On Saturday, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia will offer a special tour by the museum’s director, Bruce Boucher, as part of the Association of Art Museum Directors’ Art Museum Day and International Museum Day. Visitors taking the tour are encouraged to share the experience with others in real time through social media using the hashtag #artmuseumday.
A member of the association, Boucher will provide a one-hour tour of “Corot to Cézanne: French Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,” beginning at 2 p.m.
On loan from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts through June 2, the exhibit features highlights from the Mellons’ important collection of French drawings, and spans almost 150 years – from the 19th to the early 20th centuries – and includes works from masters such as Géricault, Delacroix, Ingres, Renoir, Pissarro, Degas, Cézanne and Picasso. The works on view range from formal academic studies to more experimental ones, and document artistic change – not only across the period, but also within the work of individual artists.
The Mellons’ other gifts to the commonwealth include French, British sporting and American paintings and sculpture at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, as well as more than 1,000 prints and drawings.
“Museums are important resources for the communities they serve,” Boucher said. “At the University of Virginia, we have several audiences, ranging from the academic to art communities all over Central Virginia. We are proud to highlight our service through observing Art Museum Day with the Association of Art Museum Directors.”
In 2012, the Association of Art Museum Directors launched an initiative encouraging visitors of all ages to share their experiences of Art Museum Day through social media. Last year’s event prompted an outpouring of responses from across North America with tweets, personal emails, Facebook posts and “check-ins” via FourSquare, a location-based social-networking site for mobile devices.
“Art museums bring communities together and engage people of every background in the shared exploration of human expression across time and cultures,” said Chris Anagnos, executive director of the Association of Art Museum Directors. “The association is so pleased that The Fralin is joining us in celebrating Art Museum Day and is encouraging everyone in the Charlottesville community to participate and share their experiences in a public forum.”
Art Museum Day emphasizes the essential role that art museums play in their communities, highlights the value of the visual arts in society and provides new opportunities for audiences to participate in the wide-ranging programs offered by the association’s regional and international member museums located across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The International Council of Museums organizes International Museum Day annually around the world, and the Association of Art Museum’s Art Museum Day is an opportunity to focus attention on the role of art museums in North America as part of the council’s global celebration.
A list of participating member art museums is available on the Association of Art Museum’s website. While Art Museum Day and International Museum Day are formally held each year on May 18, some institutions shift their celebrations to adjacent dates. Visitors to the participating art museums are encouraged to share their experiences throughout the celebrations via social media.
The Fralin Museum of Art, located at 155 Rugby Road, one block from the Rotunda, is open Tuesdays through Sundays, from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free, and parking is available in museum lots.
The Fralin Museum of Art’s programming is made possible by the support of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.