Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Margaret Lindauer


The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) of Richmond, Virginia, is completing its largest expansion and reinstalling over 6000 artworks, including the Ancient American art collection, to be displayed in the museum’s first permanent gallery space for Ancient American art. In preparation for expansion, the VMFA issued its “Interpretive Plan Guiding Principles,” identifying visitor motivations for viewing the collections. As collection accessibility is central to the museum’s mission statement, all galleries are to provide visitors with the tools to engage with artworks. This thesis project presents a comprehensive history of Pre-Columbian collecting in museums and the history of the VMFA including its Pre-Columbian collection, which will be displayed in the Ancient American Gallery. It includes a summary of research conducted on objects designated for installation. Finally, this project addresses how the Ancient American Gallery will serve as an environment adapting to the principle experiences established by the VMFA.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010