The Anderson Gallery Collection

Special Collections and Archives at Cabell Library serves as the home of the Anderson Gallery Collection, the university’s permanent collection of more than 3,000 works of fine and decorative art. Records describing over 1,000 items in the Anderson Gallery Collection can be searched using the search box above. Special Collections and Archives staff will continue to process the collection and add new records until the entire collection can be searched online. Items in the collection are available for researchers by appointment.

History and Scope of the Collection

Established in 1931 through the efforts of New York philanthropist Colonel Archibald Anderson and Dr. Henry H. Hibbs, Jr., founding director of VCU’s institutional predecessor, the Richmond Professional Institute, the Anderson Gallery was the only venue in Richmond to feature the work of modern artists until the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts opened in 1936. 

The Anderson Gallery Collection was transferred to James Branch Cabell Library in 2015 when the gallery closed as the university’s main venue for art exhibitions in anticipation of the new Institute of Contemporary Art. The records of the Anderson Gallery, including exhibition and administrative files, were also transferred to Cabell Library to join the university archives. The gallery reopened in 2016 as The Anderson, a space dedicated to exhibitions and programs for the VCUarts community.

The Anderson Gallery Collection at VCU Libraries documents the history and collecting activities of the gallery during its 45 years as an influential arts and cultural center in Richmond. The collection includes works of art significant to the history of VCU, including paintings and drawings by Theresa Pollak, founder of the School of the Arts, and artworks donated by Dr. Henry H. Hibbs, Jr. A selection of art from the Anderson Gallery Collection is on display throughout James Branch Cabell Library.

Donations of Art

To preserve the provenance and historical significance of the Anderson Gallery Collection, new donations of art are not incorporated into this particular collection. Donations of art that fall within the collecting guidelines for Special Collections and Archives are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Intercampus Loan Program

The Intercampus Loan Program (ICL) was suspended as a service when the Anderson Gallery closed. While VCU Libraries does not provide works of art to departments and offices on campus, artworks that are currently on loan are managed by Special Collections and Archives under the same terms of agreement as the Anderson Gallery. If you have any questions about an item on loan, or if you are interested in moving or returning an ICL item, please contact Yuki Hibben, Special Collections and Archives’ assistant head and curator of art and books, at or (804) 828-8837.