The Hermitage Museum and Gardens has been accepted into the prestigious Smithsonian Affiliations program.

Smithsonian Affiliations was created to share the Smithsonian's collections, exhibitions, scholarship, and programming beyond its own museums, in order to broaden public knowledge of science, history, world culture, and the arts. The Hermitage is the only museum in the Tidewater region to be accepted into the program.  The affiliation will allow the Hermitage to become an even greater participant in the national museum community.

"Given our diverse offering of  both collections and grounds we felt that entering a partnership with the Smithsonian would allow us to nurture and expose the resources we have here," said Curator of Collections Colin Brady. "Whether that includes developing our wetlands programs, loaning pieces of art, or bolstering our educational programs it all seemed in tune with the Smithsonian's mission."  

The Hermitage Museum & Gardens sits on a 12-acre site in the Lochhaven neighborhood of Norfolk, on a peninsula of land that juts out into the Lafayette River. The museum was founded by William and Florence Sloane in 1937 and opened to the public in 1942. Its collection is housed in their 42-room Arts and Crafts mansion. The Sloane's collection of fine and decorative art spans 5,000 years represents 30 countries and includes over 5,000 objects.  

"I have no doubt that Florence would be proud to know that her efforts to establish an arts scene in Norfolk have led to her own home, collection and gardens becoming members of the Smithsonian family," added Brady.

The Hermitage offers exhibitions, outdoor movies and concerts, a summer art camp for children, year-round classes and workshops, visiting artists studios, wetlands reclamation projects  and education, beautiful grounds, gardens and wooded walking trails, and is a popular location for weddings and private events.

The Hermitage joins the ranks of other Smithsonian Affiliates such as George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens (Mount Vernon, Va), the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, Ga), and the Adler Planetarium (Chicago, Il).  There are more than 180 Smithsonian Affiliates in more than 40 states, Puerto Rico and Panama.  

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