On to Richmond
Richmond Travel Blog› entry 68 of 107 › view all entries
I took Thursday and Friday off so we could enjoy a trip to Richmond, the capital of Virginia, outside of the weekend. The main objective was to see the new art exhibit Tiffany: Color and Light at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Our trip would be south, against rush hour traffic heading north to Washington. Nevertheless, we left Springfield around 9:45 a.m., after morning rush hour, and drove US Highway 1 down to Quantico. We picked up Interstate I-95 at Quantico and continued our journey, stopping at the Virginia Information Center at Fredericksburg for Richmond attraction brochures.
Time for lunch before exploring the museum in the afternoon. Susan and spotted Buz and Ned's barbecue restaurant on Boulevard. It's said to be Richmond's best barbecue, and they back up the claim with the fact they won over chef Bobby Flay in a cook-off. It was delicious!
After lunch it was museum time. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is a few more blocks down Boulevard. (The avenue is named simply Boulevard.) It's at the edge of The Fan district of Richmond. The Fan is a neighborhood that developed after the Civil War as Richmond rebuilt.
The VMFA just reopened in May with the dedication of a large new wing. The major summer show to celebrate the new wing is the Tiffany exhibit. (The exhibit will also be displayed in Paris and Montreal.) Richmond is logical place for it, as the VMFA has extensive Tiffany and Art Nouveau holdings of its own and is strong on American decorative arts. (Too, as we were to later to discover, Richmond was a large market for Tiffany products during the Gilded Age.) Tiffany: Color and Light surveys the career of designer and artist Louis Comfort Tiffany and the making of his firm's famous colored glass windows, lamps, and vases.
Susan and I then spent time seeing other parts of the museum. VMFA has its own Tiffany collection and we went to see it, now armed with new knowledge and appreciation. I was able to take photos here, but not at the special exhibit. Lamps and vases similar to the ones we had seen were on display and one window. The centerpiece is a large glass and silver punch bowl with three silver ladles, made for exhibit at the 1900 Paris World's Fair. We had time to see other Art Nouveau and Art Deco galleries and the American decorative arts galleries.
After time in the gift shop, we headed for our hotel to check in. We were staying at the Fairfield Inn in Short Pump, a suburb on Richmond's West End. We'd been in Short Pump some 21 years ago and remembered it as a nearly rural suburb of the city. What a difference two decades makes! Like the The Fan once grew out of countryside over 100 years ago, Short Pump is the new "happening" and growing suburb of Richmond. It's now full of new housing developments, hotels, business parks, and upscale shopping centers.