The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is a prestigious art museum situated in Richmond, Virginia, United States. It opened in 1936 and is owned and managed by the Commonwealth of Virginia, while private sponsorships, donations, funds and endowments for specific programs and acquiring artwork.
It first opened in 1919 on Judge John Barton Payne's donation of 50 paintings made to the Commonwealth of Virginia in collaboration with the then Virginia Governor John Garland Pollard. In some time, they chose Richmond's Boulevard as the museum site.
It was designed by architects Peebles and Ferguson of Norfolk, and its design style has sometimes been described as Georgian Revival and at other times English Renaissance. It was started in 1934 when two wings were planned, but when it opened in 1936, only the central part was built.
It has a collection that goes back 5000 years. It also has a comprehensive array of special exhibitions. In 1947, the VMFA received the largest public collection of Faberge outside Russia—150 jeweled items comprising the Lillian Thomas Pratt Collection of which the most significant was the Peter the Great Egg by Fabergé. Then came the T. Catesby Jones Collection of Modern Art, followed by donations from Wilkins C. Williams, Adolph D. Williams and others.
The museum's permanent collection comprises over 22,000 fantastic pieces of art which included the largest public collection of Fabergé and one of the USA's best art collections.