Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Fralin Connection

The accompanying photo is of art expert Debra Force, whose visage is familiar from "Antiques Road Show," introducing two new pieces of art for the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, as it prepares to open. One, with her in the photo, is Thomas Hart Benton's "The Cotton Picker" and the other is Emil Carlsen's "The Leeds Jug."

On the eve of the opening of Roanoke's new Taubman Museum of Art, which is causing something of a national stir in art circles, a final burning question was answered: What about the museum will be named for the Fralin family, which is hugely responsible for its existence? Answer: The Horace G. and Ann H. Fralin Center for American Art. Heywood Fralin, Horace's brother, introduced the new center, speaking admiringly of his late brother's love for this region and of Ann Fralin's love of art.

The center will emphasize the study of American art before 1950 and will look at art created within Virginia and the region. The museum already has a large collction of that art, primarily thanks to the Fralins.

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