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Records of the Council of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (SC-04)

Identifier: SC-04

Scope and Contents

The collection’s inclusive dates are 1953-2007, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1960s to the 1990s. The collection is comprised of correspondence, minutes, reports, invitations, programs, financial statements, photographs, clippings, notes and other ephemeral material.


  • 1953-2007

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

All files from "Series 7: Financial Records" are restricted for 25 years after creation, with the exception of (1) Treasurer's Reports, which are public, and (2) Audits, which are restricted permanently. Access to restricted materials may require written permission of the donor.


21.25 Linear Feet (17 boxes; 308 folders and 4 unprocessed boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection documents the rich history of the Council of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the museum’s oldest and longest-running support group. Founded in 1955 by a group of interested women, the Council has grown greatly over the years in membership, events, projects and support given to the museum. The collection spans the entire six decade history of the Council through minutes, officer’s reports, committee reports, subject/event files, and some past Presidents’ files. A large portion of the documentation is devoted to the Council Sales Shop, begun in 1962, and turned over to the museum in 2010.


The collection is organized into seven series, and items are arranged chronologically within each series. Items with no date are placed at the end of a series.

Series 1
Minutes, 1955-2006
Series 2
Annual Reports, 1959-2006
Series 3
Committee Reports and Subject Files, 1955-2005
Series 4
Special Events, 1953-2007
Series 5
Council Shop, 1962-2007
Series 6
Presidents' Files and Officers' Reports, 1956-2005
Series 7
Financial Records, 1955-2006
[Unprocessed Files]
Unprocessed Files, 1992-2013

Custodial History

The collection is composed of archival materials donated by the Council of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The bulk of the material was located in the Council office, while other material was gathered from past Council Presidents. The majority of the collection was accessioned into the VMFA Archives’ collection in September 2005 and August 2014. Subsequent small accretions of select committee files and past Presidents’ papers have been integrated into the collection. A large accretion of files of all types were donated in October 2017 and remain unprocessed.

Related Materials - VMFA Library: Council Publications

  • “The Councillor" (1978-present)
  • The Council Handbook-Directory (1959-present)
  • “History of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Council, 1955-1990” by Jane Davenport Reid
  • “History of the Shop of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1980-1990” by Jane Davenport Reid

Related Materials - VMFA Library: Exhibition Files

  • Virginia Crafts Today, 1984
  • Fine Arts and Flowers (11 folders, 1987-2012)
  • The Council: Serving VMFA Since 1955, 2005

Related Materials: VMFA Library - Subject File

  • Council of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (8 folders)

Processing Information

The collection was originally processed between September 2005 and January 2006. During processing, original newspaper clippings were photocopied, with identifiers transferred, and all non-archival financial materials were destroyed. Issues of The Councillor and yearly membership handbook-directories were transferred to the Library’s collection.

In 2014 the collection received a large donation of material from past Presidents. These files were integrated into the collection, which necessitated some reorganization of the existing records, as follows: Series 3 “Officers’ Reports” was eliminated and integrated with Series 6, formerly “Presidents’ Files” and now renamed “Presidents’ Files and Officers’ Reports”. A new series was added, Series 7 “Financial Records”.

In 2017 the collection received a large donation of mixed records. That material is still unprocessed and is listed as "[Series 8: Unprocessed Files]".

Finding Aids to Special Collections in the VMFA Archives | Records of the Council of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Special Collection 04 (SC-04)
Courtney Tkacz, VMFA Archivist; Finding aid encoded by Sylvio Lynch III, Archives Intern (2020)
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Archives Repository

Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library
200 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard
Richmond VA 23220-4007 United States