Anna Lou Musgrove (1914-2003) was a vital asset in the art and art education circles of Southside Virginia.
Although a native of Petersburg where she lived her entire life, she left it frequently to direct more than 20 student/adult educational trips to Europe, the first in the summer of 1967. She donated her slides and pictures to the International Travel Room at Richard Bland College Library.
She was director-owner of the Fine Arts School of Petersburg which she opened in 1940. Her 20 years of teaching art in the Petersburg Public Schools was recognized for exceptional service by election to Delta Kappa Gamma, honorary educational society.
Mrs. Musgrove has worked in charcoal and pastel heads on toned paper. She also worked in acrylics, oils, assemblages, watercolors, copper enamels, silk screen, sculptures, ceramics, photography and restoration, all of which revealed the extensive breadth of her capability. She stressed the usage of photography for inspiring her later are work.
One of the early students of Anna Mercer Dunlop, Founder of the Petersburg Area Art League, she assisted in the foundation of this organization in 1932 and later served as its president.
Mrs. Musgrove also assisted Miss Dunlop in the organization and chartering of the now defunct Petersburg Chapter of Composers, Authors and Artists of America in 1954. As an officer in the Virginia Art Education Association, she served on the evaluation committee of statewide high school area programs. And judged various art shows as well as participated in invitational events such as “Occasion of the Arts” in Williamsburg. Among her many “one-artist” shows was a retrospective silver anniversary display in Trinity Methodist Church to mark the end of her first quart of a century in her chosen field. Her art works are owned by many private collectors as well as public institutions.
In addition to Miss Dunlop, long considered dean of Petersburg artists, Mrs. Musgrove studied with Elliott Clarke at the University of Virginia as well as George Bridgman and Robert Phillips at the Art Students League of New York in New York City and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. At the College of William and Mary she was a student of Thomas Thorne, painter and designer, and nationally recognized Sculptor Carl Roseburg. She took additional sculpture with Marie Petri at Richard Bland College and later taught art appreciation at Richard Bland College.
Anna Lou donated many pieces of her artwork to RBC Library and will always be considered an outstanding “Friend” to the Richard Bland College Library.