History & Mission

Art Collection For Museum Dale Chihuly, Gilded and Amber Chandelier, detail


The Barry Art Museum is a cultural hub at Old Dominion University that advances the understanding of art in its many diverse forms through collecting, display, interpretation, and research. It strives to communicate the results of these endeavors to the widest possible audience through publication, exhibition, educational programs, and collections stewardship.


Founded in 2016 by art collectors and philanthropists Carolyn and Richard Barry, the Barry Art Museum is a cultural and educational destination. As collectors, the Barrys followed their hearts. Their passion resulted in a unique permanent collection, providing us an opportunity to portray rich, cultural stories through our considerable holdings in glass, painting, and historical dolls and automata.


Our glass collection features Internationally renowned contemporary designers and practitioners spanning the full arc of the American studio glass movement. This collection includes Karen LaMonte, Stanislav Libenský, Richard Marquis, Debora Moore, Lino Tagliapietra, Toots Zynsky, Dale Chihuly, and more, reinforcing Hampton Roads as a cultural glass-art hub. 


The painting collection ranges from traditional maritime works to the pure abstractions of Jules Olitski. American Modernist masters Quita Brodhead, Marsden Hartley and Milton Avery appear alongside contemporary painters Devin Troy Strother, Al Held, Wolf Kahn, and A.B. Jackson.


Our extensive collection of historic dolls and rare automata (articulated and mechanized precursors to modern robots) track changes in society, technology and intercontinental travel throughout time. 


Enjoy rotating exhibitions throughout the year that introduce local and international art and design to the Hampton Roads community. Co-produced with ODU, our Fall Public Arts Festival is not to be missed! 

As an affiliate of Old Dominion University, we are proud to serve as a resource to both students and the community at large. We offer a wide variety of programs free for the public’s enjoyment, such as lectures, festivals, tours, events and performances. Be sure to check our website frequently for new listings.