The Day His Love for Art Began

Eric Schellenberger wants to help VMFA inspire future generations.

Eric Schellenberger wants to help VMFA inspire future generations.

Eric Schellenberger's interest in art was sparked at an early age: When he was 14 years old, his father brought him to New York City for the 1964 World's Fair, where he saw Michelangelo's great Pieta. The sculpture, which was lit with a spotlight and dark blue votive lights arranged in vertical strings around it, left Eric breathless and ignited in him a deep, enduring interest in fine art. Several years later, in the mid 1980s, Eric moved to Richmond and was introduced to the VMFA through the Jumpin' in July Concert Series.

"What this museum has become over a 30-year perspective is substantially different," he says. "This museum belongs in a bigger city, and so, to find it here, open and available to everyone, is surprising and incredible. No matter what form the arts take, we as a species are the only ones who create; it is what makes us human."

Eric has included us in his estate plan as a beneficiary. "This museum has enriched my life so much," he says. "I see this gift as a way to enrich the human experience and to enrich individual human lives. You should join me, enrich us all."

Inspire Others Through the Arts
By including a gift to VMFA in your future plans, your thoughtful support will help inspire future generations through the arts. Contact Erin Sheets Elder at 804.340.1619 or today to discuss gift options that benefit you and VMFA.