VMFA on the Road: The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is to update and relaunch its historic Artmobile programme.
The original mobile exhibition traveled through the state of Virginia between 1953 and 1994 with valuable artworks in stow. The travelling mini museum carried 16 masterpieces from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The VMFA has now announced plans to launch its modern-day equivalent, VMFA on the Road, in the fall of 2018, reports the Smithsonian Magazine.
Jeffery Allison, the VMFA’s Paul Mellon Educator, says that the new-and-improved truck will drive to “K-12 schools, community centers, smaller museums, retirement communities, and community colleges and universities.”
The truck will serve rural and remote areas of the state where the VMFA in Richmond is not easily accessible. Allison explains the decision to resurrect the Artmobile came when museum officials “were looking at ways to ensure that every Virginian has that opportunity to be part of what is essentially their museum.”
The original Artmobile was taken out of commission due to conservation concerns – despite its popularity. VMFA on the Road will be an “Artmobile 2.0”, says Allison. The truck is a Volvo with a 53-foot trailer that can expand when parked. Many of the trucks’ exhibitions will be interactive.
The truck will also feature a new storage system to minimise vibrations. It will have its own generator to regulate temperature, and a sophisticated alarm system.
The truck will feature “significant works of art”, says Allison, and a number of themes for future displays are currently being contemplated.
“We have a wonderful depth in terms of our collection [at the VMFA] now,” Allison says. “It’s always growing. We have over 40,000 objects to choose from.”
Allison says that he hopes the VMFA on the road will encourage Virginians to “get very excited and come to Richmond and see the big house.”
Image: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts