The Virginia Museum of Fine Art
s Collectors Circle named Richmond-raised Frank Raysor Collector of the Year at a gala last weekend.
During the evenings celebration, VMFA Director Alex Nyerges announced Raysors plans to bequeath more than $3 million to the museum.
Raysor already has promised VMFA a gift of 10,000 prints that he has amassed throughout the past 35 years. In recognition of this unprecedented gift, the museums previous library is being named the Frank Raysor Center for the Study of Works on Paper. The center will house more than 15,000 works on paper and will provide the space and resources needed for the study of the history of western print-making, among other subjects. The study center will open after a complete renovation and refurbishment of the existing space.
The gifted prints cover the history of print-making, spanning the 15th century to present day, and are by both European and American artists. The works will increase the museums total number of objects by one-third.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts relationship with Frank Raysor dates back to his childhood visits, Nyerges said. In the past we have benefitted from a number of antiquities, which he donated in the early 1990s. His rich and fascinating collection of prints is a gift for all Virginians.
As Collector of the Year, Raysor joins a group of distinguished donors and museum supporters. Past recipients include: Linda H. Kaufman, Jane Joel Knox, Mrs. Nelson L. St. Clair, Jr., Robert and Nancy Nooter, Paul Mellon, Jerome and Rita Gans, Arnold L. Lehman and Nelson A. Rockefeller.
As a representation of Raysors collection, more than 100 works are on display currently at VMFA. A Celebration of Print: 500 Years of Graphic Art from the Frank Raysor Collection will be on view until May 22, 2011.