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, U.Va.

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

Suzanne McClelland asks a lot of her audience. Her exhibition STrAY: Found Poems from a Lost Time, currently at the Fralin Museum of Art, is dense, complicated and poetic. For a casual viewer it may appear obtuse and contemporary in the worst possible way. For another viewer willing to invest time into closely exploring and examining the work, it opens windows to the grinding mechanisms of history and language.

One of America’s great art connoisseurs and patrons, Paul Mellon was quoted as saying that he and his wife “almost never buy a painting or drawing we would not want to live with or see constantly.” Having cut his teeth on father Andrew Mellon’s renowned art collection (which formed the nucleus of the National Gallery of Art), Paul Mellon was graced with an extraordinarily refined eye.

This is evident in Corot to Cézanne: French Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts now on view at the Fralin.

The butterfly of Becoming the Butterfly, The Fralin Museum's current exhibition of etchings and lithographs by James Abbott McNeill Whistler refers to the stylized butterfly that Whistler used to sign his work and the exhibition. Curated by Emilie Johnson, the show provides a succinct yet effective window into Whistler's evolution as an artist. This is the first of two shows at the museum focusing on the American 19th century master's prints (through April 28). The second (opening April 30), will feature portraits.

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1834, Whistler began studying art when he was 9 in St. Petersburg, Russia, where his father, an eminent civil engineer, was employed by the Moscow-St. Petersburg Railway. Following the death of his father when Whistler was 15, the family returned to America.

Inside the dark room, six young girls huddle around a green glow. The glow comes from a green laser refracting through a large crystal that redirects beams to bounce off several carefully positioned small mirrors. A fog, produced by a hand-made machine that one girl continuously thumps, makes the beams more visible; the girls take digital pictures, adjusting the crystal or the laser to create a new shot.

Their enthusiasm is audible—besides the beat of the fog machine, the girls' exclamations fill the smoky green darkness as they move around, testing new angles with their cameras to get the perfect photograph. Afterward, in a brightly lit hallway, the girls talk excitedly about the images they captured before moving on to the next workshop.

The British Society for the History of Science

The British Society for the History of Science Great Exhibitions 2012

Sep 13, 2012

The Fralin's Making Science Visible: The Photography of Berenice Abbott was awarded third place in the small exhibitions category of the British Society of the History of Science's Great Exhibitions 2012.

Jean Hélion: Reality and Abstraction, currently on view at U.Va.'s Fralin Museum of Art presents a small, yet rich collection of this under-appreciated artist's work. The eight paintings and numerous works on paper are both handsome works of art and revealing souvenirs from Hélion's artistic journey "through and then away from abstract art."

Curated by Matthew Affron, associate professor, McIntire Department of Art, the exhibition provides an excellent showcase of [French artist, Jean] Hélion's strong compositional sense. Whether working in oil on canvas, or watercolor, charcoal, and ink on paper, his abstract shapes have real authority. In his oils, Hélion uses alternating flat areas of color with volumetric modeling that recalls the work of Fernand Léger. Deftly arranged on the picture plane, these shapes achieve Hélion's ideal of "a surface fully organized and optically integrated." This compositional skill continues in Hélion's representational work where the unexpected placement of figures and objects in space adds drama and interest. Hélion uses a striking combination of cool and warm tones in his paintings. His works on paper rely on strong lines with subtle smudges and washes of watercolor and gouache.

Making Science Visible: The Photography of Berenice Abbott, which opened Aug. 31 at the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, explores how the photography of Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) has been used in both artistic and scientific contexts.

Abbott's images are important in art, science, documentaries and the history of science education. Trained in New York as a sculptor, she left for Europe in 1921. In Paris, she became the Surrealist artist Man Ray's photographic assistant and saw the photographer Eugéne Atget's work. In 1929, Abbott returned to New York and began a series of documentary photographs of the city and directed the "Changing New York" project for the Works Progress Administration in 1939.

By the early 1950s, Abbott was experimenting with photographs of scientific subjects, and produced images of an array of scientific processes. On display in this exhibition are photographs of magnets, parabolic mirrors, insects, soap bubbles and bones created for scientific textbooks and Science Illustrated magazine. Her images represent a unique melding of science and art, which produces an aesthetic that compels the viewer while also conveying scientific ideas.

