The Chrysler Museum of Art is an art museum in the Ghent district of Norfolk, Virginia. The museum was originally founded in 1933 as the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences. In 1971, automotive heir, Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. (whose wife, Jean Outland Chrysler, was a native of Norfolk), donated most of his extensive collection to the museum. This single gift significantly expanded the museum's collection, making it one of the major art museums in the Southeastern United States. From 1958 to 1971, the Chrysler Museum of Art was a smaller museum consisting solely of Chrysler's personal collection and housed in the historic Center Methodist Church in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Today's museum sits on a small body of water known as The Hague in the Ghent district, near downtown Norfolk.
The New York Times described the Chrysler collection as "one any museum in the World would kill for." Comprising over 30,000 objects the collection spans over 5000 years of world history. American and European paintings and sculpture from the Middle Ages to the present day form the core of the collection. The museum's most significant holdings include works by Tintoretto, Veronese, Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velázquez, Salvator Rosa, Gianlorenzo Bernini, John Singleton Copley, Thomas Cole, Eugène Delacroix, Édouard Manet, Paul Cézanne, Gustave Doré, Albert Bierstadt, Auguste Rodin, Mary Cassatt, Paul Gauguin, Georges Rouault, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Richard Diebenkorn, Karen LaMonte and Franz Kline.
Programs and Exhibitions
The Chrysler Museum strives each day to fulfill its purpose, to remain a catalyst, bringing art and people together to enrich and transform lives. A full range of guided tours, lectures, films, concerts, family days, travel programs, and publications are designed to engage the community in works of art displayed in the museum. Each year, over 100 Volunteer Docents welcome over 60,000 students from Hampton Roads' schools for tours at the Museum the Historic Houses.
In addition to its main building in downtown Norfolk, the Chrysler Museum of Art also administers two important Historic Houses.
Moses Myers House
The Moses Myers House in downtown Norfolk is not only an unusually elegant example of Federal period architecture, but almost unique in America as it retains 70 percent of its original contents. The House and its furnishings allow visitors to experience first-hand the life of a prosperous Jewish merchant and his family during the early 19th century. Moses Myers moved to Norfolk in 1787 with his wife Eliza. Five years later, he purchased a large lot where he erected a home for his family. Today the house contains an important collection of American, English, and French furniture, along with glass, silver, and ceramics, and portraits by Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully, and John Wesley Jarvis. All were commissioned or acquired by members of the Myers family.