News | April 5, 2011

VMFA Names Frank Raysor "Collector of the Year"

April 4, 2011--The Virginia Museum of Fine Art’s Collectors’ Circle named Richmond-raised Frank Raysor “Collector of the Year” at a gala last weekend.

During the evening’s celebration, VMFA Director Alex Nyerges announced Raysor’s plans to bequeath more than $3 million to the museum.

Raysor already has promised VMFA a gift of 10,000 prints that he has amassed throughout the past 35 years. In recognition of this unprecedented gift, the museum’s previous library is being named the “Frank Raysor Center for the Study of Works on Paper.” The center will house more than 15,000 works on paper and will provide the space and resources needed for the study of the history of western print-making, among other subjects. The study center will open after a complete renovation and refurbishment of the existing space.

The gifted prints cover the history of print-making, spanning the 15th century to present day, and are by both European and American artists. The works will increase the museum’s total number of objects by one-third.

“The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ relationship with Frank Raysor dates back to his childhood visits,” Nyerges said. “ In the past we have benefitted from a number of antiquities, which he donated in the early 1990’s. His rich and fascinating collection of prints is a gift for all Virginians.”

As Collector of the Year, Raysor joins a group of distinguished donors and museum supporters. Past recipients include: Linda H. Kaufman, Jane Joel Knox, Mrs. Nelson L. St. Clair, Jr., Robert and Nancy Nooter, Paul Mellon, Jerome and Rita Gans, Arnold L. Lehman and Nelson A. Rockefeller.

As a representation of Raysor’s collection, more than 100 works are on display currently at VMFA. A Celebration of Print: 500 Years of Graphic Art from the Frank Raysor Collection will be on view until May 22, 2011.  ????About the Collection??Collection highlights include 17th century European prints, particularly by the Czech-born English émigré Wenceslaus Hollar, and 19th-century etching-revival artists, such as James McNeill Whistler and Seymour Hayden.  Raysor’s holdings encompass the entire oeuvres of artists such as Charles Meryon, Félix Bracquemond, Alphonse Legros and others. Raysor continues to add to his and VMFA’s collection by recently gifting works by Hollar, Cassatt, Rembrandt and Géricault.

About the Exhibition
???? TITLE:  A Celebration of Print:  500 Years of Graphic Art from the Frank Raysor Collection ??
?? LOCATION:  VMFA, Mellon Focus Gallery
???? DATES:  Jan. 29 - May 22, 2011
???? VMFA CURATOR:  Dr. Mitchell Merling, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art
???? NUMBER OF WORKS:  105
???? ADMISSION: Free
???? SLIDESHOW:  Richmond Times-Dispatch photo gallery

About Frank Raysor??
Raysor grew up in Richmond, attending Thomas Jefferson High School, before going on to Duke University and Harvard Business School. He has loaned works from his collection to special exhibitions at the Albuquerque Museum, the Yale Center for British Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum. In 1982, Raysor guest-curated a small exhibition at VMFA of 18thcentury prints with classical subjects drawn from his collection in conjunction with the museum's internationally important exhibition, Vases from Magna Graecia. In addition to his collecting, Raysor has made important contributions to print scholarship, including his collaboration on the catalogue raisonné of the works of Charles Meryon.

About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts??
With a collection of art that spans the globe and more than 5,000 years, plus a wide array of special exhibitions, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is recognized as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States. The museum’s permanent collection encompasses more than 22,000 works of art, including the largest public collection of Fabergé outside Russia and one of the nation’s finest collections of American art. VMFA is home to acclaimed collections of English Silver and Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, British Sporting and Contemporary art, as well as renowned South Asian, Himalayan and African art. In May 2010, VMFA opened its doors to the public after a transformative expansion, the largest in its 75-year history. Programs include educational activities and studio classes for all ages, plus fun after-hours events. VMFA’s Statewide Partnership program includes traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth. General admission is always free. For additional information, telephone 804-340-1400 or visit
????# # #