Programs and Events

The Museums at W&L advance learning through direct engagement with the collections and facilitate an interdisciplinary appreciation of art, history, and culture.

Free and open to all, the Museums at W&L works with our campus community to offer an array of experiences — opening events, gallery talks, art workshops, wellness programs, art-making activities, and gallery tours.

Past Events

Art materials for Printmaking Workshop

Printmaking Workshop

Wednesday, May 8, 2024, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Watson Galleries
Join the Museums at W&L for a fun evening of printmaking inspired by the current exhibition, "Mohammad Omer Khalil: Musings." Bring a friend or your family and create your own print. Free and open to all. Parental supervision is required for kids under the age of 12.

Image promoting Stories of Migration Lunch & Learns

Lunch and Learn – Stories of Migration

Select Mondays, 12 – 1 p.m.
Reeves Museum of Ceramics
Join members of our W&L community as they share their personal stories around the themes of migration, diaspora, and identity. Lunch is provided, and all are welcome - limited seating.

Image of Rachel Du

Museum Talk: Rachel Du

Brushstrokes: Navigating the Evolution of the Chinese Art Market
Monday, March 25, 2024, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library
Join us for an engaging museum talk with Rachel Du, a Chinese art specialist and porcelain expert at Bonhams. Rachel will delve into the history of Chinese art collecting in the West, shedding light on the contributions of Gilded Age millionaires, missionaries, and art dealers who played key roles in establishing significant Chinese art collections outside of East Asia. Rachel will provide valuable insights into the current Chinese art market and how geopolitical factors, such as the impact of COVID-19, influence the market.

Michael Coleman posed caribou 1986

Celebrate Earth Month! With Sustainability + the Museums

Tuesday, April 9, 2024, 5 – 6 p.m.
Leyburn Library
This April, Museums at W&L will partner with W&L's Office of Sustainability to celebrate Earth Month with a pop-up exhibition in Leyburn Library co-curated by students involved in sustainability work across campus. Students will reflect on artworks they have selected that speak to the questions of why sustainability work is so important. Reception to follow.

Image of an individual looking at art

Slow Art Day

Saturday, April 13, 2024, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
McCarthy Gallery, Holekamp Hall
Museums at W&L is proud to be a venue for Slow Art Day 2024. Founded in 2010, Slow Art Day is a global event with a simple mission: help more people discover the joy of looking at and loving art. One day each year – April 13 in 2024 – people all over the world visit local museums and galleries to look at art slowly. This year, participants will practice looking the still life photographs of Stephanie Shih in our current exhibition, Open Flowers Bear Fruit. This program is free and open to all ages!

Image of students studying in the Museums

CramSesh Quiet Study

Monday – Thursday, April 15-18, 2024, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Reeves Museum of Ceramics
Quiet and filled with art, galleries at the Reeves Museum of Ceramics (located between Tucker Hall and Admissions) are perfect for cram sessions before finals! Grab a study spot and get access to power/extension cords, pre-packaged snacks, and extra school supplies.

Image of student studying in the Museums

CramSesh Quiet Study

Monday – Thursday, February 19 – 22, 2024, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Reeves Museum of Ceramics
Quiet and filled with art, the galleries at the Reeves Museum of Ceramics (located between Tucker Hall and Admissions) are perfect for cram sessions before midterms! Grab a study spot and get access to power/extension cords, pre-packaged snacks, and extra school supplies.

Image of Jamaal Sheats

Museum Talk: Jamaal B. Sheats

Arts Leadership in the 21st Century
Monday, January 29, 2024, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library
Join us for a talk by Jamaal B. Sheats, dynamic Director and Curator of Fisk University Galleries, Associate Provost for Arts and Culture, and Assistant Professor of Art. Professor Sheats will offer insights into his influential role as an arts leader, reflecting on the role of academic museums as catalysts for change and the enduring impact of the Galleries’ groundbreaking exhibition, African Modernism in America, the first major traveling exhibition to examine the complex connections between modern African artists and American patrons, artists, and cultural organizations.

