Grateful American™ Radio Show


Explore the Art of History at Richmond's Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

On January 1936, during the Great Depression, Virginia’s political and business leaders bravely demonstrated their faith in the future and their belief in the value of art by opening the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.

The original English Renaissance-style building was designed by Peebles and Ferguson Architects of Norfolk. And in the years since, there have been five expansions, including the most recent (completed in 2010), designed by Rick Mather.

This beautiful renovation houses the museum’s permanent collection of 33,000 works of art from almost every major world culture.

So it was educational and exciting to be standing in the American art collection today with the museum’s director, Alex Nyerges, who gave Grateful American™ Foundation founder David Bruce Smith, and executive producer Hope Katz Gibbs, insight into the art of our history.

In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • The collection represents four centuries of cultural exchange and development — including one of Paul Revere’s silver teapots and stands, circa 1790, and the painting, “Alexander Spotswood Payne and His Brother John Robert Dandridge Payne, with Their Nurse,” circa 1790-91. What is the history of these works of art?
  • The gallery is a fabulous collection of furniture from the time period. What is the history of these pieces?
  • The issue of slavery comes up in several portraits in the VMFA’s collection. Talk about how art portrayed the slaves during this time period.
  • Art history and American history are tied together beautifully in this collection. Talk about the story you are telling in this wing of the museum.

Download the podcast now!

For more information about the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, visit

And be sure to stay tuned for more of our monthly episodes of the Grateful American TV show at

More Episodes of: Grateful American™ Radio Show

Past Episodes All Shows