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VMFA contribution to help expand collection of contemporary work by Black artists

VMFA 21st-Century Gallery to be renamed
Posted at 5:25 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 17:25:04-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts announced that it received an important contribution from Dr. Monroe Harris Jr. and Dr. Jill Bussey Haris.

One of the museum's 21st-Century Art galleries will be renamed to honor their support.

“Monroe and Jill are avid art collectors and tremendous supporters of VMFA,” Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO, said. “Their generous gift offers significant support for the museum’s continued efforts to expand and exhibit its collection of contemporary work by Black artists.”

The Harrises have been passionate about their support of African American art for many years.

“From offering support to local artists and those who are well established, we are preserving our diverse culture,” Monroe said.

"It’s important for us to not simply be involved but to also give back to our community," Jill said.

Dr. Monroe Harris, elected president of VMFA's Board of Trustees in 2018, is the first African American to hold the position in the museum's history. He is also the first African American board chair of a major comprehensive art museum in the United States.

“As collectors of African American art, as donors, and as dedicated professionals, they demonstrate what it means to be visionary leaders, not only for VMFA but the entire Richmond community,” Nyerges said. “We are grateful for their support.”