Carlton Abbott: 50 Years of Architectural Drawings

This exhibition displays a remarkable collection of drawings created over Carlton Abbott’s career, celebrating over fifty-years of artistic expression and excellence. Abbott’s career began after he graduated from the University of Virginia and finished his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Fontainebleau, France. After this, Abbott went on to become an artist and architect. Though primarily known for his landmark museums and high-profile structures, Abbott is an accomplished artist. Carlton received his first of over eighty design award recognition from the American Institute of Architects in 1968. His artistic talents are as widely renowned as his architecture and are displayed throughout the country in private and public collections as well as in permanent collections at the VMFA and the Virginia MOCA. His artwork is as diversified as his architecture, including drawings, paintings, collages, mixed media, sculptures, etchings, ink sketches, jewelry, and metal works.

This exhibit spans his entire career and celebrates his unique ability to affect his community in a profound way. More specifically, this exhibition holds a notable series of drawings which depict some of the buildings along the Blue Ridge Parkway. These images hold precedence due to Abbott’s father, Stanley Abbott, being the primary designer of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This exhibition was generously made possible by Carlton Abbott.

Family Build Day

February 3 | 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Co-presented by The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design and Science Matters, an educational program of the Community Idea Stations.

Join us at The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design. Learn about careers in architecture, engineering, construction, design and experience a variety of fun hands-on building stations. Explore the architectural elements of The Branch such as arches, towers, stairs and room shapes and build a new room using unusual materials. Create your own design plan for a new structure and build a 3D model to take home. Think like an Engineer and explore bridge building techniques. How much weight will your bridge hold? Architecture involves more than just buildings. Learn more as you explore the gardens of The Branch with a landscape architect and create your own garden design.

Tickets $10

Family Music Day

February 10 | 10:00 AM and 11:30 AM

Join City Singers Youth Choir and The Branch Museum for a Family Music Day, exploring principles of music and architecture like rhythm, repetition, symmetry, and balance! City Singers will provide various instruments for kids to play and explore.


Frozen Music: Frank Gehry and the Walt Disney Concert Hall

February 12 - April 14

The Branch Museum’s inaugural exhibit returns to our galleries after fifteen years! On view in our galleries February 12 – April 14 will be over 100 images of the construction of Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, photographed by Gil Garcetti.

Frank O. Gehry practiced on the fringe of the architectural mainstream before gaining worldwide renown. Early in his career, he worked to develop a personal style through experimentation on his own house and his furniture line of cardboard chairs, and he eventually became a prominent figure in Deconstructivism. The completed Walt Disney Concert Hall has begun to transform Los Angeles, making a “place” in the heart of an urban environment previously lacking in identity. As a work of art, the building’s curved planes of steel create unusual and inviting relationships that change by the hour with the movement of the sun. It is a masterpiece that reinforces Gehry’s reputation as an innovator capable of flexing the boundaries separating architecture from art.

In the summer of 2001, photographer Gil Garcetti drove past the energized construction site of the Walt Disney Concert Hall and was inspired by what he saw: high in the air, crawling precariously on top of an arched beam, was a man in a hard hat. Over a nine-month period, Garcetti developed relationships with the members of the Ironworkers Union Local 433. He moved from one steel beam to another without the benefit of a safety harness to document their exploits on one of the most challenging construction projects at the start of the 20th century.

In early 2003, Gil Garcetti returned to the Walt Disney Concert Hall after an acquaintance introduced him to the Hasselblad X-Pan II panoramic camera, through which he saw unique opportunities to capture the building’s new skin. The magical qualities of the building – its composition, form, shape, and the ever-changing light conditions – seduced Garcetti, who said, “We knew they were building a concert hall – a hall of unusual beauty. What most of us never realized was that they were also building hundreds of works of abstract art.”

Masouma Delijam Lecture

February 15 | 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Senior Architect on the Darul Aman Palace Restoration project in Kabul, Afghanistan, Masouma Delijam will lecture on the nature and scope of the project, and her work in Afghanistan. The lecture will be followed by a question & answer session.

