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“Edward Hopper and the American Hotel” coming to VMFA, museum offering rare overnight immersive experience

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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts announced on Monday that it will host Edward Hopper and the American Hotel,to premiere at the museum on October 26th—the only east coast venue for this major loan exhibition.

Showcasing more than 60 of Hopper’s paintings, drawings, watercolors and illustrations, this groundbreaking exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see several of the acclaimed American artist’s most beloved works in person and in a new context. Edward Hopper and the American Hotel represents the first investigation of the artist’s canonical images of hotels, motels and other hospitality settings, thus expanding the terms of alienation and fragmentation in which Hopper’s art is often discussed.

Also included are 35 works by American artists that similarly explore the visual culture of hotels, travel and mobility from the early 20th century to the present. Curated by Dr. Leo G. Mazow, VMFA’s Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art, Edward Hopper and the American Hotel will be on view through February 23rd, 2020.

As part of this exhibition, VMFA will recreate Western Motel, one of Hopper’s best-known paintings, as a three-dimensional simulated motel space, giving visitors the chance to “step inside” his work. Through the “Hopper Hotel Experience,” guests will have the opportunity to stay at the museum overnight in a room inspired by Western Motel. There will be a variety of packages available at different price points. Some of the “Hopper Hotel Experience” packages consist of dinner at VMFA’s fine dining restaurant Amuse, a guided tour by the curator and an exhibition catalog, among other options.

Reservation details for the “Hopper Hotel Experience” will be released later this month. This is the first time that VMFA has recreated a work of art in a three-dimensional space and made it available to stay in overnight.

Hotel Lobby, 1943, Edward Hopper (American, 1882–1967), oil on canvas. Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, William Ray Adams Memorial Collection, 47.4 © 2019 Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

The VMFA has had a long relationship with Hopper, starting with his role as chairman of the jury for the museum’s first biennial exhibition in 1938. In 1953, the artist returned to VMFA as a juror for that year’s biennale exhibition. At that time, the museum purchased Hopper’s 1935 painting House at Dusk, which will be on view as part of the exhibition, along with loans from New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, Spain; and numerous other museums and private collections.

Among the private lenders are Grammy-award winning musician Bruce Hornsby and his wife Kathy, who are lending six never-before-exhibited Hopper drawings to the exhibition.

“Each of our curators is tasked with creating exhibitions that provide new narratives about the collection and engage visitors with works of art in a unique way,” says Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Director Alex Nyerges. “We are thrilled that through this historic exhibition, VMFA’s visitors will be able to interact with and learn from extraordinary paintings, drawings and illustrations by Hopper, as well as works by renowned artists such as Richard Caton Woodville, John Singer Sargent, Charles Demuth, Reginald Marsh, Edward Ruscha and Cindy Sherman.”

Edward Hopper and the American Hotel also features selected diaries written by Hopper’s wife and fellow artist, Josephine “Jo” Hopper, which were only recently made available to the public by the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. Jo’s diaries describe not only the drive between their homes in New York and Cape Cod but also their numerous extended road trips throughout the United States and Mexico. Along with her diary entries, the exhibition showcases hotel postcards from the 1920s through the 1950s featuring places that the couple visited together. The postcards and diary entries are rarely seen primary sources that humanize the artist and his wife, providing detailed accounts of their travels in their own words and personal responses to the places they visited, their experiences there and how these trips informed their art.

“Edward Hopper is one the best-known 20th-century American artists, yet the public’s conception of him has largely been filtered through a time-worn biographical formula that explains his art as the product of a sullen, isolated introvert,” says Mazow. “Edward Hopper and the American Hotel endeavors to consider hotels, motels and other transient dwellings as vital subject matter for Hopper and as a framework with which to understand his entire body of work.”

After its debut at VMFA, the exhibition will travel to the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Indianapolis.

Tickets for the exhibition are now on sale. The exhibition is free for VMFA members, children ages 6 and under, state employees and teachers, as well as active-duty military personnel and their immediate families; $16 for adults; $12 for seniors 65+; and $10 for youth 7-17 and college students with ID.

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43rd Street Festival of the Arts Canceled

Yet, another popular event falls to Covid-19.

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Statement from the organizers.

We are sorry to announce that the 43rd Street Festival for 2020 has been cancelled. There appears to be no way in the near future to comply with RVA size restrictions on gatherings and make the show happen safely for all.
Please support local artisans and galleries who carry their work, including 43rd Street GalleryCrossroads Art Center, and Shockoe Bottom Clay.

This is a major disappointment for the neighborhood. It’s also a major financial hit for CARITAS. Traditionally this festival kicks off their fall fundraising. With the festival canceled they’ll need help. You can donate here and get more information on their work.

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Topgolf in Scott’s Addition reopens doors with new safety restrictions

“We’re very excited about being open again, I mean we waited so long. We wanted to make sure we took all the right steps so when we do reopen, we open safe for all our guests and all our associates.”

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From WRIC:

For the first time in months, Richmonders were once again able to tee off at Richmond Scott’s Addition Topgolf location.

With more than 50 reservations made for reopening day, the three-story entertainment venue was proof of how eager people were to get out and have some fun on a hot summer day.

Cliff Twiggs, Topgolf’s Director of Operations, says a “commitment to play safely” is what guests will find at the high-tech driving range moving forward as a result of the pandemic.

Continue reading here.

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Explore Virginia’s natural beauty with new exhibition at Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Celebrate the efforts in preservation and horticulture made by the Garden Club of Virginia (GCV) during its 100-year history with a new exhibition at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, “A Landscape Saved: The Garden Club of Virginia at 100.”

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Celebrate the efforts in preservation and horticulture made by the Garden Club of Virginia (GCV) during its 100-year history with a new exhibition at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, “A Landscape Saved: The Garden Club of Virginia at 100.”

Featuring photographs and objects from the past century of the organization’s history, this exhibition highlights the work of the GCV and its dedicated members in advancing the appreciation of horticulture and the advocacy for land preservation, particularly regarding the formation of the state parks system.

“As the first conservation organization in Virginia, the achievements of GCV have bettered the lives of all who live in or travel through the Commonwealth,” the VMHC said in a release.

The Garden Club of Virginia is now a partnership of 3,400 community and civic leaders active in 48 garden clubs across the state.

Learn more about the exhibition here.

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