In June 2016, Old Dominion University announced plans for a 24,000-square-foot art museum at the corner of Hampton Boulevard and 43rd Street in Norfolk. On Nov. 14, the Barry Art Museum opened its doors to the public for the first time.
The state-of-the-art museum was funded by the generosity of local benefactors Richard and Carolyn Barry. The sum of the monetary donations and art contributions made by the Barry family valued at over $35 million, the largest contribution in ODU history.
Monarchs broke ground on the museum project in 2017. The building now stands diagonal from the new Darden College of Education and adjacent to the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Architectural design and real estate logistics were carried out by both Saunders + Crouse Architects and the ODU Real Estate Foundation.
Opening night reception for Barry Art Museum
"Richard and Carolyn Barry's generosity to this project, to this university and to this
community is nothing short of extraordinary. They are remarkable people, as
evidenced by their selfless donation of an entire collection of art, glass dolls and
automata, so others may appreciate those riches," Old Dominion University
President John R. Broderick said at the Barry Art Museum opening event. "It surely
wasn't easy to say goodbye to the many personal stories and memories that each
piece contained. Yet Richard and Carolyn know that the museum will now become
a home-away-from home for them."
Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick presented Richard and Carolyn
Barry with the University Medal, bestowed on individuals in recognition of
outstanding service that has brought distinction to Old Dominion University and
furthered its pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and public service. The new
Barry Art Museum's 24,000-square-foot, two-story facility is the result of a $37
million gift—the largest in University history—of art and funds from Richard and
Photos by David Uhrin
“[Richard and Carolyn’s] gift will elevate our efforts in the arts and inspire a new generation of artists and creative minds in our community,” said President John R. Broderick. “Through their generosity, this museum will provide a unique and valuable cultural and interdisciplinary educational resource.”
Photos by Kay Alexander Photography
In addition to benefiting ODU faculty, staff and students, the Barry Art Museum will serve as an exceptional resource for those in the Coastal Virginia community. The public took their first glimpse at the museum’s offerings during a free open house. Museum visitors were invited to explore the extensive Barry collection, which includes American modernist paintings, historic fashion dolls, European automata and Carolyn’s personal favorite—glass art.
The museum showcases over 100 glass displays crafted by international artists like Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, Harvey Littleton, Howard Ben Tré, Dan Dailey, Ginny Ruffner, Michael Glancy, Laura Donefer, Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova.
Complementing selections from the Barry family collection are several works by previous ODU faculty like Charles Sibley, A.B. Jackson and Fay Zetlin.
The Barry Art Museum is located at 1075 W. 43rd St., Norfolk and is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.