Located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US on the eastern coast, Virginia was one of the original 13 colonies of America created by British settlers. Virginia is the 35th biggest state in terms of area, covering 42,774.2 square miles, but has the 12th highest state population. Approximately 8.47 million people live in Virginia, making it the 14th most densely populated state. The name of this state is believed to have been given in honor of Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was also known as the 'Virgin Queen'. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
5 of the Largest Cities in Virginia
- Overview, Photo: Noel/stock.adobe.com
- Virginia Beach, Photo: sherryvsmith/stock.adobe.com
- Norfolk, Photo: HT777/stock.adobe.com
- Chesapeake, Photo: Thanaphum/stock.adobe.com
- Richmond, Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com
- Newport News, Photo: Andrew Lundquist/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Felix Mizioznikov - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: Chrysler Museum of Art
In the 1930’s, The Chrysler Museum opened as the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences, but was long ago renamed the Chrysler Museum of Art when Walter P. Chrysler Jr., the son of the founder of The Chrysler Corp., and a great art collector in our nation’s history, arrived with his extensive collection in Norfolk in 1971 once he married Norfolk native Jean Outland.
The Chrysler Museum of Art currently houses a collection of just about 30,000 objects covering 5,000 years of history. Collection highlights feature an impressive and comprehensive survey of American and European sculpture and painting, a world-class glass collection, an outstanding photography program, plus art from Pre-Columbian and Islamic cultures, and Africa, Asia, and Egyptian collections. One of the most alluring aspects of the museum is that admission to the Chrysler’s general collection is always free.
Because admission is free, guests are encouraged to come back often to see the multitude of exhibits. For example, if visitors wanted to spend only an hour to see what’s on exhibit, the website provides advise for doing just that:
Free admission every day gives you the luxury of returning again and again to the museum: there is no pressing need to see everything in one visit.
The museum boasts one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of glass anywhere in the world.
See over 10,000 glass objects spanning 3,000 years of history. The museum’s most revered collection are pieces made by Louis Comfort Tiffany. French glass is also a strong area, as is the English cameo glass collection, though smaller. Pioneers of the American studio glass movement are included as well as 21st century artists.
European Painting and Sculpture
European painting and sculpture at the museum covers pieces from the Renaissance to early modernist canvases. Its collection is one of its greatest assets, ranking among the nation’s finest and most distinctive collections. Donated largely by Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., the European collection covers Jan Gossart and Marx Reichlich to bold early modernist canvases by Henri Matisse and Georges Braque.
American Painting and Sculpture
The Chrysler’s collection of American painting and sculpture is seen as one of its greatest treasures. Visitors can gaze upon the stunning portraits of John Singleton Copley to work by Elizabeth Murray and Nam June Paik. The collection began to take shape in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s with a small but choice group of purchases made by the Chrysler’s predecessor. But most of the collection’s strength, as far as American art goes, comes from substantial gifts made in the 1970s and 1980s.
The most crucial of these, from Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., commenced when he arrived in Norfolk in 1971 to bring hundreds of American images into the fold. Chrysler's sister Bernice and her husband Colonel Edgar William Garbisch expanded the holdings by donating over 164 paintings of 19th-century American folk art. Then, in 1983, the museum secured 70 sculptures from the collection of James H. Ricau.
Modern American and European art in the museum’s collection is widely seen as remarkable. Pieces range from the early 20th century School of Paris to the American Scene movement of the 1930s and ‘40s.
The collection boasts signature works by European early modernists such as Henri Matisse and Georges Rouault to Giorgio de Chirico and Georges Braque. The collection was enhanced by members of The Eight and their circle, including William Glackens, Robert Henri, and George Bellows. Other masters included in the collection are Stuart Davis and Edward Hopper. Walt Kuhn, Reginald Marsh, Phillip Evergood and Thomas Hart Benton attest to Depression-era art.
See non-western and ancient art in the museum’s collection of Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Islamic, East Asian, Pre-Columbian and African pieces.
Better than 4,000 photographic objects are in the collection, from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement. Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. possessed most objects of art, with the exception of photography. The Chrysler Museum of Art’s photography collection is primarily the result of collecting activity since 1978.