Review of The Adoration of the Magi by Bartolo di Fredi: A Masterpiece Reconstructed organized by The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia (UVaM) on view at the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA), New York.

The French painter Jean Hélion made his name as an abstract painter. Throughout the 1930s, he created extraordinary geometrical compositions that balance pristine clarity with both a strongly dynamic feeling and a sense of unceasing transformation. But by the end of the decade, Hélion turned in a different direction and began to paint worldly subjects in a realistic style.

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia explores Hélion's evolution in Jean Hélion: Reality and Abstraction. The exhibit, curated by art history professor Matthew Affron of the College of Arts & Sciences, who is also the museum's curator of modern art, runs from Aug. 31 through Dec. 16.

Hélion helped found an international artists' group called "Abstraction-Création" in Paris, participated in many important exhibitions in Europe, and forged connections with modern art circles in the United States. He spent much of the 1930s shuttling back andforth across the Atlantic and between studios located in Paris, New York City and Rockbridge Baths, Va. His evolution is more complicated than it might first appear, Affron said. "The abstract compositions had contained configurations of form, which were ultimately converted into recognizable figures and objects. And the newer figurative pictures possessed strongly formal qualities. Hélion complicates any simple opposition between notions of abstract art's detachment and realism's involvement in social immediacy."

The artistic alchemy of ancient and modern Chinese masters will be presented in a major exhibition... Included are paintings so skillfully rendered as to make water appear to flow and trees radiate with life. Minimal brushstrokes animate a bird and contrast a green praying mantis with the hue of autumn leaves.

Delicate wisps of fog materialize as if produced by natural forces. A featureless face, all but hidden beneath the sheer pitch of looming cliffs, reveals emotions with the cant of the head.

Unlike exhibits in which one stands back several paces to admire the paintings, Ancient Masters in Modern Styles: Chinese Ink Paintings from the 16th-21st Centuries invites viewers to draw near.

"Get close to the paintings," said Kathleen M. Ryor, curator for the exhibit, which will be on display through Dec. 16. "You'll see Chinese scholars of paintings get their face right up to it.

"That's how you see the brushwork, individual strokes, movement of the artist and the process. And it's amazing, because it's so minimal, and yet so much is achieved."

New York Times

Come Let Us Adore Him

Aug 09, 2012

...Mr. Boucher and Ms. Fiorani also deliver a masterpiece but supplement it with fresh research, probing questions and answers that try to tell us things that we (and they) didn't know. In short you get, through modest means, a big art experience: beauty, deepened by information, leading to contemplation. As I said, perfect.


Lady Like

Aug 06, 2012

July 31 — August 6, 2012

French novelist Roland Dorgelès wrote, "Émilie Charmy, it would appear, sees like a woman and paints like a man, from the one she takes grace and from the other strength, and this is what makes her such a strange and powerful painter who holds our attention." Remembered in part for her place in the early avant-garde movement, Charmy produced a body of work full of...full the body. Her sensuous, expressive portraits of the female form have remained objects of admiration....

No 237, July/August 2012

Like Caesar's Gaul, this exhibition is divided into three parts. The first is a display of paintings by Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, David Johnson, Standford Robinson Gifford, John Frederick Kensett and Aaron Draper Shattuck, all mainly New York-based, who composed the first and second (and final) generations of what art historians have name the Hudson River School.

One of the must-see exhibitions of the summer is now on view at the Museum of Biblical Art ... "It's Bartolo's masterpiece," said Bruce Boucher, the director of the University of Virginia Art Museum, which first hosted the show and owns one of the predella panels. The other is loaned from the Lindenau-Museum in Altenburg, Germany.

Sunlight does peculiar things in the city. It overwhelms surfaces in ways it can't when there's more organic matter around to soak up the glare or scatter it into chaotic shadows. The portfolio of Cuban-American painter Emilio Sanchez contains a broad range of still life and natural scenes, but a collection featuring only his depictions of the built environment makes for a rewarding summer show at the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia.


The Fralin Museum of Art

May 31, 2012

Heywood Fralin (College '62) and his wife Cynthia talk about their gift to the newly named Fralin Museum of Art, and the Museum's importance to future study at the College.

