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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was awarded two federal grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in the past six months. In July, VMFA received a Museums for America grant for $150,000 to support the purchase and implementation of a new collections management system (CMS). The CMS, a software package that tracks all artwork-related data in one centralized location, will allow the museum to publish more images of the collection on its website. “This prestigious grant brings us one step closer to reaching our strategic goal of providing increased access to our outstanding collection – both in the galleries and online,” said Stephen Bonadies, VMFA deputy director for collections and facilities management.
Museums for America grants are highly competitive. Of the 470 initial applications from all types of museums, zoos and botanical gardens, less than 50 percent made it to the second round of review. Only 152 grants were awarded in this cycle, and of that total, 81 were more than $140,000. The grant given to VMFA was the maximum award and the largest amount granted to any institution in Virginia.
In April, VMFA received a $20,298 grant from IMLS to support a conservation survey of nearly 1400 works on paper associated with its Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts, and Art Deco collection. The initial survey, examining 200 posters as well as rare books, portfolios and periodicals, was completed this summer and conservation treatment of key works will begin in 2014. Once these materials have been preserved and digitized, VMFA will regularly display posters and other works on paper to complement the decorative arts objects featured in the Sydney and Frances Lewis Galleries for Art Nouveau and Art Deco, providing visitors with a more thorough examination of this period in art history. The project will also expand student and scholarly access to the materials through the museum’s library and website.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Through grant making, policy development, and research, IMLS helps communities and individuals thrive through broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning.
About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
VMFA’s permanent collection encompasses more than 33,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of world history. Its collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, English silver, Fabergé, and the art of South Asia are among the finest in the nation. With acclaimed holdings in American, British Sporting, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist, and Modern and Contemporary art – and additional strengths in African, Ancient, East Asian, and European – VMFA ranks as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States. Programs include educational activities and studio classes for all ages, plus fun after-hours events. VMFA’s Statewide Partnership program includes traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth. VMFA is open 365 days a year and general admission is always free. For additional information, telephone 804-340-1400 or visit www.vmfa.museum.