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Museum Series #5 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

#Museum Series is a new program of curatorial talks proposed by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in collaboration with the museums of the Washington DC area. 

The fifth installment of #MUSEUM SERIES is featuring the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts!

On November 8, we are honored to be joined by Curator and Head of Department at the European ArtDr. Sylvain Cordier for a virtual talk highlighting French art and culture in the collections. 

This conversation will be moderated by Faya Causey and followed by a Q&A session with the audience. 

Sylvan Cordier is a curator and scholar of European art. Born and raised in France, Cordier received his doctorate in art history from Université Paris-Sorbonne in 2009. Prior to moving to Montreal for his position as the Curator of Early Decorative Arts and the Napoleonic Collection at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), Cordier worked as curatorial assistant and assistant curator at the Musée Gustave Moreau, the chateau of Versailles, and the Mobilier National in Paris.

 During his time at the MMFA, Cordier curated two critically acclaimed exhibitions that traveled internationally, including presentations at VMFA: Napoleon: Power and Splendor (2018) and Rodin: Evolution of a Genius (2015). He has been appointed to the position of Paul Mellon Curator and the Head of the Department of European Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Cordier’s high standing in the museum field was recognized in June 2018, when the online journal Artsy named him one of 20 museum curators taking a cutting-edge approach to art history. The first major project for Cordier will be the reinstallation of the Mellon French Impressionist and British Sporting Art collections in their newly refurbished galleries, which will re-open to the public in October 2020. The esteemed Mellon collections have been travelling nationally and internationally since 2017, creating opportunities for people around the world to view the incredible works donated by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, is one of the largest comprehensive art museums in the United States. VMFA, which opened in 1936, is a state agency and privately endowed educational institution. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art, and to encourage the study of the arts. Through the Office of Statewide Partnerships program, the museum offers curated exhibitions, arts-related audiovisual programs, symposia, lectures, conferences, and workshops by visual and performing artists.

Our moderator Faya Causey is a scholar, lecturer, and educator whose interests range from the Paleolithic to the present. Recently retired as the head of academic programs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., she was previously a professor of art history at the California State University. At the Gallery, she oversaw the internship and fellowship program and public programs—including lectures, symposia, and seminars presented by artists, historians, conservators, collectors, and curators. Although her primary field is ancient art, with a focus on the archaeology and ancient art of Italy, she has also published and lectured on the history of museums, Michelangelo, Paul Cézanne, Sigmar Polke, Wu Guangzhong and I.M. Pei. Her books Amber and the Ancient World (2012) and Ancient Carved Amber in the J. Paul Getty Museum  (2020) were both published by the Getty. She contributed two essays for the 2020 exhibition catalogue Cézanne: The Rock and Quarry Paintings, ed. J. Elderfield (Yale University Press) organized by the Princeton University Art Museum and the Royal Academy. In 2019, she was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London.

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