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Historic Houses

Located on Freemason St. —
Open Saturday and Sunday

Noon to 5 p.m.

Jean Outland Chrysler Library

Barry Arts Building at 4600 Monarch Way —
Tuesday-Thursday

10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Moses Myers House

The oldest Jewish home in America open to the public as a museum offers a glimpse of the life of an early 19th century merchant family.
More about the house

About the Library

With an extensive collection of more than 106,000 rare and unique volumes relating to the history of art, the Jean Outland Chrysler Art Library is one of the most significant art libraries in the South. More about the library

Willoughby-Baylor House

Completed in 1794, this former home now presents a mix of art and artifacts. See what's on view

Located in Norfolk

One Memorial Place,
Norfolk, VA
Get Directions

While You're Here

Visit our Museum Shop
and the Wisteria Cafe.

Moses Myers House

The oldest Jewish home in America open to the public as a museum, offers a glimpse of the life of an early 19th century merchant family.
More about the house

Jean Outland Chrysler Library

With an extensive collection of more than 106,000 rare and unique volumes relating to the history of art, the Jean Outland Chrysler Library is one of the most significant art libraries in the South. More about the library

Willoughby-Baylor House

Completed in 1794, this former home now presents a mix of art and artifacts. More about the house

Weddings & Event Rentals

The perfect place for your big day or special event. Get the details

Take a tour

We offer a number of tours on different topics. More about tours

Jean Outland Chrysler Library

Visit one of the most significant art libraries in the South. More about the library

About the Chrysler

Our story spans well over 100 years. See where we began, how we grew, and where we're going. Explore our history

News and Announcements

See what's happening at the Museum, read Chrysler Magazine, and find our Media Center. Read now

Location

745 Duke Street
Norfolk, VA 23510
757-333-6299

Always Free Parking

Get Directions

Third Thursdays

Live art performances monthly.
See the archive

Studio Team

Meet the brilliant minds behind the Studio.
See the team

Vestibule 102

Work from local artists and studio assistants.
See what's on view now

The Masterpiece Society

Learn about this innovative group of museum supporters.
Meet the Masterpiece Society

Planned Giving

Help ensure the long-term success of the Museum.
Learn about planned giving

Historic Houses

Located on Freemason St. —
Open Saturday and Sunday

Noon to 5 p.m.

Jean Outland Chrysler Library

Barry Arts Building at 4600 Monarch Way —
Tuesday-Thursday

10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Moses Myers House

The oldest Jewish home in America open to the public as a museum offers a glimpse of the life of an early 19th century merchant family.
More about the house

About the Library

With an extensive collection of more than 106,000 rare and unique volumes relating to the history of art, the Jean Outland Chrysler Art Library is one of the most significant art libraries in the South. More about the library

Willoughby-Baylor House

Completed in 1794, this former home now presents a mix of art and artifacts. See what's on view

Located in Norfolk

One Memorial Place,
Norfolk, VA
Get Directions

While You're Here

Visit our Museum Shop
and the Wisteria Cafe.

Moses Myers House

The oldest Jewish home in America open to the public as a museum, offers a glimpse of the life of an early 19th century merchant family.
More about the house

Jean Outland Chrysler Library

With an extensive collection of more than 106,000 rare and unique volumes relating to the history of art, the Jean Outland Chrysler Library is one of the most significant art libraries in the South. More about the library

Willoughby-Baylor House

Completed in 1794, this former home now presents a mix of art and artifacts. More about the house

Weddings & Event Rentals

The perfect place for your big day or special event. Get the details

Take a tour

We offer a number of tours on different topics. More about tours

Jean Outland Chrysler Library

Visit one of the most significant art libraries in the South. More about the library

About the Chrysler

Our story spans well over 100 years. See where we began, how we grew, and where we're going. Explore our history

News and Announcements

See what's happening at the Museum, read Chrysler Magazine, and find our Media Center. Read now

Location

745 Duke Street
Norfolk, VA 23510
757-333-6299

Always Free Parking

Get Directions

Third Thursdays

Live art performances monthly.
See the archive

Studio Team

Meet the brilliant minds behind the Studio.
See the team

Vestibule 102

Work from local artists and studio assistants.
See what's on view now

The Masterpiece Society

Learn about this innovative group of museum supporters.
Meet the Masterpiece Society

Planned Giving

Help ensure the long-term success of the Museum.
Learn about planned giving

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Our History

Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences

The concept of the fine arts as a civic obligation took root in Norfolk in 1871, when two women arrived in the city and established a school for girls. Irene Leache and her student and companion Anna Wood ran the Leache-Wood Seminary for nearly two decades before retiring to Europe, where Leache died in 1900.

To honor her memory and her lifelong devotion to the arts, Wood established in Norfolk the Irene Leache Library, which nurtured a growing art collection for a future museum in the city. Their efforts inspired generations of women in the region, and in the 1920s, the Norfolk Society of Arts helped lead the drive to fund the creation of the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences in 1933.

One of the first major gifts to what would become the Museum came through the work of Florence Sloane, a prominent Norfolk resident who had once had her portrait done by the noted artist Helen Turner.

In 1927, Turner had an exhibition in Norfolk, and a local patron purchased Turner’s impressionist masterwork Liliies, Lanterns and Sunshine as a gift for the upcoming museum. By 1934, Turner was on the new museum’s advisory board.

In 1963, the museum got as a gift a painting that had been passed down through a Baltimore family for generations. The work of a monumental figure in American art, Charles Wilson Peale, the painting Mrs. Thomas Elliott was a gift from Mrs. Jane Batten. This was significant, as 47 years later, nine paintings from the collection of Jane Batten and her late husband Frank were promised as gifts to the museum. They include works by American masters such as Winslow Homer and Albert Bierstadt, and they will be a major addition to the collection.

In 1971 came the Chrysler donation, and by 1976, the city of Norfolk had added 20 galleries to hold the works. There were further building additions in the 80s, including the George and Linda Kaufman Theatre. Walter Chrysler chaired the Museum Board of Trustees until 1984, and he died in 1988 after a long battle with cancer.

In the history of the Museum, donations from collectors such as Edgar and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, Emile Wolf, Goldsborough Serpell, Erwin and Adrianne Joseph and the family of Joel Cooper have dramatically enriched the Museum’s collection. The Irene Leache Memorial, which acquired works and loaned them to the Museum for decades, gave the Museum full ownership of 27 medieval and Renaissance artworks in 2014.

This is by no means a complete list, and it will grow over time with more research. In closing, we have to note the contributions of two organizations going strong today, our Masterpiece Society and the Norfolk Society of Arts. Their friendship to the Museum cannot be overstated.

From the Collection