This palace was built for Amanullah Khan, ruler of Afghanistan between 1919 and 1929, and was intended to be the center of a new capital city. While the palace was completed, the city was never realized: Khan was deposed in 1929, and his city plans abandoned, leaving the palace standing alone. From the 1970s through 2012, the palace was burned, bombed, and repeatedly damaged by the rebel groups. Still standing today, the Afghan government began a USD $20 million restoration and renovation, set to be completed in 2019 to celebrate the centenary of Afghanistan’s independence from Britain. The Palace is slated to become a Museum of Afghan culture, but there is much work ahead. Initially 600 tons of debris was removed from the interior of the 150-room building. Currently, the non structural masonry walls are being repaired, and plaster work is being removed and cleaned in preparation for plaster restoration.

Tickets $10; members free

Libbie Mill and the Varina Library

February 20 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Chibi Moko’s “Libbie Mill and Varina Library Documentary” is the tale of two buildings with two very similar programmatic functions, but set in different contexts: one urban, the other natural.


Historic Richmond Lecture: The History, Development and Revitalization of Northside Street Car Suburbs

February 22 | 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Join us for a panel discussion focusing on the neighborhoods of Northside, some of the first electric street car suburbs in the country. Learn about the history of the neighborhood as on of the first “rent to buy” developments, its distinctive architecture and the current revitalization efforts.

Tickets $20

Caroline Milbank Luncheon

March 6 | 11:30 PM

Join us for lunch with Caroline Rennolds Milbank on March 6th. Ms. Milbank, a fashion historian will speak about her ancestor Beulah Gould Branch as a woman of her time–her wedding, enjoying fashion, travel, collecting, and posing for her portrait by famed artist, Philip de Laszlo.

Tickets $40

Design-Build Challenge: Meggie Kelley's porch

April 12 - Summer 2018

Installed in The Branch’s front court Spring and Summer 2018, this outdoor installation is the inaugural commissioned design-build challenge, on view beginning April 12.

The porch functions as a transitional space between the private and public. Open and sociable, it is a shared area connecting the comforts of the home to the community outside. It is a place to rest and hang out on a hot summer day all while greeting the passerby. This pavilion structure attempts to bring attention to the porch as a meaningful connection between buildings and their city with the ever rising of air-conditioning, televisions, and computers drawing people further inside their homes.

Meggie Kelley is an architect and architectural historian currently living and working in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Before her current position, she has practiced architecture in New York, London, São Paulo, and most recently Kingsburg, Nova Scotia. She received her M.A. in Histories and Theories of Architecture from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. Prior to that she received her B.Arch from Pratt Institute.

Brunch at the Branch

April 13 | 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Virginia by Design Awards will be presented on April 13, 2018 at the inaugural Brunch at The Branch ceremony and brunch to recognize Virginia by Design Awardees.

Tickets $125

Covering: Layered Light, Texture, and Motion

April 10 - May 20

Non-tradition materials contrast with quintessential motifs used for centuries by handicraft artisans. Spirals, whorls, and concentric circles intermingle with chevrons and diamond patterns, covering the surfaces of acrylic, silk georgette and muslin. Sensors and actuators control light and movement while screens distance the viewer form the object, obscuring vision and clarity. Hawa Stwodah is an Afghan born designer and instructor based in the United States. She received her BFA and MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, her career has spanned many sectors within the fashion industry, including fashion and textile design, product development, technical design and production, as well as retail buying and education.

Rafie Khoshbin: Daughters of Baha

April 16 - 22

Since its establishment, the Islamic Republic of Iran has shown a profound disdain for one of its largest minority faiths and created a nationwide effort to prosecute Baha’is through arrest, fabrication of false crimes and accusations of spying. The year 2018 marks the 35th year anniversary of the execution of these beloved women who fearlessly dedicated their life to advancing the betterment of humanity. Their spirit, their vision, their heart will always be remembered. In the face of tragedy they stood unwavering with love.

