The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is located in Richmond, Virginia. Regional museums like the VMFA are even better places to learn about art, I think, than the large national museums like the Met, the Boston MFA, or the National Galleries (which I grew up roaming). They can’t compete with the national museums, so they tend to acquire second-rate art by first-rate artists, or first-rate art by second-rate artists, or whatever is not currently in artistic fashion. The VMFA has all of those: several mediocre Picassos, excellent paintings by painters I’ve never heard of, and one of the best collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco furniture and decorative arts I’ve ever seen.
We didn’t spend enough time there, but saw plenty, include that entire collection (of course). I can’t show you the entire collection, or even most of the pictures I took, but here are just enough to give you a sense of what the collection contains. (I’m afraid these reveal my own bias; they are Art Nouveau rather than Art Deco, which I consider cold and, except in the case of jewelry, generally uninteresting.)
I think five images are enough for one post. I’ll include more in the next. (What does this have to do with writing, you ask? Well, obviously, these are the sorts of items I would use to furnish Mother Night’s house, and as for the jewelry, that’s what we wear to the ball. If you were in Mother Night’s house, wouldn’t you wear dragonflies tremblant, and pearl combs to hold back your hair?)