RICHMOND, VA.-The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts a $75,000 grant to be used to install the museums expanded Modern and Contemporary collection.
VMFA is in the midst of a massive expansion project that will add more than 165,000 square feet of space to the existing 320,000-square-foot museum. The expansion will increase the museums gallery space by 50 percent and is expected to cost about $130 million.
Topping out for the addition is expected in the late summer or early fall of this year. Then, construction will continue on the buildings façades and interior, leading to an opening in late 2009, museum officials say.
The enlarged Modern and Contemporary galleries will span space in both the existing and the expanded museum. The NEA grant will fund a portion of the installation costs.
The NEA grant will help support the display of 20th- and 21st-century art with a fresh, holistic vision that presents the art of our time in an inspiring place with inviting pathways for our visitors., says Alex Nyerges, VMFAs director.
We think the installation gives us the opportunity to transform VMFAs overall program for the art of our times in striking galleries that complement the quality of this growing collection, he adds.
John Ravenal, VMFAs Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, says he is grateful to the NEA. They have awarded us a substantial grant and an encouraging stamp of approval, he says.
The grant is from the NEAs 2008 Access to Artistic Excellence awards.