Brown Sign: Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA

P1070258If I told you that I spent the weekend in Virginia Beach, you probably would expect that I got a sun tan and shorts full of sand.  But, you know me better.  I would rather spend the afternoon in a museum than on a blanket.  Fortunately, our friends let us know that the Chrysler Museum of Art, in Norfolk, VA, recently re-opened after a 18 month renovation.

P1070267The Chrysler Museum of Art originally opened in 1933 as the Norfolk Museum of Art and Science.  In the 1970’s Walter P. Chrysler, Jr, the son to the founder of Chrysler Corporation, was looking for a location to house his collection of art.  He had been collecting for several decades, but NYC did not need another wealthy donor setting up shop.


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IMG_3061Several renovations later, the doors are open again, and worth entering.  The front entrance is nearly worth the effort (no entry fee either, so good that we had offered to pick up this one).  The renaissance style courtyard encourages a degree of grandeur and formality.  In contrast, the galleries are staffed with youthful “hosts” who will gladly guide you for what you are looking, or just asking “Are you having a good time?”   Most of the time, if you interact with museum staff, they are telling you dryly that you are standing too close to the exhibits.

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While some objects are contained in glass cases, none of the paintings have glass over them.  This is something that we appreciate, as we can then look at the textures of the canvas, when artits use texture to create depth of their images.

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The Chrysler Museum of Art houses two floors of galleries, each focused on a different time periods (Egypt to Modern USA) or style.   Of particular emphasis is their collection of glass, including a room of Tiffany windows and lamps.  If you really enjoy seeing glass blowing, walk across the street to the studio where you can watch vases, glasses, pitchers, and decorative objects form from molten glass to shaped objects.

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About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
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4 Responses to Brown Sign: Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA

  1. KerryCan says:

    I wasn’t familiar with this collection–it looks excellent. And, yes, a museum over a beach ANY day!

    • hermitsdoor says:

      Hot and sandy never worked for me. I grew up in CA not too long of a drive from Santa Cruz, but hearing the Beach Boys on the radio was enough for me. Enjoy a museum near you.

  2. cindy knoke says:

    A day at the museum……priceless!

    • hermitsdoor says:

      We are planning a trip to Rome next year. I thought I would check on-line about purchasing catalogues for museums which we anticipate visiting. I would not have to haul them home and we could be prepared to enjoy the art, rather than reading bifocal-unfriendly print at the museums. The coffee table may need it’s legs reinforced! Thanks for reading this and other blogs that are back a ways.

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