Image of design promoting Collage Making Workshop

New Year, New Goals: Collage Making Workshop

Thursday, January 18, 2024, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Watson Galleries
Start the new year with some art! Join the student co-curators of Mohammad Omar Khalil: MUSINGS for a hands-on workshop where you will use some collage-making techniques inspired by Khalil’s work to create a vision board for your hopes and goals this year. Drop by any time during the event. No outside supplies or experience required.

Photo of members in SABU jackets

SABU: Then and Now

Tuesday, January 16, 2024, 6 – 7 p.m.
Reeves Museum of Ceramics
African American student activism has a rich history at Washington and Lee University. The Museums at W&L is thrilled to preserve part of that history in a new collection acquisition, a jean jacket worn by an early member of the Student Association for Black Unity (SABU) in the 1970s. Join Laura Murambadoro (current SABU president) and Nalleli Guillen (the Museums' History Curator) for a conversation about SABU's impact on campus and examine this piece of history up close.

Image of Mohammad Omer Khalil

Artist Talk and Gallery Stroll with Mohammad Omer Khalil

Thursday, November 30, 2023, 5:30 — 7:00 p.m.
Leyburn Library, Northen Auditorium
The Museums at W&L held a moderated conversation with master printmaker and painter Mohammad Omer Khalil. The talk was followed by a gallery stroll of MUSINGS with the artist in Watson Galleries.
*Photo by artist Dia Al Azzawi (2014). Courtesy of Albareh Contemporary

Image promoting Stories of Migration Lunch & Learns

Lunch and Learn — Stories of Migration

Select Mondays in 2023, 12:00 — 1:00 p.m.
Reeves Museum of Ceramics
The Museums at W&L hosted a Lunch and Learn series inspired by current exhibitions that explored themes of migration, diaspora, and identity. Topics included Storytelling as Survival in the Immigrant Journey; The 'Guest Worker,' the Arab, and the Muslim of/in Europe; Attitudes Toward Immigrants in the U.S. and Europe; and Stories of Migration.

Image promoting And We Love Life: A Short Films Program

And We Love Life: A Short Films Program

Tuesday, November 7, 2023, 7:00 p.m.
Stackhouse Theater
Inspired by our current exhibition, We Love Life Whenever We Can, the Museums had an evening of contemporary short films by Arab and South Asian filmmakers: Bouchaib (dir. by Ali Boudra, runtime 13 min.), Cousins (Karina Dandashi, 13 min.), and Sweet Refuge (Maryam Mir, 12 min.).
Co-sponsored by the Middle East and South Asia Studies Program and the Office of Inclusion and Engagement.
Photo (left): Film still from Sweet Refuge (2023), ©Maryam Mir, ©Chheangkea Ieng

Image of Evelyn Alsultany

Author Talk: Evelyn Alsultany

Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 5 — 6 p.m.
Stackhouse Theater
Evelyn Alsultany gave an overview of her latest book, "Broken: The Failed Promise of Muslim Inclusion." Alsultany is a Professor at the University of Southern California, a leading expert on the history of representations of Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. media, and Hollywood consultant. Hosted by the Employee Resource Group: Underrepresented Religious, Spiritual, and Cultural Identities and sponsored by the Museums at W&L and Office of Community-Based Learning.

Image of Mohammad Omer Khalil

Opening Reception

Thursday, September 28, 2023, 6:30 — 7:30 p.m.
Watson Galleries
The Museums at W&L held an opening reception for Musings.
*Photo by Arthur Mones (1997.162.5). Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum

Image of Sama Alshaibi

Artist Talk: Sama Alshaibi

Monday, September 25, 2023, 5:30 p.m.
Leyburn Library
Photographer, multimedia conceptual artist, and professor Sama Alshaibi joined us to discuss her work and how she uses art to challenge Western ideas of Eastern cultures. Her work is currently on display in the Leyburn Library gallery, in We Love Life Whenever We Can. Co-sponsored by the Middle East and South Asia Studies Program and the Center for International Education.