Watch Video

The Roanoke Times

UVa names art museum for Roanoke benefactors

May 22, 2012

The couple responsible for providing Roanoke's Taubman Museum of Art with its collection of American paintings will have an art museum named after them in Charlottesville.

The name of the University of Virginia Art Museum will be changed to the Fralin Museum of Art to honor the donation of a 40-piece collection of American art by Roanoke philanthropists Heywood and Cynthia Fralin, UVa officials announced Monday. The Fralins' gift is the largest single gift of art in the university's history.

"We're really enamored with the idea of future students being able to study American artists ... on an up close and personal basis," Heywood Fralin said Monday.

The University of Virginia has named its art museum after Board of Visitors member and former rector W. Heywood Fralin and his wife, Cynthia, after the Fralins announced the donation of their collection of American art to the university.

The University of Virginia Art Museum is allowing the public to get a behind the scene look into art conservation.

The lectures allows visitors to have a hands on experience with art pieces.

Watch video

A high-end fashion fundraiser is being held at the Main Street Arena Thursday, May 10, 2012.

The ice rink will be transformed into a runway for the Art in Heels event. Art in Heels is a benefit to help the University of Virginia Art Museum and local public television.

Top celebrity designers like Johnathan Kayne and Heidi Elnora from the show Project Runway will showcase their collection.

Pieces of historic art have been reunited for the first time in hundreds of years, and you can see them at the University of Virginia Art Museum. On Thursday, the museum hosted a preview of "The Adoration of the Magi," a 14th-century Italian altarpiece painting by Bartolo di Fredi.

Completed around 1385, the altarpiece was dismantled and broken into four pieces at the turn of the 19th century. The painting stayed in Italy while accompanying panels were scattered in museums across the world.

One of the panels ended up at UVa, and now, for a short time, three of the four pieces will be on display together in the "The Adoration of the Magi" exhibit, which opens Friday and runs through May 27.

"It's a great opportunity for us to learn about altarpieces and why our particular panel fits into this larger work of art," said Bruce Boucher, director of the UVa Art Museum

A momentous reunion is happening at the University of Virginia. No, we're not talking about alumni returning to town to relive their glory days. This goes back much further than even Mr. Jefferson himself – all the way to 14th century Italy, when painter Bartolo di Fredi took up his brush to create an altarpiece for a church in his native city of Siena. As he applied his tempera and gold leaf, he surely didn't imagine that half a millenium* later parts of his painting would scatter across the globe, nor that they would be reunited for "The Adoration of the Magi by Bartolo di Fredi: A Masterpiece Reconstructed," an exhibition opening Friday at the UVA Art Museum.

Midea, Marucs Institute for Digital Education in the Arts

iPad apps, Part 3: Pleasures of the Kin-Aesthetic, Sculptural and Journalistic

Feb 14, 2012

"... In the last post, while praising MoMA's AbEx NY app for its stunning photography and excellent design, I confessed that the sculptures were less satisfying: the works themselves are often monochrome, and we want to pivot them, see them in 3D.

It took a little known art museum at the University of Virginia, working together with Jason Lawrence, an assistant professor at the same university and co-founder of the company Arqball, to present a convincing proof-of-concept for how 360° views like the ones we saw in The Elements might convey the magic of 3D objects in art museums' collections."

NBC 29

UVA Art Museum to Reopen Friday

Feb 02, 2012

The doors at the University of Virginia Art Museum will reopen Friday with a few new quirks. The ground floor will be showcasing masterpieces and Renaissance era art.

Landscapes, 100 years of photography and 18th century porcelain will be featured on the upper level of the museum. In celebration of Valentine's Day, Japanese woodcuts from the 19th century will be on display.

The UVA Art Museum unveiled four new shows earlier this month that cover a breathtaking expanse of ground and make for an enjoyable afternoon of fine art. Curated by Paul Barolsky, Commonwealth Professor of Italian Renaissance Art and Literature, "Master Printmakers: The Italian Renaissance and its Modern Legacy" features engravings, woodcuts, and etchings by artists who made prints from the work of Renaissance masters like Raphael, Tintoretto, and Titian.

