Art Inspires Lifelong Learning

Dr. Shantaram Talegaonkar

Dr. Shantaram Talegaonkar is a former trustee and longtime VMFA supporter.

Dr. Shantaram Talegaonkar spent the last decade serving on Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' Board of Trustees where he was closely involved in some of the museum’s biggest accomplishments: a transformational expansion, a thriving exhibition program, and landmark additions to the galleries like the McGlothlin Collection.

“VMFA today is a completely different institution from when I first visited some 30 years ago,” says Dr. Talegaonkar. “Seeing such a wonderfully diverse group of people invested in the museum, exploring the collection, and enjoying the outdoor spaces is very gratifying. To have an encyclopedic art museum here in Richmond is a great asset to the community.”

Dr. Talegaonkar’s passion for art is intertwined with a love of learning. He began taking classes in art history at VMFA, William & Mary, and Virginia Commonwealth University, and became fascinated by the way different religions tell similar stories in their own way. He now teaches comparative religions at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Richmond.

Dr. Talegaonkar’s decision to include a bequest to VMFA in his will was an easy one. “I know that institutions like this cannot continue to function unless there is popular support,” he says. “If I have a strong interest in art and the ability to make a gift, how could I not do so?”

To learn more about turning your interest in VMFA into lifelong support that can transform the lives of others, contact Erin Sheets Elder at 804.340.1619 or