Image of the Museums

Family Activity Days

April 22 and 29, 2023
Children of all ages were invited to join Museums at W&L for a scavenger hunt inspired by the Pueblo pottery exhibition!

Photo of individual looking at art

Slow Art Day

April 15, 2023
Museums at W&L celebrated Slow Art Day, a quiet international art movement. Elizabeth Spear, Curator of Academic Engagement, led 50-minute guided sessions of close-looking at pieces from Born of Fire: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists and Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women.

Image promoting Lunch and Learn - Women in the World

Lunch and Learn – Women in the World

Mondays in March and April, 2023
The Museums at W&L held short, informal talks inspired by the latest exhibitions: Women's History and the Environment Through an Artist's Eyes; Women Are People Too? The Slippery Slope of Expanding Personhood in the U.S.; Friendship, Love, and Revolutionary Politics: Claudia Jones and Abhimanyu Manchanda; Gender Battles: Spiritual Power and Land Rights in Southern Chile; Arab Women's Art and Activism for Social Justice.

Photo of Victoria Ferguson speaking

Monacan Pottery Demonstration with Victoria Ferguson

March 10-11, 2023
Reeves Museum of Ceramics
The Museums at W&L held special demonstrations of traditional Monacan pottery making by Victoria Ferguson, an enrolled citizen of the Monacan Nation, educator, and curator.
Victoria Ferguson has spent 25 years seeking first-person documentation and archaeological information to help explain and support theories on the daily living habits of the Eastern Siouan populations up through the early European colonization period.

Photo from the Born of Fire lecture

Born of Fire Lecture

March 8, 2023
Leyburn Library, Northen Auditorium
The Museums at W&L held a lecture by Dr. Jacqueline Chao, curator of Born of Fire and scholar of Asian Art, in Northern Auditorium, followed by a reception in Watson Galleries. The evening celebrated women ceramicists exhibited in Born of Fire.

Photo from the Born of Fire Gallery Reception

Born of Fire Gallery Reception

March 8, 2023
Watson Galleries
The Museums at W&L held a gallery reception for Born of Fire that followed the Born of Fire lecture by Dr. Jacqueline Chao.

Image from the Women's Day Tea event

Women's Day Tea

March 4, 2023
Watson Galleries
The W&L Chanoyu Tea Society's held a special Women's Day Tea. In conjunction with Women's History Month, they served sweets and matcha tea to honor the accomplishments of women from around the world.

Photo of a tour with Tony Chavarria

Guided Tours with Tony Chavarria

February 2, 2023
Reeves Museum of Ceramics
The Museums at W&L held a guided tour of Mother Clay with guest curator Tony Chavarria. The event consisted of three 20-minute tours.

Photo of Dr. Joel Bernstein '57 speaking

Demonstrating Native Allyship Luncheon

February 2, 2023
Watson Galleries
The Museums at W&L held a special lunch and discussion with retired professor of Native American art and W&L alumnus, Dr. Joel Bernstein '57, as he shared insights from over 50 years of work and friendship with members of the Native American communities.

Photo of the Mother Clay Artist Panel discussion

Mother Clay Artist Panel Discussion

February 1, 2023
Leyburn Library, Northern Auditorium
The Museums at W&L invite celebrated Jody Naranjo, Judy Tafoya, and Kathleen Wall, whose work is featured in Mother Clay. The evening began with a panel of the artists led by guest curator Tony Chavarria, followed by a reception.

Photo from the Mother Clay Opening Reception

Mother Clay Opening Reception

February 1, 2023
Reeves Museum of Ceramics
The Museums at W&L held an opening reception for Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women following the exhibition's Artist Panel Discussion.