This collection includes works by Warhol, Pollock, Lichtenstein, and Rothko. At the heart of the collection are pieces acquired by Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. Works by Jackson Pollack, Hans Hofmann, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Franz Kline, and Helen Frankenthaler, plus pieces by James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol can be admired. Significant works by Sam Gilliam, Nam June Paik, and Elizabeth Murray can also be seen.
Since its founding in 1933, the museum has been collecting decorative arts. The collection saw dramatic growth via donations of the couple in the 1970s and 80s. A much younger Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. collected 18th-century English furniture and silver. The couple also acquired Art Nouveau furniture.
Norwood Viviano: Cities: Departure and Deviation
In Cities: Departure and Deviation, the artist uses 25 minimalist blown glass forms to engage guests in urban American history, and how industrial changes affected the landscapes of cities.
Shades of gray, black, and white characterize Viviano's glass diagrams, which can be seen as three-dimensional timelines, depicting the 400-year story of the rise and decline of industries in urban areas and how changes in manufacturing led to significant population change.
The artist uses the length of the form to convey time; he uses the width to depict population density and applies color to convey a moment of dramatic change. This particular arrangement of blown forms lets viewers see the magnitude of diversity in cities as varied as Flint, Michigan and New York.
These depictions can be seen individually or one might compare one to another, but each graph distills complex data into forms that are subdued.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, has loaned this exhibition through July 31, 2016.
Tony Oursler: TC: The Most Interesting Man Alive
Tony Oursler called his collaborative work about Tony Conrad TC: The Most Interesting Man Alive. Unfortunately, Conrad died on April 9 in Buffalo, N.Y., prior to the show’s premier on April 21. In Buffalo, he had taught art and media, and had been struggling against pneumonia and prostate cancer.
Oursler is a U.S. artist, recognized for installations and multimedia art. He created a brief movie on Conrad.
Oursler’s 1996 multimedia work Alien Eye is on view in the museum’s Contemporary Galleries.
At the Willoughby-Baylor House: Harry C. Mann
This singular exhibit includes the creations of this man who lived from 1866 to 1926, and is considered Norfolk's most prolific photographer during an era when downtown construction and maritime traffic were booming. Throughout the exhibit, the visitor will come upon the creations of a cameraman – seen as pioneering – who captured the busy commercial happenings on Granby Street and Norfolk’s downtown atmosphere with photos of clouds, waves, and shadows on the Virginia Beach sand dunes – which were experimental.
A native of Petersburg, this amateur photographer leapt into professionalism during the great Jamestown Exposition of 1907. He began only as a member of the photographer’s corps documenting the Expo’s spectacle of technology, art, and trade to launching a downtown studio.
Besides taking portraits, he sold views of regional wetlands and beaches and architecture. His work took on another dimension when it was published in National Geographic three times.
He had created thousands of photographs at the time his downtown studio closed in 1924. Seen today, the images he published give the guest a glimpse of Norfolk during a period of quick change. His landscapes are widely held in awe for their celebration of Norfolk’s beauty.
This exhibition presents 50 of his finest photographs from the Chrysler Collection.
Now on display at the Moses Myers House, this is a conceptual art installation by Beth Lipman, an artist-in-residence at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio. The installation was inspired by Norfolk history and it was indeed created live in front of a studio audience.
Lipman’s work has been called a still life in glass. For this piece, she envisioned Adeline Myers, who lived in this home in the early 1800s. Lipman took into account objects used by Myers in her life every day.
For her part, Myers was a member of a well-to-do family. She was well educated and known to have keen social graces. In 1819, she was to be married, but her fiancé died just days before the wedding date, and she never dated again. She died, it is said, of a broken heart in 1832.
Lipman, aided by studio assistants, created this work in March 2013. The entire team gave new life to Adeline’s life, transforming many things in it, from a birdcage to a needlepoint sampler, into glass.Engage in a combination of history and art at the Willoughby-Baylor House. This exhibit reveals life in the early 1800s through artworks and antiques.
These are suggestions from Gallery Hosts about how to spend your time:
They suggest that if you brought young children, you might begin on the first-floor of Ancient Worlds. Young children may be familiar with the Egyptian mummies and ancient Greece and Rome from school, and the smaller children will be fascinated by the faces in the Meso-American galleries. What’s more is that there’s a create-your-own art station for kids near these galleries.