VCU MFA Candidacy Work: Graphic Design

April 17 - 27

VCU Masters of Fine Arts first year students from the Graphic Design department will show their work at the Branch.

VCU MFA Candidacy Work: Theater

April 30 - May 14

VCU Masters of Fine Arts first year students from the Theater department will show their work at the Branch.

My Superhero Self: Posters by Girls CAN

April 30 - June 10

Superhero posters were completed by students in the Girls CAN program, run by the Chester Family YMCA in Chester, Virginia. Girls CAN is a girl empowerment group for elementary and middle school girls in Greenleigh Mobile Home Park. 

In summer 2017, students in Girls CAN worked with two graphic designers, to create posters of themselves as superheroes. First they pondered a problem in the world they’d like to fix and the outfits their superheroes would wear. Then they drew portraits of one another, collaged them and added head gear and costumes. Finally names were chosen and added using a unifying letter form system.

Virginia by Design Awards Exhibit

April 30 - June 10

Join us in celebrating the winning work of the 2018 Virginia By Design Awards! This exhibit, designed by Middle of Broad Studio, will showcase the winning projects and exemplary designers recognized by the inaugural Virginia by Design awards.

VUU and 1899 Industrial Hall

June 7 | 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Join us for a panel discussion focusing on Virginia Union University, its history and the 1899 Industrial Hall.

Tickets $20

Cynthia Myron: Artist-in-Residence

June 18 - August 31

Cynthia’s work explores the physicality and emotional weight of constructed spaces, particularly the home. Working first in carved wax, she casts elements in pewter which are added to her illustrations to create “three-dimensional drawings.” These hand-drawn illustrations layered on top of vintage blueprints and architectural plans, allow her to connect the fleeting moments of nature with the permanence of architecture as a symbol of safety and shelter.

Cynthia will have “office hours” at The Branch Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday each week from noon – 4pm.

Coloratura at 35: A Retrospective

June 22 - August 19

For thirty-five years Catherine Roseberry and Rob Womack, working at Coloratura, have been using furniture as a canvas for a thorough exploration of the arts of the past. The process begins with the selection of a piece of furniture carefully chosen to reflect a given period and design sensibility. After the piece is selected it is studied, with research done on various art or design movements concurrent with the era of each piece. Woven into the surface design of each piece may be inspirations from painting, music, film, literature or applied arts such as furniture, textile, graphic and automobile design; parallels that perhaps may have also inspired the original designer/creator of the piece of furniture. They view their works as art historical musings.

Honored with a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship (1994), Womack received two similar awards from the Virginia Commission for the Arts (1994 and 1999), as well as residency fellowships to the Virginia Center for Creative Arts (2001, 2002, 2004 and 2007). The two also received a major commission (1995) from the City of Richmond, through its Percent for Art Program, for a new mural for the restored Landmark Theater (since dismantled).

Coloratura has been noted in a variety of periodicals, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Metropolis, Metropolitan Home, House Beautiful and Elle Décor. Publications featuring Coloratura range from the photo book Craft in America (1993), to Sotheby’s Important 20th Century Design (2008) to Buie Harwood’s discussion of the work within historical context in Architecture and Interior Design from the 19th Century, Volume 2 (2008).

Womack is represented in the permanent collection of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as documented in Oscar Fitzgerald’s catalog Studio Furniture of the Renwick Gallery (2008). He and Roseberry were participants of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair for its first three years (1989-1991), which led to international recognition through numerous publications, such as Ufficio Style, Casa Vogue and the launch issue of the UK Metropolitan Home.

The Coloratura at 35 retrospective will be the largest assembly of works by the couple to date. The exhibition has goals of showing the consistency and broadness of vision as well as rigorous scholarly approach to works ranging from the 1980s to now, as well as presenting many privately commissioned works never before publicly displayed.

