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The Taubman Museum of Art: An Integral Part of #Roanoke and #VAM2017

Perspectives ,

Posted By Heather A. Widener

The Taubman Museum of Art is located in the heart of the Roanoke, VA and a neighbor to the original lifeblood of the city: the railroad. Roanoke grew from a sleepy country mountain town called Big Lick into an industrial city driven by the railroad. These days, Roanoke and the surrounding area has reinvented itself. The Taubman Museum of Art is as striking as it is different from the N&W’s Hotel Roanoke that now hosts large conventions such as the 2017 VAM Conference. The historic and contemporary complement each other along Roanoke’s cityscape.

The contemporary design of the building engages its audience from the very beginning of the visit. The building is an abstract masterpiece designed by Randall Stout created from a mixture of gracefully curved roofs, a windowed and faceted foyer and a contrasting deck. The Taubman experience starts outside and continues if you venture in. The Taubman’s shiny roof is as striking as it is functional. Since Roanoke is still home to the Norfolk Southern Railroad and the steam engine 611, the roof is coated with zinc so that soot and cinders from the passing trains easily sloughs off.

The Taubman collaborates with its neighboring museums to create a constant buzz downtown, it is an integral member of the Roanoke cultural community. Its neighbors are the O. Winston Link Museum, Center in the Square and the Virginia Museum of Transportation. These cultural organizations have worked to create a cohesive community where people come to see diverse collections that complement each other. For example, the Taubman recently reached out to the Virginia Museum of Transportation for a loan of a period appropriate automobile for the opening of American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell. The VMT lent the auto and it provided a striking first impression for the exhibition. The Taubman Museum of Art specializes in American art, ranging from aboriginal craft to paintings and sculptures. In fact, VAM conference attendees will be treated to American Impressionism in the Garden, featuring never-before-seen paintings by renowned American artists. This during our Sunday evening event: a progressive evening at both the Taubman and the Virginia Museum of Transportation. We’ll view the galleries of the Taubman Museum of Art while enjoying drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and the musical stylings of the Kane-West Organ Trio.

In addition, VAM conference attendees will have another opportunity to engage with the Taubman during our 2017 Annual Conference. This year, our conference will offer Off-Site Learning Labs, walking tours and workshops where our attendees can get hands-on experiences and peek behind-the-scenes at some of Roanoke’s fantastic museums and attractions. Three of those Learning Labs will take place at the Taubman: Mindful Musings: The Power of Tours for Those with Dementia and Alzheimer’s, Unleash Your Creativity! Museums as a Learning Lab for Leaders, and What Lies Behind the Doors. So whether you are a leader in need of inspiration, an interpreter looking to work with people with Dementia and Alzheimer’s, or a collections manager pining for a look behind the scenes at the Taubman’s collections area, we’ve got you covered. Learn more about the VAM Annual Conference.