate. They are candids, yet they look like movie stills. They look like they were taken by someone who is very serious about all the aesthetic choices that make up the art of photography.

But Varela is quick to note that she is not an artist, nor is she a journalist. One of the few Latinx activists involved in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, Varela was an organizer who started taking photographs for the educationalmaterials she was producing for black workers in the South. Like Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders in the movement, she was motivated by her religious beliefs to take an active role in dismantling white supremacy.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.- The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia has named Laura Minton curator of exhibitions. Minton joins the Fralin from Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. A senior member of the curatorial team, Minton’s responsibilities at the Fralin include building a comprehensive national and international exhibitions schedule and curating rigorous scholarly projects that provide a foundation for transdisciplinary and socially engaged discourse. Minton, who reports directly to the museum’s J.Sanford Miller Family Director and chief curator, began at the Fralin on Oct. 21, 2019. Minton expands a curatorial department at the Fralin that includes Hannah Cattarin, who was also recently promoted to assistant curator. Cattarin served as curatorial assistant at the museum prior to her promotion. 

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville has named Laura Minton curator of exhibitions. Minton comes to the institution from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where she served as a curatorial assistant in the department of prints and drawings. As the newest senior member of the Fralin’s curatorial team, Minton will be responsible for organizing the museum’s exhibition program and scholarly projects.

The institution also promoted curatorial assistant Hannah Cattarin to assistant curator. During her tenure at the museum, Cattarin helped with a rehang of the entire collection to display more works by women artists. She also organized the exhibition “Otherwise,” which examines the influence LGBTQ culture has had on modern and contemporary art and is on view until January 5, 2020. Prior to joining the Fralin, she served as a curatorial assistant in the UB Art Galleries at the University of Buffalo.

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia helps thousands of visitors each year grow their appreciation for, and knowledge of, art.

It also helps UVA medical students improve their diagnostic abilities.

On Halloween, roughly 50 second-year medical students gathered in the museum’s tiled lobby for a two-hour “Clinician’s Eye” workshop, one of several offered over about two weeks. The program, now in its seventh year, is mandatory for all second-year medical students this year. It aims to hone students’ observation skills and encourages them to challenge their assumptions and gather clues to make decisions.

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia has named Laura Minton as curator of exhibitions and Hannah Cattarin as assistant curator.

Minton joins the Fralin from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and her responsibilities include building a comprehensive national and international exhibitions schedule and curating rigorous scholarly projects that provide a foundation for transdisciplinary and socially engaged discourse.

She reports directly to the museum’s J.Sanford Miller Family Director and chief curator. Minton is expanding the curatorial department at the Fralin that includes Cattarin, who was also recently promoted to assistant curator. Prior to this, she served as a curatorial assistant at the museum.

The Daily Progress

Art Notes for Nov. 7 through Nov. 13

Nov 06, 2019

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia has named Laura Minton curator of exhibitions. Minton, who started her new duties Oct. 21, is responsible for creating a comprehensive schedule of national and international exhibitions and curating rigorous scholarly projects.

Hannah Cattarin recently was promoted to assistant curator at the Fralin. She previously served as curatorial assistant.

The Christian Science Monitor

Can art help unite a diverse society? Museums aim to find out.

Oct 10, 2019

When the Museum of Modern Art in New York reopens Oct. 21, its revamped and expanded gallery space will reflect something that’s trending in museums across the United States: a focus on those less heard from.

[...]

In Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacists staged a 2017 march that ended with the murder of a counterprotester, the University of Virginia’s Fralin Museum of Art has resolved to devote half of its exhibitions to underrepresented art. “It’s important to make a real, discernible commitment,” says museum director Matthew McLendon. “There are difficult conversations our society needs to have. Mediation through the work of art, being respectful of cultures and experiences other than our own, adds a different tenor and a return of civility to the conversation.”

With the Cville Pride Festival happening this past weekend, it’s important to take some time to reflect not only on the roots of LGBTQ activism but also its erasure from art history. This past June marked the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. This movement, led by transgender women of color, was against discriminatory police raids on the Stonewall Inn and bar in New York City and was an important catalyst in the struggle for LGBTQ rights in the United States. “Otherwise,” a new exhibit at the Fralin Museum of Art, gives a perfect opportunity to think about where we have come from and where we might want to go. 

Assistant Curator Hannah Cattarin said the exhibit that she spent the last year researching and compiling is not necessarily about Stonewall as much as it is dedicated to it.

“There is no universal queer aesthetic,” Cattarin said as she guided our group of around 30 “partygoers” through the exhibit’s three sections — “Self,” “Subject” and “Style.” “There is something here for everyone to find themselves in.”