Architecture Camp

June 25 - August 17 | 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

This weeklong program immerses campers in the world of architecture and design with sessions for children ranging from 1st-8th Graders. The city will be their workshop as they visit architectural landmarks old and new, meet architects and designers, learn technical skills, and participate in hands-on building challenges. Camp will culminate in an exhibition of student work at the Branch Museum Fall 2018.


Coloratura Gallery Talk

July 14 - August 16 | 1:00 PM & 6:00 PM

Want to learn more about the work in this exhibit and meet the artists, Catherine Roseberry and Rob Womack? Catherine and Rob will walk you through their work and their process.

Tickets $10; members free

Back to School Design Weekend

August 18 & 19 | 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Are you ready to get back to school? Looking to get excited about learning new things? Did you miss Architecture Camp this summer? Join The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design for a back-to-school celebration: Design Weekend! We want to get you excited about math and science this school year, and why it matters! What better way than a weekend of hands-on activities in our historic museum?

Saturday: 2D Design — We’ll take a tour of the Branch House to examine different elements of buildings, and you will practice your observing and sketching skills. We’ll discuss the way our museum fits in to our neighborhood, and you’ll try your hand at map-making. Then as a team, design and mock-up your designs of what you think your city should look like!

Sunday: 3D Design — Through trial and error and observation, you’ll learn the basics of building strong structures. Can your structure support a book? A brick? Then, test what you learned with an egg drop challenge! Will your egg survive the fall from our roof? Back to School Design Weekend is for students entering 1st – 5th grade.


Family Music Day

September 1 | 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Join City Singers Youth Choir at The Branch Museum for a workshop combining principles of music and design!

Tickets $10

Bubbles for Beulah Branch

September 20 | 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Come cheers to the completion of the Adam-style boardroom project! Visit the room restored to the beauty that Beulah knew when she lived here and celebrate the skilled artisans and conservators that have worked with us throughout the summer!


About Beulah Gould Branch, Mrs. John Kerr Branch

September 20 - November 2

Information about Mrs. Beulah Branch, her life, and the work done this summer restoring her bedroom will be in the Long Gallery September 20th – November 2nd.

(Im)permanence - Cynthia Myron

September 20 - November 2

(Im)permanence invites the viewer into a dialogue between society, intimate spaces, and the fleeting moments that exist within nature and the permanence of the architecture that surrounds us. The pieces featured by Cynthia Myron in this exhibition are a culmination of works revealing passing of individual memory, emotional weight, and lasting recollection that exists within constructed spaces.

The work created for (Im)permanence challenges viewers to contemplate the idea of home and how it serves as a symbol of safety and shelter. Myron’s three-dimensional work draws inspiration from symbolism, history, architecture, ideas of value, and man-made alterations to our natural environment. During her time as an artist-in-residence at The Branch Museum this summer, Myron explored layering these themes while embarking on new inspirations including the architecture that surrounded her at The Branch. This uniquely tied in with her archival research that explores the rich 20th Century Tudor-Revival architecture in Northeast Pennsylvania that exploded during height of coal mining. This industry that once shaped the region has helped her formulate ideas surrounding family, community, and socioeconomics, as she spent a significant amount of her life in Northeast Pennsylvania where her family still resides.

Myron’s use of symbols including historically rooted imagery of Faberge, provide commentary to consider the value and preciousness of gold as she replaces it with pewter. This permits a new narrative void of monetary worth in today’s society. Other objects such as anthracite coal when cast in pewter and plated in gold, invite us to deconstruct the notions of labor, industry, and commodity. The ideas and work within (Im)permanence present the opportunity to consider what is constant and reliable compared to what is mutable, shifting, and curiously inconsistent.

For more information please visit Cynthia Myron’s website.

HUMBUG: The Great PT Barnum Seance

October 4 - 7

A Perfect Start to your Spooky Season Celebrations!

