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Free Admission to “Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France” at VMFA for State Employees and Preschool and K–12 Teachers


Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Commonwealth of Virginia employees and preschool and K through 12 public and private school teachers can receive free admission to Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA). Active military and their immediate families can also receive free admission through the museum’s year-round extension of the Blue Star Museums program. The exhibition is on view at the museum in Richmond through July 31, 2022.

“We are fortunate to have so many important, enriching cultural resources here in Virginia,” said Governor Youngkin. “I encourage Commonwealth employees and Virginia’s school teachers to take advantage of free admission to see this wonderful art exhibition at VMFA.”

Organized by the Denver Art Museum and for VMFA by Dr. Susan J. Rawles, Elizabeth Locke Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts, Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France celebrates this country’s first wave of expatriate artists to cross the Atlantic Ocean to Europe between 1855 and 1913, seeking unparalleled opportunities to train and exhibit their works. This group of painters then returned to the United States shaping the course of American art.

“We welcome school teachers and our colleagues from the Commonwealth of Virginia to see this exceptional exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO. “Visitors will be captivated by these extraordinary paintings, created during one of the most complex and transformative periods in American art history, by some of this country’s preeminent artists.”

In addition to groundbreaking works by James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Mary Cassatt, the special exhibition also features paintings by other celebrated artists including Cecilia Beaux, William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, Winslow Homer, Maurice Prendergast, John Singer Sargent and Henry Ossawa Tanner.

For more information about exhibitions now on view and to make plans to visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, visit

Ticket Information

VMFA is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission. Regularly priced tickets for the special exhibition Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors 65+, and $10 for youth 7–17 and college students with ID. The exhibition is free for VMFA members, children ages 6 and under, as well as Commonwealth of Virginia employees and preschool and K–12 teachers (public and private). The exhibition is also free to active-duty military personnel and their immediate families.

Commonwealth employees and educators should call 804.340.1405 to make their reservations and show their employee IDs or badges at the Visitor Services Desk in the museum, when picking up their tickets. One free ticket is available per badge. Reservations for first-available tickets to the exhibition can also be made in person at the Visitor Services Desk. Tickets are scheduled to help limit gallery capacity during the pandemic. For current information about the museum’s COVID-19 protocols, visit

Read about art history and exploring the exhibit with your family in this article, Art History Comes Alive!, which appeared in the spring issue of RFM.


Feature photo: Idle Hours, ca. 1894, William Merritt Chase (American, 1849–1916), oil on canvas. Amon Carter Museum of Art, Fort Worth, Texas, 1982.1






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