Maier Museum of Art
At the risk of sounding cliche, the Maier Museum of Art is a true jewel to be treasured. The museum began in 1907 when the senior class of what was then Randolph-Macon Women’s College commissioned a portrait of William Waugh Smith, then the President of the College and its founder. The Museum collection is focused on 19th century American Art through today.
The Museum is currently exhibiting their 111th Annual Exhibition which opened on October 21, 2022 and runs through April 16th, 2023 called Survivance: Contemporary Native Art. The show features four artists in the Santa Fe, New Mexico Indian Market tradition: Cara Romero, Diego Romero, Michael Namingha and Virgil Ortiz. The Maier’s Annual Exhibition is one of the longest continuous running exhibitions of contemporary Art in the United States by a private institution.
If you are in the Lynchburg area I strongly recommend you make the Maier Museum a must-see during your visit. If you are in town on Saturday, February 25, 2023 the Museum is hosting the 31st Annual Helen Clark Berlin Symposium which is a day long program inspired by the 111th Annual Exhibition and Artists Michael Naming, Cara Romero and Diego Romero are scheduled to participate in Artist Talks as well as a panel discussion culminating in a reception. The best part is this event is free. If you aren’t in town then make a note to watch the simulcast on the Museum’s YouTube channel, simply search for @MaierArt.
An interesting part of the Museum’s story is their participation in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C’s “Project Y” in 1951. The Cold War was heating up and the National Gallery established a repository for the national Art collection in the event of a national emergency and the Maier Museum building was constructed for that purpose.
On my first visit I was impressed with the Museum’s 19th century to current collection including works by John Audubon, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper and Georgia O’Keefe. I paused in the gallery displaying Black & White depression era photography because I have always been fascinated with history.
I have been auditing an Art History lecture class on the Baroque instructed by Professor Andrea Campbell at Randolph College and she arranged a class outing to the Maier where we were shown not only paintings which we studied in the lectures but also a few paintings we did not discuss and also a number of prints. The Maier Museum has a very impressive collection and many works in the collection are displayed throughout the Randolph College campus.
The Museum website is maiermuseum.org and again the Museum’s YouTube channel is @MaierArt. Check out the website for current and future exhibitions.