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

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 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 small selection of art from the Anderson Gallery Collection is on display throughout James Branch Cabell Library.

Research and Class Visits

Access to artworks in the Anderson Gallery Collection can be arranged by appointment. Special Collections and Archives staff are currently processing the collection and a searchable inventory is in progress.

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 ydhibben@vcu.edu or (804) 828-8837. Special Collections and Archives staff will be inventorying ICL items and issuing new loan agreements beginning in 2018.

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