Art Museums, Family Travel, Jen Stays Home, Museums, Norfolk, Virginia

Barry Art Museum, May, 2021

The Barry Art Museum is on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk. Admittedly, despite living within walking distance, this was our first visit as a family. With just an hour we only had time to dive into three of the four galleries.

Orchids: Attraction & Deception

ODU and Norfolk Botanical Garden partner to share the University’s orchid collection in the Garden’s Tropical Display house. This temporary (through August 1, 2021) exhibition naturally connects art and science; read more on the Barry Art Museum’s web page:

Is this a show about orchids? Yes, but orchids are just the tip of the melting iceberg, the canary in the shuttered coal mine, the indicator species for our greater world, the cipher for our evolving culture. 

Doll Collection

Can dolls be creepy? Yes. Can they be works of art that document history and culture? Also, yes. If anything, this private collection donated by the Barry family shows how difficult it was to create realistic small humans with the media available to the artists. On any visit to a gallery you’ll see paintings of children with skewed proportions. Or maybe kids are cuter now?

Also, I will take any of these dolls over an LOL monstrosity; let’s hope those are never deemed worthy of being displayed behind glass.

Glass Collection

Let me help plan your trip to Hampton Roads, Virginia.



Welcome to Mermaid City! Welcome to Mermaid City! We have many areas to explore near the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk!

The historic downtown is a walkable destination with food, retail, museums, and multiple hotel accommodations.


The History & Arts

Ready for more Norfolk Museums?

Visual Arts: Hermitage Museum & Gardens and Chrysler Museum of Art
Live Arts: Virginia Stage Company, The Hurrah Players, Generic Theater, The Norva, and the Seven Venues.
History: Naticus & Battleship Wisconsin, The Moses Myers House, and Naval Base Cruises


Outdoor Excursions

Go outside and play at these other outdoor attractions!

Outdoor Museums: Virginia Zoo in Norfolk and Norfolk Botanical Garden
Festivals: Stockley Gardens Arts Festival, and Festevents
Sports: Norfolk Tides Baseball



Many local restaurants and breweries are located close to the Barry Art Museum. After seeing a plant-based art exhibition, get some great vegetarian food on nearby north Colley Avenue: Legrande Kitchen, Elation Brewing Company, Coach House, Cogan’s Pizza, Starving Artist Cafe, Autie’s, Sam’s Sub Shop, Hank’s Kitchen, Hank’s Filling Station, and Fellini’s.

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