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The Fralin is open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free. Click here for hours.

(Please note the museum will be closed for a private event on Wednesday, May 25.)

The Fralin follows current UVA COVID-19 guidelines.

In the News

UVA's Fralin Museum of Art Curator of Exhibitions Jennifer Farrell and Education intern and docent Pia von Barby discuss the summer Postwar British Prints exhibit and happenings at the Fralin with Soundboard's Robert Packard and Lewis Reining.

Listen to the interview

Was Joseph Cornell a surrealist? He has been described as a "lone star within the surrealist constellation," a turn of phrase that might have pleased the avid stargazer of Flushing, New York, but one that leaves an incomplete picture of Cornell the artist.The Fralin Museum of Art recently posed this question with a finely focused exhibition in which Cornell’s work appeared alongside that of Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Man Ray, Mina Loy, Salvador Dalí, Yves Tanguy, among others. In a way, this show, which closed at the beginning of June, recreated the 1932 lineup seen at Julien Levy’s gallery, when Cornell's work first appeared. But Cornell was uneasy about this association, and later wrote to Alfred Barr before MOMA's 1936 show "Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism": "In the event that you are saying a word or two about my work in the catalogue, I would appreciate your saying that I do not share in the subconscious and dream theories of the surrealists. While fervently admiring much of their work I have never been an official surrealist, and I believe that surrealism has healthier possibilities than have been developed." Without a doubt, Cornell’s pervasive nostalgia and penchant for hoarding have Freudian connotations, but it is remarkable that he would see in the surrealists’ obsession the subconscious signs of mental imbalance.

Washington Post

UVa president emeritus to chair museum board

May 07, 2014

The University of Virginia’s Fralin Museum of Art has new leadership. The museum announced Tuesday that John Casteen, president emeritus of the university, will chair the museum’s advisory board. He will be joined on the board by his wife, Betsy.

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia has announced that John T. Casteen III, president emeritus of the University of Virginia, and his wife, Betsy, have agreed to join the museum’s advisory board. Casteen will serve as chair.

The University of Virginia Magazine

Seeing the Everyday in a Different Way

May 01, 2014

Contemporary American artist Jasper Johns, now 83, creates art that puts a different spin on familiar, everyday objects—what he has called "things the mind already knows." An exhibit titled "Jasper Johns: Early Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation" will run through May 17 at the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia

The Cavalier Daily

Fralin hosts surreal Joseph Cornell exhibit

Apr 21, 2014

Coming to the University from its previous display in Lyon, France, "Joseph Cornell and Surrealism" is currently on display at the Fralin Museum. Curated by Matthew Affron and Sylvie Ramond, the exhibition places modern artist Cornell in context with the surrealist movement and his peers, featuring almost 100 works from renowned artists such as Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and, of course, Cornell himself This exhibition explores surrealism from the 1930s and 1940s and its focus on the mind. With the prefix "sur" meaning above, surreal therefore means "above the real," causing many to view the form as both captivating and disturbing for its focus on subverting and building strangely on reality. This manipulation of reality stems from the artists' aim "to express the activity of the unconscious or dreaming mind," as described in the exhibition pamphlet.

University of Virginia School of Nursing

the HeArt of Medicine: Program buoys students' understanding of death and dying

Apr 10, 2014

How can one's personal history, family background, religion, art and coursework inform nursing and medical students' ability to navigate the waters of end-of-life care? In late February, 250 medical and nursing students gathered to focus on just that. The new program, called the HeArt of Medicine, seeks to help students understand their own feelings on death and dying, as well as the physiology of dying and how to navigate the difficult conversations that arise with patients and their loved ones surrounding end-of-life care. To do this, 125 students attended one of two workshops. Each three-hour workshop began with a large group presentation led by Jim Avery, MD, executive director of Hospice of the Piedmont, who outlined the physiological side of death and dying. Students then broke out into small groups (pictured with nursing prof. Jeanne Erickson, at right) to explore and discuss examples of art and other topics related to death and dying, seeking to embrace and explore the emotional side of end-of-life issues experienced by everyone, including doctors and nurses. The larger group then reconvened to debrief and discuss the challenges of end-of-life conversations with patients and their families.

