Design 2017: A Retrospective of Winning Work of The Awards for Excellence

See the mid-Atlantic’s finest examples of architecture, interior design and preservation projects from 2017 in the tenth annual exhibition featuring award-winning work from the region. This exhibit will be on view in the Branch’s Social Gallery from January 16th through February 25th.

Held annually, the Awards for Excellence recognizes projects no older than seven years that contribute thoughtful, engaging, resource-efficient, and appealing works to our architectural landscape.

The jury reviewed a total of 169 projects in five distinct categories for this year’s awards. This exhibition highlights the results of that process. The honored projects represent the highest degree of design excellence by Virginia-based architects and their professional colleagues for a broad range of clients in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.


This exhibition was generously made possible by AIA Virginia.


Drawing As Interpretation of Space

Students in their first year at VCU Arts have spent the Fall 2017 semester sketching The Branch House, and the ornamental and architectural details of the property. Drawings inspired by, and drawing from their visual research will be on view in the Long Gallery at The Branch Museum from January 23 – February 3

This exhibition was generously made possibly by Laura Chessin and VCU Arts.

Coming Soon


Frozen Music: Frank Gehry and the Walt Disney Opera House

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.”


On Permanent Exhibit

The House That Branch Built

Architect John Russell Pope, FAIA, is renowned for the design of a number of national landmarks, including the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the U.S. National Archives, and the National Gallery of Art (West Building) in Washington, D.C., as well as Richmond’s Union Station, headquarters of the Science Museum of Virginia. The House That Pope Built includes photographs, narrative, and other educational media that shed light on the house — a 27,000-square-foot Tudor-Revival mansion — in addition to John Kerr Branch, the patron who commissioned its construction; the architect; the house’s interiors; its setting on Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue; and Compton Wynyates, the 15th/16th-century English country house that inspired the building’s design.

This exhibit is permanently in the chapel gallery, and generously made possible by a private Richmond foundation, and Tourism Cares.


Questions? Contact our front desk at (804)-644-3041 ext. 151 or at