A! Magazine for the Arts

VMFA Awarded $345,815 Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

March 2, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. — The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded nearly $346,000 in grant funds to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to support its new three-year Preservation Training Initiative focusing on conservation and archives. This is one of 11 projects NEH selected to receive a Preservation Education and Training Grant as part of their funding category totaling $3.3 million.

“The National Endowment for the Humanities’ support for this initiative enables the museum to extend valuable, practical learning opportunities to more students,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO. “The stewardship of the Commonwealth’s museum collections will ultimately benefit from professionals who have access to opportunities like this to develop their knowledge and skills.”

VMFA’s Preservation Training Initiative in conservation and archives is a three-year program that offers paid internships and fellowships to students and emerging professionals. Funding from the NEH grant will support 10-week summer internships for nine undergraduate students in the museum’s conservation labs; one part-time, nine-month internship in the museum’s archives for a master’s program student in library sciences; and three postgraduate fellowships specializing in the conservation of paintings, objects and works on paper.

In partnership with the Virginia Association of Museums, the Preservation Training Initiative will also develop two educational workshops for museum professionals from Virginia focusing on collections care and archival management in documents and archives as well as in the conservation and care of museum and material culture objects. The two workshops will each be presented twice to reach a greater number of participants.

“VMFA is serving as a resource for museums across the Commonwealth, advancing the development of the next generation of art conservators, archivists and collections care professionals,” said Debbie Linn, VMFA’s Assistant Chief Conservator. “The museum also recognizes the importance of diversifying the industry. Through this initiative we are actively working to attract candidates from underrepresented groups wishing to start careers in the cultural preservation field.”

“There are important touchpoints in museum careers,” said Stephen Bonadies, VMFA’s Senior Deputy Director for Conservation and Collections. “VMFA recognizes how essential it is for students specializing in conservation and archives to have opportunities to advance their studies, have real-world professional experiences and gain practical knowledge.”

The recruitment process for post-graduate fellows begins in March. Internship recruitment is held during the summer of 2022.

For more information about the National Endowment for the Humanities, visit www.NEH.gov and learn more about VMFA at www.VMFA.museum.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission. For additional information, telephone 804-340-1400 or visit www.VMFA.museum.