The Chrysler Museum of Art is an art museum on the border between downtown and the Ghent district of Norfolk, Virginia. The museum was founded in 1933 as the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences. In 1971, automotive heir, Walter P. Chrysler Jr. (whose wife, Jean Outland Chrysler, was a native of Norfolk), donated most of his extensive collection to the museum. This single gift significantly expanded the museum's collection, making it one of the major art museums in the Southeastern United States. From 1958 to 1971, the Chrysler Museum of Art was a smaller museum consisting solely of Chrysler's personal collection and housed in the historic Center Methodist Church in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Today's museum sits on a small body of water known as The Hague.
The New York Times described the Chrysler collection as "one any museum in the world would kill for." Comprising over 30,000 objects, the collection spans over 5,000 years of world history. American and European paintings and sculpture from the Middle Ages to the present day form the core of the collection.
The museum's most significant holdings include works by Tintoretto, Veronese, Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velázquez, Salvator Rosa, Gianlorenzo Bernini, John Singleton Copley, Thomas Cole, Eugène Delacroix, Édouard Manet, Paul Cézanne, Gustave Doré, Albert Bierstadt, Auguste Rodin, Mary Cassatt, Paul Gauguin, Georges Rouault, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Richard Diebenkorn, Karen LaMonte and Franz Kline.
The Chrysler Museum is home to the final sculpture of the Baroque master Gianlorenzo Bernini, a marble bust of Jesus Christ created as a gift for the artist's benefactor, Queen Christina of Sweden. The Museum also houses one of the world's greatest collections of glass (including outstanding works by Louis Comfort Tiffany), distinguished holdings in the decorative arts, and a fine and growing collection of photography. The arts of the ancient world, Asia, Africa, and Pre-Columbian America (particularly Maya ceramics) are also well represented.