Visionary Virginians

The Folk Art Collection of William and Ann Oppenhimer

On Display
Exhibition Type
Long Term Display
A gallery display with various folk art

Admission: Included with Museum Daily Admission

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About the Exhibition: Visionary Virginians features paintings, sculpture, ceramics, and other works of folk art created in the late 20th and 21st century. Folk art encompasses a wide array of artistic practices, but it is often made by artists who are self-taught and operate outside of the mainstream art world. It is sometimes called “visionary art” because the artist follows a highly personalized inner vision and expressive vocabulary. This eclectic display of objects—all made by Virginia artists—showcases a vibrant and diverse creative culture across the Commonwealth.

About the Oppenhimers: The Richmond couple of William and Ann Oppenhimer has been avidly collecting contemporary folk art from across the region and the world since the early 1980s. They have also been visionary leaders in the field, establishing the Folk Art Society of America (FASA) in 1987. This national organization promotes the study, exhibition, and preservation of folk art. The VMHC holds FASA’s archives and will be the future home of a significant portion of the Oppenhimers’ art collection.

Inside the Visionary Virginians Exhibition

Visionary Virginians Featured Artifacts

An painting of an aerial view of a lake with swans, surrounded by trees and a clouded sunny sky
Swan Lake (1976), by John “Uncle Jack” Dey
Folk art of a geometric red and gray pattern with a red and yellow bird in the middle
Middlesex (1974), by Patsy Billups
A mixed materials sculpture of a head on top of a wooden board
Carnival Head (1965), by Miles B. Carpenter
A mixed materials sculpture of a being in between two long-beaked birds with a squirrel
Two Birds, Woman, and Squirrel in a Tree (1987), by Abraham Lincoln Criss