David London is a magician and storyteller based in Baltimore, MD. He creates and presents original interactive magical experiences. Humbug: The Great P.T. Barnum Seance is one of his six original theatrical magic productions. A sold-out hit at the Peale Museum in Baltimore, his performances combine magic with storytelling, comedy, philosophy, surrealism, and that which cannot be defined, to create truly original shows of magic.

Experience incredible true stories of Barnum’s life, genuine artifacts from Barnum’s career, and spirit communication!

Planar Assemblages: Furniture and Other Works, Sandy Bond

November 8, 2018 - January 20, 2019

Sculptures, furniture, and other work from the career of Sanford Bond.

My career has focused on creating places by defining space with various materials. Primarily as an architect, I focus on places for human habitation using a palette of different materials to define discreet regions of space accommodating various human endeavors. Every material possesses a unique set of characteristics rendering it different from any other. These innate qualities may be used to generate unique and different places enabling a range of use and meaning differing with the person.
The material of my sculpture is structural steel, a common building materiel that is very hard, heavy, strong and uniquely may be joined by welding producing a joint as strong as the material itself.  The long, thin, cantilevered shapes cannot be replicated in wood or concrete. The actual manufacture of steel imparts a unique texture and the rugged visceral feel of the material. Fabrication results in welding beads at the joints acknowledging, at once, the separate pieces and the continuity of material without loss of strength.

The sculpture is spatial exploration done in the abstract rather than focused on particular uses. As analogs to reality, they have no actual scale rather the viewer supplies his own perception of the reality within the piece. By intensifying definition, place is suggested subject to the experience of the viewer. At once they are cities of tall buildings or verdant forests one might wonder through depending on one’s feeling at the time and limited only by the imagination.

As co-founder and principal of 3North Architects, and a practitioner in Richmond for almost half a century, Sanford Bond has shaped some of the city’s most iconic buildings, such as the Richmond Ballet, the American Civil War Museum, and the Maymont Aviary. As both an architect and a sculpture artist, Bond’s career has focused on creating places by defining space with various materials. The materials of his sculptures are common industrial materials: structural steel, glass, wood, plexiglas or concrete. He exploits the unique characteristics of each medium in the work which lends an appropriateness and timeless quality to them. Bond’s sculptures will be on display at the Branch in the late Fall.

Design 2018: A Retrospective of Winning Work

November 15, 2018 - January 13, 2019

See the mid-Atlantic’s finest examples of architecture, interior design, and preservation projects from 2018 in the eleventh annual exhibition featuring AIA Virginia’s award-winning work from the region.

Historic Dome Restoration, United States Capitol, by Hoffman Architects, Inc. Photo by Hoffmann Architects, Inc.

Marsden Williams

November 23 - 25

For a short time only, see Marsden Williams’ work at The Branch Museum! Marsden has been a lifelong painter, and this special holiday exhibit will include work from her entire career, including work for purchase. Marsden describes a sense of “looking out at the world” which inspired her to begin painting. Her paintings are celebrations of color and gesture, and she has become increasingly involved with the “mystical and transcendent power of color.” Her paintings convey this focus and unique visual observation of some of the places she has lived and found inspiration – Richmond, Virginia; Princeton, New Jersey and Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Central subjects in Marsden William’s work include: landscapes, still life arrangements, flowers, portraits, and beloved Borzoi dogs.

Holiday House Tours

December 1, 13, 15, 16, 20, 22, & 29 | 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm

Our usual Branch House Tour, detailing the architectural and cultural significance of The Branch, as well as information about holiday celebrations that occurred in The Branch House, and a guided tour through our historically accurate decorations. Don’t forget to take your picture with our decorated tree!

Tickets $10; members free

GingerBRANCH Date Night

December 1 | 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Join The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design for its first Gingerbread Date Night! Celebrate the season and enjoy a night out with a date, special friend or family member. We will provide all of the materials you need to create your sugary and sweet gingerbread house. Enjoy wine and heavy holiday hors d’oeuvres as you decorate.

Individual $55; Couple $90