Virginia Art History

with an emphasis on representational art



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Virginia Art History." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays.

Following the links to Resource Library articles and essays are a listing of museums in the state which have provided materials to Resource Library for this or any other topic.

Listed after Resource Library articles, essays and museums are links to online resources outside the TFAO website. Following these resources is information about offline resources including DVDs, paper-printed books, journals and articles.

We recommend that researchers always search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information.



Texts contained in Resource Library by named authors listed by author name in alphabetical order:

The Virginia Landscape, article by James C. Kelly & William M. S. Rasmussen

First Fitzhughs of Virginia: A Colonial Dynasty Painted by John Hesselius, article by William Rasmussen

Pocahontas: Her Life and Legend, article by William Rasmussen


Articles contained in Resource Library without named authors listed by article name in alphabetical order:

The African American Image in Virginia

Old Virginia: The Pursuit of a Pastoral Ideal

Virginia Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery

Virginia State Capitol Art Collection

The Virginia Landscape


Museums and other non-profit sources of Resource Library articles and essays:

Please click on the name of each source to view articles and essays related to that source:

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center / Colonial Williamsburg

American Academy of Equine Art

Bayly Art Museum at the University of Virginia

Chrysler Museum of Art

Maier Museum of Art

Muscarelle Museum of Art

Peninsula Fine Arts Center

University of Virginia Art Museum

Virginia Historical Society

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Virginia State Capitol Art Collection


(above: Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum & DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum at Colonial Williamsburg, Autumn, 2014. Photo © 2014 John Hazeltine)


Other online information:

Artists from Virginia in Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.

"Chatham Post Office Mural Depicts Southern Harvest" by Herman E. Melton, Special to the Star-Tribune, Chatham, Virginia, March 21, 2001. Accessed August, 2015.

Early Images of Virginia Indians: The William W. Cole Collection from Virginia Historical Society. Accessed August, 2015.

echard wheeler: in stillness is a 2019 exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art  which says: "Sometimes, if we are very lucky, we find home. This is not always the place you live, but it is the place where you find solace, a place that your heart recognizes. For photographer Echard Wheeler, that place is First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach." Accessed 5/20

Memory Painting: Harriet French Turner and Queena Stovall is a 2019 exhibit at the Taubman Museum of Art which says: "During the middle of the 20th century, a group of untrained women painters gained critical recognition for their works documenting day-to-day activities from their pasts. The most famous of these painters was Anna Robertson or "Grandma Moses," but Virginia natives Harriet French Turner of Roanoke and Queena Stovall of Lynchburg were recognized for their lively, colorful depictions of their locale and memories."  Accessed 5/19

Outdoor sculptures in Virginia in Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings  is a 2019 exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston which says: "This internationally traveling exhibition investigates how Mann's relationship with her native Virginia, a place rich in literary and artistic traditions yet troubled by history, has shaped her work." Also artist's website and see press release  Accessed 5/19

Virginia (sampling of artists and works connected to state) from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.


TFAO's Distinguished Artists catalogue provides online access to biographical information for artists associated with this state. Also, Search Resource Library for online articles and essays concerning both individual artists associated with this state's history and the history of art centers and museums in this state. Resource Library articles and essays devoted to individual artists and institutions are not listed on this page.


Books, listed by year of publication, with most recently published book listed first:

Save Outdoor Sculpture!: A Survey of Sculpture in Virginia, By Sarah Shields Driggs, John L. Orrock, Virginia Dept. of Historic Resources, Dept. of Historic Resources, Virginia. Published by Virginia Dept. of Historic Resources, 1996. 33 pages

Images of the Past: Lynchburg Portraits, By Patricia A Piorkowski Hobbs, Lynchburg Museum System, Lynchburg Fine Arts Center, Antiquarian Club of Lynchburg. Published by Lynchburg Museum System, 1986. Google Books says: "Catalog of an exhibition celebrating Lynchburg's Bicentennial, held September 14-November 2, 1986, at the Dillard Gallery, Lynchburg Fine Arts Center, Lynchburg, VA."

