While the $24 million expansion and renovation are underway for the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA (scheduled to reopen in April 2014), its breathtaking collection is touring through the country in exhibitions like “Art That Asks the Big Questions” at Tidewater Community College in Olde Towne Portsmouth, VA. Some of Chrysler’s most notable works – from Gustave Dore’s The Neophyte to Nam June Paik’s Dogmatic – are on view there until November 5, 2013.
Walter Chrysler (scion of the automotive company founder) was a 14-year-old boarding school student when he bought his first painting, a small watercolor of a nude. A dorm master confiscated it (believing it improper for a boy to have a nude in his room) and destroyed the (gulp) Renoir. That didn’t stop Chrysler from collecting. In the early 1970s he donated nearly 10,000 objects to the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences which became the Chrysler Museum. There are so many fun facts and interesting stories regarding the collection and Chrysler (close friend of Picasso and Andy Warhol), and museum does a wonderful job telling them all at Chrysler.org.