Skip to main content

Records of the Exhibitions Department (RG-23)

Identifier: RG-23

Scope and Contents

The collection’s inclusive dates are 1936-2012, with the bulk of the material dating from 1979-2004. The collection is comprised of correspondence, exhibition schedules, budgets, grant applications, photographs, object lists, notes, collection statements, planning documents, project files, policies, loan arrangements and decisions, and other materials.


  • 1936-2012 [minimally processed; subject to change]


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is minimally processed. Requests to perform research must be submitted to the VMFA Archives at least one business day in advance.

As custodians of public records, VMFA only restricts access to public records when sensitive information is present. Such restrictions are applied in accordance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia, § 2.2-3700 thru § 2.2-3714) and the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (Code of Virginia, § 2.2-3800 thru § 2.2-3809). Both Museum staff and the public may need written permission from the Director to view certain restricted records.

Series 3 (Collections Management) is restricted as they contain sensitive information about acquisitions, insurance, security, and other issues related to the museum's art collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright, beyond that allowed by fair use, requires the researcher to obtain permission of copyright holders.


193.0 Linear Feet (265 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is organized into 4 series, and items are generally arranged chronologically within each series. Items with no date are generally placed at the end at each series. The collection is minimally processed, so folder arrangement, titles, or dates are subject to change if additional processing occurs.

Series 1
Exhibition Files, 1936-2012, undated
Series 2
Exhibitions Management, 1936-2015, undated
Series 3
Collections Management, 1977-2004, undated [RESTRICTED]
Series 4
Galleries, 1977-2004, undated

Custodial History

The collection was transferred from the Exhibitions Department through periodic deposits.

Related Materials - VMFA Library and Archives

  • Many of the museum's exhibitions have published catalogs, which can be found in the Library's catalog Pandora or in the Archives Catalog Collection (PB-01).
  • For each exhibition held at the museum, the Archives has a vertical file which may include announcements, clippings, press releases, brochures, reviews, invitations, small exhibition catalogs, and other ephemeral material.
  • Some early exhibition records are found in the Archives Director's Correspondence (RG-01) and curators often created their own exhibition records which are found in the Archives Curatorial Collection (RG-03).

Processing Information

This collection was originally processed from June through August 2011, and then reprocessed in 2016. During processing, non-permanent materials such as copies of meeting minutes, routine correspondence, copies of invoices, departmental budgetary information, and declined exhibition proposals were destroyed according to VMFA’s Records Retention and Disposition Schedule. Periodicals, books, and exhibition catalogs were transferred to the Library’s collection. All files before 1980 were rehoused in new archivally sound folders. Original folder titles were generally retained, when provided.

Finding Aids to the Institutional Records of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the VMFA Archives | Records of the Exhibitions Department
Record Group 23 (RG-23)
In Progress
Devon Kramer, Archives Intern (2011) and Erica Borey, Records Manager (2016); Finding aid encoded by Courtney Tkacz, VMFA Archivist (2021)
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