Daily Progress

UVA Art Museum opens four new exhibits

Jan 20, 2012

The dawn of abstract art in the early 20th century didn't mean sunset for traditional forms of art. Four new exhibitions opening today at the University of Virginia Art Museum show that there's room for plenty of different forms of self-expression under the sun.

Hopi doll with painted headdress springs to life, spinning under my finger tips on a new iPad app from the University of Virginia Art Museum (UVaM).

The delightful app presents 19 different objects in 3D, to spin and zoom, providing an immediacy that rivals seeing an object in real life. In fact, it's better in many ways than peering at an object through a protective case because the objects can be spun through a full 360°, view under bright lighting, at high resolution.

In this week's UVA Today segment, Nicole Anastasi visited the Newsplex to introduce the University of Virginia Art Museum's new iPad app.

Repeat after me: Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and Composite - anyone who's taken high school Latin knows these are the five types of columns used in Roman architecture. Right? Wrong! As the University of Virginia Art Museum's current exhibition, "Variety, Archeology, and Ornament: Renaissance Architectural Prints from Column to Cornice," shows, Roman builders were much more imaginative than later architectural experts, like Palladio and Vignola, would have us believe.

The University of Virginia Art Museum has tapped scholar and curator Jennifer Farrell, who has a long history of working at institutions throughout New York and New England, to be its new curator of exhibitions. Ms. Farrell comes to the museum from the New York-based Nancy Graves Foundation, which maintains the archive of the late sculptor and painter Nancy Graves and makes grants to artists.

Before joining the Nancy Graves Foundation, Ms. Farrell served as a fellow and then assistant curator of prints, drawings and photography at the Yale University Art Gallery in in New Haven, Connecticut.

"How to Steal like an Artist" is a humorous blog post by Texas-based artist Austin Kleon, full of down-to-earth advice for creative types. (Google it, if you're not reading this online where there's a hyperlink). Kleon writes that artists by nature constantly cop others' ideas and methods, adapting them for their own use. Examples of just such beneficent thievery are currently on view in the University of Virginia Art Museum's exhibition, New Images, New Techniques: Abstraction in British Screenprints circa 1970.

The seven artists included in the show not only appropriated silkscreen printing from the realm of industrial and commercial production, but they also snagged ideas from previous abstract artists as well as from each other. Drawn from the Museum's permanent collection, the works displayed reveal the dynamic interplay of ideas between artists working in close proximity, as they used the same medium to delve into relationships between shape and color on the page.

Jasper Johns (b. 1930) has fundamentally 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 over five decades. Johns’ prints not only show a mastery of the various mediums he has engaged, but also a profound sense of experimentation, which has had significant impact not only on his own art, but also on the field itself. Printmaking has allowed Johns to explore various methods for interpreting icons, emblems, and objects—such as numbers, letters, maps, targets, and ale cans—while also expanding the possibilities for printmaking. Several of his prints make reference to the artist’s work in other media, yet they are not mere copies or reproductions. Rather, Johns has consistently returned to such motifs in order to explore new methods and techniques that would allow him to reinterpret and engage these subjects again.

The weather is heavy in Suzanne McClelland's new paintings, where paint surges, lines whip and skid, and fragmentary letters and numbers collapse, inflate and slam into each other, hard. Words have a longstanding place in McClelland's work, often formed in a way that links their visible shape to their voiced sound, and to their origin in breath and body. Recently, the artist has shifted her attention from the link between spoken and written language to the juncture between letters and numbers. But as before, multitudes of ideas race through these images at speed. The works' range of social and cultural observation is matched by an extravagantly free dispersal of mediums across a variety of supports. Painting, pouring, dripping, splattering, writing and drawing, McClelland produces surfaces that are variously rococo, catastrophic, sparkly and black as dried blood.

The Fralin Museum of Art presents a two-part exhibit in its Stair Hall Gallery titled Portraying the Golden Age. The exhibit is curated by John Hawley, Luzak-Lindner Graduate Fellow. In the first installation of Portraying the Golden Age, drawings from the Maida and George Abrams Collection reveal the blossoming of drawn portraiture in the Netherlands during the seventeenth century. The first installation will be on display through April 27.


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.