A rich and deeply satisfying show, "Joseph Cornell and Surrealism" at the Fralin Museum explores Cornell's work in the context of the Surrealist movement of the 1930s and '40s. Prior to seeing it, I had the common, yet incorrect impression, that Cornell was a hermit-like creature akin to Henry Darger who created his work in a self-imposed vacuum.

Scholar Stephen Margulies will give a Saturday Special Tour and talk at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia on March 29 from 2 to 3 p.m. Margulies’ talk, “The Cowboy in Art: The Good, the Bad, and the Funny” is planned in partnership with the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library and the National Endowment for the Arts’ annual “Big Read,” designed to revitalize the role of literary reading in American popular culture.

Exhibition curator Jennifer Farrell will give a Lunchtime Talk at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, on the “Jasper Johns: Early Prints from the Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation” exhibit March 18, from noon to 1 p.m. Johns, who was born in 1930, has challenged ideas about what art can be by focusing on everyday icons and emblems, or what the artist famously referred to as “things the mind already knows.” While perhaps best known for his paintings, Johns is also widely respected for his graphic work, which has occupied a central role in his oeuvre for more than five decades. His prints not only show a mastery of various mediums, but a profound sense of experimentation, which has had significant impact not only on his own art, but also on the field itself. \

“Joseph Cornell and Surrealism” focuses on the work of the American artist Joseph Cornell (1903, Nyack, NY – 1972, New York, NY) in the 1930s and the 1940s. These years span both Cornell’s emergence and maturation as a visual artist and the heyday in New York of surrealism, the international art movement founded by André Breton in Paris in 1924. This international loan exhibition is a collaboration of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia. Following a run in Lyon (Oct. 18, 2013 – Feb. 10, 2014), the exhibition opens at The Fralin on Mar. 7 and will remain on view through June 8, 2014

More than a half-century before there was Pinterest or any of the online applications devoted to the art of virtual collage, American artist Joseph Cornell was busy creating his own real assemblage works by hand. With snippets of magazines, pasted photographs and found objects, the universe of Cornell’s imagination was realized in meticulously composed masterworks born of everyday material. “Joseph Cornell and Surrealism” – an international loan exhibition created in a collaborative effort between the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, a municipal museum of fine arts in the French city of Lyon, and The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia – opens Friday at the The Fralin Museum of Art, and will remain on view through June 8.

Now in his eighties, America’s greatest living artist, Jasper Johns, is still recognized as the vanguard who ignored convention to create a new, galvanizing style that brilliantly reflected the spirit and mores of its time. Johns’ far-reaching influence can be discerned in Pop Art, minimalism, and conceptual art movements and it continues to resound in contemporary art today. Though he is best known for his paintings and his bronze Ballantine Ale cans, Johns is also considered a master printmaker with a body of work that shows his total command of the various media within the field of printmaking. “Jasper Johns: Early Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation” at UVA’s Fralin museum (through May 19) offers a rare opportunity to view a selection of these graphic works.

Piedmont Council for the Arts Blog

Weedon Lecture at The Fralin Museum of Art

Feb 26, 2014

With the generous support of the Ellen Bayard Weedon Foundation, the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia presents four lectures on South and East Asian art each year. The next lecture in the series is “Twanging Bows and Throwing Rice: Warding Off Evil in Medieval Japanese Birth Scenes” by Yui Suzuki, Associate Professor of Art History, University of Maryland, on Thursday, February 27. The lecture will begin at 6:00pm in Campbell Hall’s Room 153.

Chicago Sun-Times

Arts Preview: Émilie Charmy

Feb 25, 2014

In art, the “new” is usually the work of a young gun just beginning to establish a reputation. But occasionally, the past still offers up an artist whose imagery hasn’t been emblazoned on items in the museum gift shop, or been maxed out by Madison Avenue. Take Émilie Charmy. Born in 1878 and active into her 90s, this French painter did not invent a new vocabulary or deploy color in a strikingly unusual manner. The old standards — still life, portraits, landscape and genre scenes — were her stock-in-trade. Yet she exercised the true artist’s prerogative: to paint what she wanted the way she wanted. From Feb. 27 through May 17, the Arts Club of Chicago presents the first U.S. retrospective of her work.