And if you didn’t bring children to the museum, you will still be fascinated by Ancient Worlds – according to half of the gallery hosts. They advise that you pay particular attention to two statues from the collection of Vincenzo Giustiniani.
A distinctly popular favorite among gallery hosts is the glass art collection, but not just those pieces in the newly refurbished first-floor wing.
Chrysler Chandelier, by Luke Jerram, links the modern and the children galleries. The Baccarat candelabrum in Gallery 216 is also popular among the hosts.
The Wisteria Café
Spend time between exhibits at the Wisteria Café, enjoying a meal or Sunday Brunch.
The café offers a complete menu, including beers and fine wines. It is managed by Cuisine & Company, a highly respected organization.
The Wisteria’s reputation has been earned. Fresh ingredients, which are sourced locally, account for amazing specials of the season and outrageous desserts. The herbs are grown just outside the kitchen door.
The menu is affordable, which makes it all the more attractive to museum visitors. This remarkable setting is inspired by the casual elegance – a hallmark of the Chrysler. The Wisteria keeps museum hours.
Chrysler Museum of Art,One Memorial Place, Norfolk, VA 23510, Phone: 757-664-6200
Attraction Spotlight: American Rover
The American Rover is a sailing ship with a tradition of excellence. One the Hampton Roads area's signature landmark sights has been the red "tan bark" sails of the American Rover since 1986. Cruises aboard the American Rover leave from the waterfront of downtown Norfolk at Waterside Marina. At 135 feet long, there is plenty of shaded seating available aboard the American Rover. The three masted topsail schooner also has two climate-controlled lounges below deck, as well as restrooms, a bar, and a store.
Downtown Norfolk is situated in the heart of coastal Virginia, eighty minutes from Williamsburg, and only thirty minutes away from Virginia Beach. American Rover cruises take place from April until October through the smooth waters of the Hampton Roads Harbor and along the Elizabeth River. There are two cruises to choose from: the Narrated Harbor Cruise and the Sunset Cruise. Both cruises last about 2 hours and depart from Waterside Marina daily. Guests can sit back and relax during the cruise, or they can try taking a turn at the helm or helping with the sails.
Cruises aboard the American Rover start at Waterside Marina, then head out north along the Elizabeth River and into Hampton Roads Harbor. Along the way during the cruise, the boat will pass by NOAA Headquarters, downtown Norfolk, Old Fort Norfolk, downtown Portsmouth, Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Metro and BAE Shipyards, Battleship Wisconsin, and Norfolk Southern Coal Piers. Giant cargo ships, Navy ships, yachts, and tugboats are often spotted as well. The captain of the ship does a tour as it sails out.
The two hour Harbor Cruise takes place during the day and more popular for families and children. Those aboard can help with the sails, try their skills at steering by taking a turn at the ship's helm, or just sit and enjoy the ride as the American Rover cruises through the Hampton Roads Harbor while the captain points out the sights along the way. These highlights include Private Shipyards, Battleship Wisconsin, and the downtown Portsmouth and Norfolk Skylines among others. Mega-yachts, tugboats, Navy ships, and even occasionally dolphins might also be spotted during the cruise.
The Sunset Cruise aboard the American Rover also lasts about two hours and takes place during the evening. This cruise is more popular for company outings, adults, groups of friends, and couples. Families and children, however, are also welcome. The cruise is both romantic and fun, and is an excellent thing to do for a relaxing but fun evening. The captain provides a short tour featuring highlights of the Hampton Roads Harbor, but afterwards music is provided by the ship's musician.
The American Rover is one of the most popular venues in the Norfolk area for private events. Such events possible aboard the ship are retirement parties, promotion parties, birthdays, reunions, rehearsal dinners, weddings, and corporate events for up to 129 people. Entertainment, bar service, and catering are all available for private parties. During public cruises, guests can buy drinks and snacks from the ship's bar and store. Individuals can also bring food and non-alcoholic beverages on board with them. A picnic basket is allowed, but coolers are not. Groups are not allowed to use their own catering.
333 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, Virginia, Phone: 757-627-7245