The Golden Age of Albemarle: A Portrait Show, 1800-1860, the University of Virginia Art Museum, November 4-December 16, 1984, by Elizabeth Coles Langhorne. Publisher: University of Virginia Art Museum, (1984).

Artists in Virginia Before 1900: An Annotated Checklist, By Raleigh Lewis Wright, Virginia Historical Society. Published by University Press of Virginia, 1983. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Dec 28, 2006. ISBN 0813909988, 9780813909981. 200 pages

Portraits and Statuary of Virginians - owned by the Virginia State Library, the Medical College of Virginia, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and Other State Agencies - an Illustrated Catalog, By Ray Orvin Hummel, Katherine M. Smith. Published by Virginia State Library, 1977. ISBN 0884900746, 9780884900740. 160 pages

A Catalog of Virginia Artists of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, By Mark Randolph Miller, Washington and Lee University, Washington and Lee University. Published by Washington and Lee University, 1973. 88 pages

Historic Portraits, Related to the Southampton County Area - Courtland, Va.: Walter C. Rawls Museum and the Southampton Historical Society, 1973

Monuments to Memories: Virginia's Civil War Heritage in Bronze and Stone, By Benjamin Jennings Hillman, Virginia Civil War Commission, Virginia, Civil War Commission. Published by Virginia Civil War Commission, 1965. 48 pages

The Lynchburg Art Club and Its Affiliates, By Ruth Homes Blunt, Lynchburg Art Club. Published by Mutual Press, 1962. 104 pages

Selected Civil War State Historical Markers, Virginia, By Virginia Civil War Commission, Dept. of Conservation and Economic Development, . Published by Virginia Dept. of Conservation and Economic Development, Virginia, Civil War Commission, 1961. 48 pages

Three Generations of Richmond Artists: William Ludwell Sheppard, Nora Houston, Adele Clark, Edmund Minor Archer, Valentine Museum 26 November 1957-26 January 1958, By Valentine Museum. Catalogue published by Valentine Museum 1958

Richmond Portraits in an Exhibition of Makers of Richmond, 1737-1860, By Valentine Museum, Valentine Museum. Published by Valentine Museum, 1949. 286 pages. Google Books says: "Includes biographies of the subjects of the portraits and the artists."

An Exhibition of Nineteenth Century Virginia Genre - January 17-February 13, 1946, By Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Published by Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1946. 21 pages

An Exhibition of Virginia Miniatures: December 3rd, 1941-January 5th, 1942, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia, By Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Published by The Virginia museum of fine arts, 1941. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized May 22, 2006. 55 pages

A Memorial Volume of Virginia Historical Portraiture, 1585-1830, By Alexander Wilbourne Weddell, Ellen Anderson Gholson Glasgow, Thomas Benedict Clarke, Richmond Virginia house, Virginia Historical Society, Virginia House (Richmond, Va.). Published by The William Byrd Press, incorporated, 1930 .556 pages. Google Books says: "This volume commemorates an exhibition of contemporary portraits of personages associated with the history of Virginia between the years 1585-1830, held in Virginia House, Richmond, under the auspices of the Virginia Historical Society, between April 26 and May 27, 1929."

Catalogue of an Exhibition of Contemporary Portraits of Personages Associated with the Colony and Commonwealth of Virginia Between the Years 1585 and 1830 - Held in Virginia House, Richmond, Virginia, Under the Auspices of the Virginia Historical Society Bertween April 29 and May 25, 1929, By Virginia Historical Society. Published by Virginia Historical Society, 1929. 16 pages

Art Club of Richmond: Permanent Art Exhibition, Traveling Art Exhibitions, Special Art Exhibitions, Weekly Lectures, Books and Magazines of Art, School of Fine and Applied Arts..., By Art Club of Richmond. Published by Art Club of Richmond, 1914. 11 pages



James C. Kelly & William M. S. Rasmussen: "The Virginia Landscape" American Art Review July-August 2000 (Volume XII, Number 4)


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