Initially curated by Matthew Affron for the University of Virginia’s Fralin Museum of Art, the exhibition enables one not only to experience the individual sophistication of Charmy’s visual strategies, but also to reconsider the status of the female painter in the early 20th century. “She belonged to a generation of women who reformulated notions of gender and art at the same time,” says Affron, now a curator of modern art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “And the study of an artist who is not well-known is as interesting for what we learn about the conditions of art-making, the nature of the art market and evolving interests in the art world — not least for women artists — as it is fascinating in terms of rediscovering the paintings themselves.”

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia will host Yui Suzuki for an Ellen Bayard Weedon Lecture in the Arts of Asia on Feb. 27. Her lecture, “Twanging Bows and Throwing Rice: Warding Off Evil in Medieval Japanese Birth Scenes,” will be held at 6 p.m. in Campbell Hall, room 153. Although a transformational life experience, childbirth has not received much focused attention in art history. In medieval Japan, birthing scenes were often inserted into medieval picture scrolls (called “emaki”) to evoke the larger Buddhist notion of suffering. Despite the long-established practice of medicine in Japan, childbirth pictures reveal that the upper echelons of society relied heavily on multifarious networks of ritual specialists and their magico-religious rites. In her talk, Suzuki will examine images of the diverse performances by religious professionals and the reasons why such elaborate measures were taken to ensure the safety of mother and child.

Families are invited to an afternoon of fun and hands-on creativity as The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia continues its monthly children’s program, the Family Art JAM. On Feb. 15 and 16, the museum will offer four sessions of “Letters and Numbers: Printmaking Inspired by Jasper Johns” for children ages 5 to 12. Family Art JAMs combine age-appropriate tours with hands-on art projects planned to make the museum's exhibitions accessible to young children.

The Fralin Museum's Curator for Contemporary Art Jennnifer Farrell speaks with 91.1 WTJU Soundboard Producer Julia Kudravetz about the early prints of Jasper Johns on display.

Listen to the interview

I know it’s probably been a while since you memorized vocabulary for the SATs, but here’s a word too fun to ignore: tronie. Neither a troll mixed with a pony nor a misspelled version of “phony,” “tronie” is 17th century Dutch for “face,” also referring to a style of artwork which focuses on people’s faces and emotions. Intrigued? You’re in luck — the Fralin Museum of Art is displaying a collection of 17th century Dutch tronies from now until August.

The UVa. Fralin Museum of Art announces the winners of Writers Eye 2013. The Writer’s Eye program challenges writers of all ages to use visual art as inspiration for the creation of original poetry and prose. Entrants submitted original writings inspired by one of 18 pieces selected for the competition from the museum’s permanent collection and visiting exhibitions. After conducting tours for more than 3,600 students and adults, the museum received more than 1,500 entries to the competition from writers in the Charlottesville and University communities.

Print is everywhere — it spells out the Bodo’s menu board, constitutes the reading assignments spat out by HP Deskjets everywhere and fills the pages of The Cavalier Daily print editions appearing in distribution boxes every Monday and Thursday. Few people give the process of printmaking much attention because of its ubiquity. Few people, that is, besides Jasper Johns. Johns, born in Georgia and raised in South Carolina, began exploring his interest in symbols, images and icons after settling in New York in the 1950s. Expressing himself primarily through lithography and painting, Johns played an integral role in the Neo-Dada and Pop Art movements of the late 20th century.

The UVa. Fralin Museum of Art announces the winners of Writers Eye 2013. The Writer’s Eye program challenges writers of all ages to use visual art as inspiration for the creation of original poetry and prose. Contestants submitted original writings inspired by one of 18 pieces selected for the competition from the museum’s permanent collection and visiting exhibitions. After conducting tours for more 3,600 students and adults, the museum received more than 1,500 entries to the competition.

Art during the Dutch Golden Age, which spanned the late 16th and 17th centuries, gave portraiture a place of great prominence.

