With this inaugural entry, VMFA joins the blogosphere. Here you’ll find stuff you won’t find on our public Web site or in our monthly e-news or in our mailings to members. For one thing, it’ll be much more informal – more like what you and I might chat about if we happened to run into each other in the museum’s Café or in the lobby. I’ll be posting entries myself, and so will our curators, our registrars, our librarians, and many of our behind-the-scenes staff. We’ll be trying to give you an idea of what’s happening both publicly and backstage. And we hope you’ll respond, to tell us what you think about what we post, and what you’d like to learn about in future postings. (Don’t hold back. Just keep it clean; there may be kids reading this.)
One major focus right now is the VMFA expansion project. As you drive or walk past the museum on the Boulevard, you can see how far we’ve come. When the James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Wing opens in early 2010, we’ll be even bigger and better than before. Our gallery space will be half again larger so that we can show you significantly more from our vast permanent collections. Special-exhibition space – for shows like our Egypt and Faberge exhibitions in years past – will double in size and be large enough to accommodate major loan exhibitions. Our trustees wanted to make sure we stayed open during the expansion project. That hasn’t been easy, and you never know from visit to visit what will be open and what will be closed. But we’ve made it easy to check before you come. You’ll find a weekly gallery map on our Web site.
And if you have visited or driven by lately, you’ve noticed that the exterior of the new wing is now getting its glass-and-limestone skin. We’re using an enormous amount of glass, so much that we’re almost eliminating the boundary between interior and exterior spaces. So watch this space for more of our thoughts. And be sure to chime in with your own comments and questions. It’s an exciting time at VMFA, and we want you to share the experience with us.