Longwood University began collecting art in the late 19th century. The earliest acquisitions were portraits depicting honored Longwood administrators and faculty. Our first collecting area was defined in 1951, with the establishment of the Contemporary Virginia Artists Collection. In 1971, an American collection was added to our collecting focus, and, in the 1990s, our collections once again expanded to include Chinese and African art. A substantial mid-2000s gift from Richmond collector Jack Blanton bolstered our collection of contemporary art. We also actively collect and exhibit folk art, crafts and decorative arts. In addition to LCVA’s galleries at Third and Main streets in downtown Farmville, our collections are displayed throughout the Longwood campus as part of our Art on Campus program.
More than 95 percent our collection has been contributed by Longwood alumni and friends with the intention that art encourages learning, fosters an understanding of the interconnection between disciplines, and emphasizes the importance of history and culture in a healthy, democratic society.