While young painters in the Netherlands primarily focused on portraiture, there were many other artists, mostly draftsmen and printmakers, whose works could be bought for comparatively lower prices than their painted counterparts.

To trace the blossoming of this drawn portraiture in the Netherlands during the 17th century, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia presents Portraying the Golden Age, the first of a two-part installation running from Jan. 17 through April 27.

Three newly awarded National Endowment for the Arts grants will help the University of Virginia build its momentum in advancing and supporting the creative arts.

NEA Art Works grants have been given to the Virginia Quarterly Review, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia and a collaborative multimedia project between poet Rita Dove and the McIntire Department of Music.

“When I grab a stick, I get a bunch of good ideas. I feel alive,” said University of Virginia artist-in-residence Patrick Dougherty in his documentary, “Bending Sticks.”

Dougherty—the guest of The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, the McIntire Department of Art and the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts—spent three weeks working with students and community volunteers installing his “stickwork sculpture” exhibit in front of the Ruth Caplin Theatre on the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds.

The Frick’s Center for the History of Collecting has awarded its Sotheby’s Book Prize for a Distinguished Publication on the History of Collecting in America to Get There First, Decide Promptly: The Richard Brown Baker Collection of Postwar Art (Yale University Art Gallery, 2011). The book’s general editor, Jennifer Farrell, shares the prize with essayists Thomas Crow, Serge Guilbaut, Jan Howard, Robert Storr, and Judith Tannenbaum. The Frick’s Director, Ian Wardropper, commented, “Within recent years, the history of collecting art has found acceptance as an academic field, and we are very proud of the role that the Center for the History of Collecting has played in that development. Established at the Frick Art Reference Library six years ago, the center has fostered a high level of discourse through symposia, oral histories, publications, and fellowships. Furthermore, its book prize, generously supported by Sotheby’s, strengthens this area of study by acknowledging—and perhaps inspiring—new publications. We offer congratulations to Jennifer Farrell and her colleagues for this wonderfully researched publication and look forward to presenting the award to her formally at a reception hosted at Sotheby’s in January.”

Piedmont Council for the Arts Blog

Symposium Explores Experiences of African Americans in Soviet Union

Oct 21, 2013

“In the Shadow of Stalin: African American Artists and Intellectuals in Soviet Russia” will examine the diverse experiences of African Americans who both visited and immigrated to the Soviet Union during the first half of the twentieth century.

“In the Shadow of Stalin: The Patterson Family in Painting and Film,” an exhibit at The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia running through Dec. 22, examines a 1932 journey by Langston Hughes and several of his African-American peers to the Soviet Union.

The Daily Progress

Artist Patrick Doughtery Creates Stickworks At UVa

Oct 21, 2013

Students and community members gave a hand to artist Patrick Doughtery and his creation of a Stickworks installation Wednesday on the lawn of the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds at the University of Virginia. The installation involves weaving of tree saplings and sticks into towering nest-like sculptures. The project is expected to be completed October 18th and will remain on grounds for more than a year.

If you’ve been in the vicinity of the Ruth Caplin Theatre and the Arts Commons at UVA, you’ve no doubt noticed some unusual activity in the bowl-shaped area between the buildings. Renowned installation artist Patrick Dougherty, together with a group of community and UVA volunteers, is hard at work weaving a sculpture made from locally harvested twigs and saplings collected by Dougherty, in a collaboration with UVA sculpture professor, Bill Bennett, and his class.

If you drive around the University of Virginia's drama building, you might be surprised by what you see. A sculpture more than 10 feet high is being built out of tree saplings and branches in front of the Ruth Caplin Theatre on the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds.

Born in 1878 in the town of Saint-Étienne near Lyon, France, Émilie Charmy was groomed for the proper profession of teaching. But Charmy, whom I had never heard of before the Fralin show, had other ideas, taking up painting instead. Initially, she focused on traditional scenes of domestic life in an Impressionist style. But, she soon began painting subjects that had been the province of male artists. One of the first paintings in the show, Charmy’s shimmering “The Salon,” c. 1900, features naked prostitutes in a brothel—though you might never know it, given the decorous soft focus with which they’re painted.


