Painting, glass and yoga — it must be Norfolk's Chrysler Museum

With all the history in Williamsburg, sometimes you want something new.

Something out of the ordinary.

Something you can do in a day.

Head east to the Chrysler Museum of Art, 1 Memorial Place, in Norfolk.

"We are a world-class art museum in your backyard," said Amber Kennedy, spokeswoman for the museum.

The museum features art from all eras, including a robust contemporary art collection. But one of the big draws is the glass art exhibit. "We have an encyclopedic glass collection from ancient Egyptian glass to contemporary glass art," Kennedy said.

In 2012, the museum opened the Perry Glass studio offering classes, workshops and glass-blowing demonstrations every day at noon.

In September, an exhibit of Lalique Glass will open. René Lalique was known for glass art in both the Art Deco and Art Nouveau genres. He made jewelry, medallions, bottles, tableware, lamps, clocks and vehicle hood ornaments. The exhibit will be open Sept. 14 through Jan. 21, 2018.

Another draw is the two historic houses the Chrysler operates. The Willoughby-Baylor House is the former Norfolk History Museum. In it the history of Norfolk as a heritage port city is cataloged. Temporary history exhibits rotate at the house. The current exhibit, "A New Deal Near Here," shows a collection of photos of coastal Virginia in the Depression era. That exhibit is open until April 2018.

The other house is the former home of a prominent Jewish family. The collection there depicts life as it was in the late Federal period. It is one of the first brick homes built in Norfolk after the Revolutionary War.

In addition to the exhibits, the main museum offers a variety of classes, lectures and workshops for young and old. From talks about art and baseball to World War II scenes by Thomas Hart Benton, the Chrysler has it all. Families can enjoy activities from Tickle My Ears for preschoolers to Friday Family Fun arts and crafts activities for children. Adults can enjoy yoga classes for all skill levels. And, of course, popular classes in glassblowing, kiln working and stained glass are offered as well.

Want to go?

The Chrysler Museum, at 1 Memorial Pl, Norfolk, is about an hour's drive from Williamsburg via I-64 E.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The museum is closed on Mondays.

Entrance to the museum and all its exhibits are free.

For a full, up-to-date event schedule, see the museum website at www.chrysler.org., or call 757-664-6200.

Copyright © 2017, The Virginia Gazette
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