Broadway To Vegas

ART AND ABOUT

Sep 15, 2019

THE FRALIN MUSEUM OF ART at the University of Virginia has announced that historically underrepresented artists will be a focus in at least half of its exhibitions moving forward. This action is the result of recent data showing that the majority of artists featured in U.S. museum exhibitions continue to lack diversity well into the 21st century. The museum defines underrepresented artists as those with diverse racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, Indigenous, disability/ability, socioeconomic, geographic, religious and/or age identities.

On the Fralin's current exhibitions schedule are Otherwise, on view now through January 5, 2020, which explores the influence of LGBTQ+ culture on visual art on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, and  The Inside World: Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Memorial Poles, opening January 24, 2020, a partnership with the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection also at UVA. 

Recent projects have included an installation by contemporary artist Vanessa German, an examination of Georgia O’Keeffe’s watercolors produced during her time at the University of Virginia in the early 20th century, and an exhibition of work by contemporary Native American artists in which they reflected on historic Native art from the collection.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.- The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia announces that historically underrepresented artists will be a focus in at least half of its exhibitions moving forward. This action is the result of recent data showing that the majority of artists featured in U.S. museum exhibitions continue to lack diversity well into the 21st century. The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, an iconic and distinguished university that continues to confront the truth and impact of its complicated past on its community, is uniquely positioned to take a stand. The museum defines underrepresented artists as those with diverse racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, Indigenous, disability/ability, socioeconomic, geographic, religious and/or age identities. 

“I enrolled in my first museum studies class in 1999; unfortunately, the conversation about the lack of diversity in museums has remained much the same. As a director, I’m in a position now to do something about it,” said Matthew McLendon, J. Sanford Miller Family Director at the University of Virginia’s Fralin Museum of Art. 

In setting this goal, which is included in the museum’s 2020-25 strategic plan, the institution has the support of the University, its advisory council and its staff. 

From now on, the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia will focus on underrepresented artists in at least half of its exhibitions.

The goal, included in the museum’s 2020-2025 strategic plan, will help counter a lack of diversity in museum settings that persists across the country.

The Fralin is defining underrepresented artists as those with diverse identities in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability and ability, socioeconomic, geography, religion, ethnicity and Indigenous status.

Its new goal already is reflected in new exhibitions on display at the Fralin and others on the schedule. “Otherwise,” an exploration of the influence of LGBTQ+ culture on visual art timed to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, can be seen through Jan. 5, 2020. Coming up is “The Inside World: Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Memorial Poles,” which will open Jan. 24 in partnership with Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at UVa.

Fralin Museum of Art Vows to Mount Exhibitions Spotlighting Underrepresented Artists
Inspired by recent data revealing a lack of diversity in museum programming across the United States, the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville will dedicate at least half of its future exhibitions to historically underrepresented artists. This goal is outlined in the institution’s 2020–2025 strategic plan. One of its upcoming exhibitions that is part of this initiative is “The Inside World: Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Memorial Poles,” which opens next January. The Fralin has also implemented this commitment to the work of diverse artists with its recent acquisitions, which include work by Zanele Muholi and Martine Gutierrez, among others. Matthew McLendon, the museum’s director, said in a statement, “If we truly believe that museums should be welcoming to all, then we must ensure that our art and artists reflect that.”

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia is drawing on its vast permanent collection and adding some works from private collections for its latest exhibitions.

“Asian Art from the Permanent and Select Private Collections,” curated by professors Dorothy Wong and Daniel Ehnbom, can be seen through Nov. 10. Look for paintings, drawings and other two-dimensional works from Japan, India and China from the 16th century to the 21st.

Wong said during Wednesday’s press preview that the gallery space chosen for the exhibition helped inspire the look of the exhibition.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia will offer its own contribution to a nationwide exploration of LGBTQ+ history and culture with a new exhibition opening Aug. 9, 2019. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, which became a rallying cry for gay rights activists.  

Otherwise, on view Aug. 8, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020, utilizes more than 40 modern and contemporary works from The Fralin’s permanent collection, along with two exciting new acquisitions, to examine the influence LGBTQ+ culture has had and continues to have on artistic production from the early 20th century to the present. It showcases works by artists who identify as LGBTQ+ as well as those who have dealt significantly with LGBTQ+ issues within their work.

The exhibition is curated by Hannah Cattarin, the Museum’s assistant curator. Cattarin, who has a master’s degree from the University of Essex, is part of the Fralin’s commitment to bring younger voices into the curatorial process. “Otherwise is a way to reexamine what we take for granted as ‘normal’ and reinvigorate our community’s relationship with the Museum’s collection,” she said.

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Museum hours

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10 am – 5 pm
Wednesday: 10 am – 5 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 5 pm 
Friday: 10 am – 8 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm 
Sunday: 12 pm – 5 pm

The museum is closed on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.