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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

A Virtual Museum Visit in Book Form

July 30, 2007

RICHMOND, Va. — New book showcases the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' modern and contemporary art collection in a compact format.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is expanding its building and increasing its exhibition space by 50 percent; increasing, too, the modern and contemporary art collection.

In tandem with the expansion, modern and contemporary art curator John Ravenal has published a virtual museum visit in book form.

Modern & Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts features 114 works dating from 1948 to 2006 and offers art enthusiasts a chance to recall old favorites, discover hidden treasures, and encounter new acquisitions.

Assembled through generous donations from Sydney and Frances Lewis and other community benefactors, along with museum purchases, the modern and contemporary collection is internationally recognized, counting among its artists such postwar greats as Pollock, de Kooning, Warhol, and Lichtenstein, as well as newer artists like William Kentridge, Sally Mann, and Kehinde Wiley.

The book connects the art with the audience, setting insightful commentary by Ravenal alongside pithy artists' quotes and lush color images.

Works appear chronologically within the three sections: paintings; sculpture and video art; and prints, drawings, photographs, and collage.

An introduction offers a brief history of postwar art and its different movements, along with a history of the internationally acclaimed collection.

The result is a beautiful presentation of important postwar art. Buy it as a gift, as a reminder of a visit, or as a virtual tour of VMFA modern and contemporary highlights.

About the Author: John B. Ravenal is VMFA's Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. He is the author of Vanitas: Meditations on Life and Death in Contemporary Art; Outer & Inner Space: Pipilotti Rist, Shirin Neshat, Jane & Louise Wilson and the History of Video Art; robert lazzarini; and Artificial Light: New Light-Based Sculpture and Installation Art.

For more information on the book, e-mail or call 434-982-2932.

BOOK TITLE: Modern & Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
BOOK INFO: (Hardcover, $19.50 ISBN: 978-0-917046-80-3)
AVAILABILITY: Available from

A! ExtraTopics: Art, Literature