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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was opened in January, 1936 with the intention of turning it into the flagship art museum of the state. The museum is located at a building that boasts of spectacular architecture by the Peebles & Ferguson Architects of Norfolk.

At present, the museum is renowned for having the largest public and non-Russian collection of Faberge masterpieces. With over 22,000 works of art under its care, the museum is also acknowledged as having one of the best American Art collections. The museum?s first collection was from prominent Virginian lawmaker Judge John Barton Payton, who donated all 50 paintings of his collection to the government. In 1932, he also initiated a $100,000 challenge for the state to have its own art museum, and with that the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was eventually born.
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