Dougherty Stickworks

Sep 26, 2013

Aired on Thursday September 26, 2013, Jennifer Farrell, curator of exhibitions and contemporary art at The Fralin Museum of Art, and Bill Bennett, associate professor of studio art in the McIntire Department of Art, discuss Patrick Doughtery's Stickworks, U.Va.'s site-specific sculpture made of locally harvested twigs and saplings in front of the Ruth Caplin Theatre and the Arts Commons, the latest additions to the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds. Farrell and Bennett also talk about U.Va. and community volunteers helping with the build and an exhibition at The Fralin featuring models and photographs of Dougherty’s earlier projects, as well as preparatory drawings for the installation at U.Va. Soundboard is WTJU 91.1 FM's discussion program about news, culture, and community issues in the Charlottesville area.

Listen to the interview

The Émilie Charmy retrospective currently on display at the Fralin Museum of Art is perplexing.

Most of her paintings have a fierce inquisitive quality. Her application of paint gives expressive life to simple compositions. Single thick brush strokes resolve into a small elegant wrist or a delicate twist of hair. Although a few paintings, like "Nu tentant son sein," seem merely fast and crude, her work cultivates a rough and layered visceral quality. The show culminates with a painting so thickly built, it brings to mind the Balzac story "Unknown Masterpeice." Mounds of paint construct an obscure image, a self portrait, which viewers experience more through the care of each brush stoke than the foggy edged figure which haunts the picture plane.

Though one of the most compelling female voices in French modern art, Émilie Charmy remains largely unrecognized. Curator Matthew Affron hopes to change that with an exhibition at U.Va.’s Fralin Museum of Art, the first U.S. retrospective of her work. The exhibition runs from Aug. 23, 2013 through Feb. 2, 2014, then travels to the Arts Club of Chicago, where it will run from Feb. 27 through May 17, 2014.

Affron, the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and formerly The Fralin’s Curator of Modern Art, said, “Charmy’s painting engaged with major artistic currents, from Impressionism and Post-Impressionism to Fauvism before World War I.” She pursued an expressive, sensuous, modernist naturalism thereafter.

Ansel Adams’ photography is one of those things that’s easy to dismiss because we’ve seen so much of it reproduced in calendars, outsize posters, and the like. But after spending time with the actual photographs now on view at UVA’s Fralin Museum in Ansel Adams: A Legacy through October 13, I rediscovered the magic in Adams’ images of desert, mountain, and forest.

Printed in the 1960s and ’70s by Adams for the San Francisco Friends of Photography, the Meredith Collection of photographs is, in effect, a retrospective of Adams’ career from his early explorations of the medium in the 1920s, to familiar masterworks. The photographs came into the Merediths’ hands in 2002 after the SFFOP was dissolved. At the time, Tom Meredith, a committed conservationist from Austin, Texas, was looking to acquire four prints for his wife, Lynn. With the auction of the SFFOP holdings looming, the couple was talked into purchasing the entire collection in order to keep it intact.

The oil painting of a black Russian man lay quietly for years in a back corner of an antique shop in a dingy walking mall in Moscow.

Andy Leddy, a white American working on a U.S. government contract for a refu­gee program in 1992, a year after the Communist Party lost power, pulled the canvas out and unrolled it.

An exhibition set to open this month at the University of Virginia will examine the family history of Lloyd Patterson, an African-American who emigrated to the Soviet Union in the 1930s and whose son became a child film star and a well-known Soviet poet.

Titled In the Shadow of Stalin: the Patterson Family in Painting and Film, the exhibition “will examine the Patterson family’s history in order to engage larger issues,” according to the university’s Fralin Museum of Art in Charlottesville, Virginia, which is hosting the exhibit from Aug. 23 to Dec. 22.

Today’s American West looks very different from the pristine wilderness documented in the photographs of Ansel Adams.

In conjunction with the new Ansel Adams: A Legacy exhibit, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia opens Looking at the New West: Contemporary Landscape Photography, on Friday. The exhibit, running through Dec. 15, focuses on six contemporary photographers’ explorations of the ever-changing scenery of the American West.


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.