McGlothlins make nearly $60M gift to VMFA
Museum is planning 170k-square-foot addition
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts announced Tuesday that Bristol-area philanthropists James W. and Frances Gibson McGlothlin have donated nearly $60 million toward the Richmond museum’s expansion campaign, including 15 paintings.
Alex Nyerges, the VMFA’s director and CEO, said that a 170,000-square-foot wing will be named for the McGlothlins, who previously made a $30 million gift in 2010 that made possible a 165,000-square-foot addition also named for the couple. In 2015, the McGlothlins donated 73 paintings and other artwork to the museum’s permanent collection, a gift worth more than $200 million that included the works of American artists such as James Whistler, Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent.
James McGlothlin, chairman and CEO of The United Co., a former coal mining company, is co-developer of the $400 million Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol. He and his wife have been major donors to their alma mater, William & Mary, as well as the museum.
According to Nyerges, the contribution includes 15 paintings by prominent American artists. In June 2021, the museum announced a $190 million expansion and renovation project that will begin in 2023, with completion scheduled for 2025. The project includes the new wing and a 40,000-square-foot collections center, renovation of the former library and a special events space. SmithGroup, a Detroit-based architecture firm, is planning and designing the project.