VMFA's Local Connections
William King Museum
By ANGELA WAMPLER | A! MAGAZINE FOR THE ARTS | December 28, 2009William King Museum
In 1989 the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts welcomed the William King Museum (WKM) as the newest member among its 200 statewide partners. Through this mutually valued partnership, WKM is able to expand its exhibition and education programs, and the Virginia Museum can share its permanent collections and educational resources with the public in Southwest Virginia.
Housed in a historic 1913 building that is a former school building, WKM is the only art museum in Southwest Virginia.
WKM features museum-standard galleries showcasing art of the region and of the world, both contemporary and historic. WKM also features an outdoor sculpture garden and a museum store, and it operates the Fields-Penn 1860 House Museum owned by the Town of Abingdon. WKM, in addition to being a partner of VMFA, is also a member of the American Association of Museums, the Virginia Association of Museums and the Southeastern Museums Conference.
WKM offers classes in the visual and performing arts year-round for both children and adults, and school programs are available both on-site and directly in the schools.
• Through its VanGogh Outreach program, WKM takes art directly into second-grade classrooms in public schools with Standards-of-Learning-based lessons and an emphasis on the visual arts. Classes include a lecture and an art project.
• A program for third graders, Art Express offers youngsters across the region a full day's visit to WKM. During their day, students tour the art museum — a first-time experience for many children — then take part in two art activities related to what they have seen in the galleries. Pre and post-visit classroom activities enable teachers and students alike to maximize the experience.
— The Early Years: VMFA Artmobiles