A Gem of a Museum on the Water in Norfolk, Virginia: The Hermitage Museum

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This Gem of a Museum on the water in Norfolk Virginia, The Hermitage Museum is a local treasure

by O. Bada

This museum is a house that sits on the water in Norfolk, in a neighborhood..so it is easy to drive by and never realized the opportunity just missed. How do I know about this museum? I was married at the Hermitage Museum in Norfolk under the huge magnolia tree in the back overlooking the water. So, I am definitely a fan of this place.

Local Tip: Hermitage Museum – FREE Admission for 2021
free admission hermitage museum 2021

Locals know this is one of the most ideal spots for an outdoor wedding in the Hampton Roads region (obviously a subjective opinion). But really, how can you not be a fan when this museum is offering FREE admission again this year (they started offering it last spring when the pandemic hit).

Local Tip: This is absolutely beautiful spot for an outdoor wedding. My husband and I were married there and our guests enjoyed the grounds, eating outside while overlooking the water, and enjoyed dancing under the stars!

This museum is a turn of the century (1900s) family home to the Sloan Family and Mrs Sloan was an incredible art collector. Filling both the Hermitage and the Chrysler Museum of Art with art from around the world. The house itself is a piece of history and it is filled with incredible art. They also have tours that are really worth going on to learn the secrets of the house.

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The powers that be at this museum host both indoor art exhibits and outdoor installations, so both locals and tourists will want to visit their website to see what is on the horizon.

Tourist Tip: put this on your “must visit” list in 2021, because you cannot get a better deal than free!

Don’t neglect the outdoor space. The grounds offer stunning views and gardens that you can walk are beautifully groomed. It is a great place to visit on a dreary day (because there is plenty inside to see) and on a sunny day because the grounds are beautiful.


While you are there you can take a tour to explore the 42 room mansion that has over 5,000 years of art paintings and object from around the globe. The following quote from the Hermitage Museum gives you a window into the collection:

“The Sloane Collection is unique in that it was assembled over a fifty year period by one woman, Florence K. Sloane, and remains in its original building almost entirely intact. The Hermitage was designed to serve as both Mrs. Sloane’s home and as a public museum where visitors could come to learn about art, music, religion, and culture. Mrs. Sloane believed that museums were the most important component of civilized society, and as a result she filled the Hermitage and the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences (now the Chrysler Museum) with thousands of objects from all over the globe. Mrs. Sloane worked tirelessly to build a cultural life for the people of Norfolk until her death in 1953, and her legacy persists at the Hermitage.” ~ Hermitage Museum

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There is a Whistler & CO. exhibit (2021) and throughout the run of the exhibition Whistler & Company: The Etching Revival,  the Hermitage will offer a wide variety of programs geared to adults, children and families.

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Local Tip: Classes for adults and Spring and Summer Camps register online. Spring Camps are registering now and Summer Camps start registering in April.

If you are local or you are visiting and know the exact weeks in advance, the museum offers camps, adult art classes, special events (check them out) and so much more – definitely check them out online at Hermitage Museum.

7637 North Shore Road
Norfolk, VA 23505

Tuesday through Sunday
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Olivia Bada
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