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The Man Who Launched the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Thomas C. Colt, Jr.

Recent Reviews

“Few directors or curators of American art museums are as fortunate as Thomas C. Colt, Jr., whose daughter has carefully researched and told the story of his time at The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, a new institution funded by the state. Those interested in art history will enjoy the stories of Colt's encounters with artists from Lamar Dodd to Edward Hopper, as well as getting a glimpse of museum politics during the 1930s and World War II.”

--- Gail Levin, Distinguished Professor of Art History, The City University of New York, is the author of many seminal biographies, including Edward Hopper - An Intimate Biography; Becoming Judy Chicago: A Biography of the Artist; Lee Krasner: A Biography; and many other books.

“Your book captivated me. First, because your father’s great success in establishing the Va. MFA is an amazing story in and of itself. Your account of the variety of conflicts he had to overcome and stress of pioneering in the early days of ‘museum management’ create suspense and often dismay. Obviously, the book is a labor of love involving painstaking research, patience and persistence.”  Alice B. Poole

“I have enjoyed learning about Thomas Colt’s impressive life and work. His daughter has also done an impressive job in researching and writing the history of a complicated and interesting family. It’s a wonderful thing for a family to have that history preserved.” Ann Miller

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78106 TColt Biography Back Cover.jpg

ISBN 978-0-578-96602-1

414 pages

69 photographs embedded throughout the text

The story of my father, Thomas C. Colt, Jr. begins in 1905 in Orange, NJ, marking the day of his birth. Part I of the book covers his early life from his birth to six years post college. Part II begins with a history of the arts in Virginia and tells the story of how the Virginia Museum came into existence. It is at that point that the story of my father and the story of the museum become interwoven and they take off on a fantastic journey, both growing by leaps and bounds. Part III tells the story of that growth, which is only a snapshot of the story of my father and the history of the museum, a museum which is now one of the highest regarded museums in the world; a museum I am proud to say is where it is today because of all the blood, sweat and tears shed by my father during its early days.

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