SUSAN J. RAWLES brought “Of Glitter and Grit: American Painting from the McGlothlin Collection” to us in February-

Traffic permitting, the Virginia Museum of Art is a quick trip up the road from Hampton Roads and, as is true of our own Chrysler Museum of Art, you don’t need a special exhibit to lure you into the car.

Instead, you can enjoy the particular pleasures of getting to know a permanent collection.  Visit, revisit, pick out favorites, pretend to own one.  It’s a nice feeling to have a relationship with a collection.

And Susan J. Rawles, Associate Curator of American Painting and Decorative Art at the VMFA, brought us exactly the glimpse we needed to lure us up the road during her lecture on February 27th.

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VMFA George Bellows, “Tennis at Newport” 1920

The VMFA’s James W. and Frances Gibson McGlothlin Collection of American Art provides ample material to love- seventy-three works spanning a century from 1830 to 1930 and encompassing periods from the Hudson River School to Modernism.

Opened in November 2015 as a permanent installation, the collection was carefully and caringly assembled by a Virginia couple.   Their love of the American art scene and dedication to their community now provides all of us an opportunity to enjoy a broad collection of American masterworks right in our own backyard.  “Up the road.”

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Photo: David Stover © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts August 2013 Dr. Susan J. Rawles has been the Assistant Curator of American Decorative Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts since 2008, serving previously as Research Associate for the American department from 1995. She received a PhD in American studies from the College of William and Mary, an MA in the history of art from Rice University, and a BA in economics and government from Smith College. A specialist in American material culture of the colonial and revolutionary periods, she is particularly interested in the socio-historical context of art and has written and lectured on topics ranging from colonial portraiture to period interiors. Part of the 2010 reinstallation team for VMFA’s American art galleries, she co-authored the accompanying publication, American Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (2010).