Taubman Museum of Art

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Coordinates: 37°16′22″N 79°56′18″W / 37.2728°N 79.9383°W / 37.2728; -79.9383

Taubman Museum of Art
Taubman Museum of Art.jpg
Established 1951

110 Salem Avenue SE

Roanoke, Virginia, 24011
Type Art museum
Director Della Watkins
Public transit access Valley Metro bus & SmartWay bus to Downtown Roanoke
Website http://www.taubmanmuseum.org/

The Taubman Museum of Art, formerly the Art Museum of Western Virginia, is an art museum located in Downtown Roanoke, Virginia, U.S.A., designed by architect Randall Stout.


The Art Museum of Western Virginia began in 1947 as an offshoot of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, with an exhibition in the Hotel Roanoke. In 1951 this "Roanoke Fine Arts Center" was incorporated as an independent organization. Renamed in 1980 as "Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts," the museum moved to downtown Roanoke's Center in the Square in 1983. In 1992, the Museum was renamed as the "Art Museum of Western Virginia".[1]

A new design for the museum was unveiled on March 20, 2005 by architect Randall Stout with unique design that inspired debate in the local media with some people saying the design looks like the "wreck of the Flying Nun."[2] The building was initially intended to include space for an IMAX theater but this plan was dropped due to concerns that it might lose money for the museum. Ground was broken on the new museum building in September, 2005. The new art museum president, Heywood Fralin, remarked that the museum would "lead Roanoke and Western Virginia into the future and shape our destiny." Unexpected increases in the cost of building materials led to an increase of the cost of the building from $46 million to $66 million. Looking for other sources of investment to help cover the costs of construction, the museum was renamed the Taubman Museum of Art after receiving a generous donation of $12.5 million from Nicholas Taubman, who is the former chairman and chief executive of Advance Auto Parts. On November 8, 2008, the Taubman Museum of Art opened to the public in the newly completed building.[3]

The underfunded museum has been plagued by financial difficulties.[4]

Gallery Hours[edit]

Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Every Thursday & First Fridays: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Closed Sunday and Monday


Free general admission is sponsored by Advance Auto Parts


The Museum was formerly located in Roanoke's Center in the Square, but as of November 2008 has relocated to a new $66-million, 81,000-square-foot (7,500 m2) building designed by Los Angeles, California architect Randall Stout.[5] The new museum is named the Taubman Museum of Art, in honor of Ambassador Nicholas F. Taubman and his wife Jenny, who have been its largest donors.[6]

Collection and exhibits[edit]

The Museum's permanent collection focuses on American art, with an emphasis on the artistic expressions of the Western Virginia and the Appalachian region. The collection has included works by Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer and Childe Hassam.[7]

Taubman Museum of Art

External links[edit]


  1. ^ History Chronology, Art Museum of Western Virginia, retrieved 2008-03-10 
  2. ^ Podger, Pamela J. (2007-12-29), "With Bold Museum, a Virginia City Aims for Visibility", New York Times 
  3. ^ "Museum's Timeline". Taubman Museum of Art. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  4. ^ Wallis, David (19 March 2014). "Start-up Success Isn't Enough to Found a Museum". New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  5. ^ Podger, Pamela J. (2007-12-29), "With Bold Museum, a Virginia City Aims for Visibility", New York Times 
  6. ^ Kittredge, Kevin (2008-02-07), "New art museum to carry Taubman name", The Roanoke Times, retrieved 2008-02-07 
  7. ^ Stoilas, Helen (2008-02-14), "Roanoke—the next Bilbao?", The Art Newspaper, retrieved 2008-03-10