Arts Grounds Arts Grounds

Arts Grounds

Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds

In April 2010, the University of Virginia Board of Visitors adopted a resolution naming the arts precinct at the University the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds. The naming honors John Casteen, who stepped down after 20 years as U.Va. President, and his wife. Casteen made the Arts a priority during his tenure, and, under his leadership, the Arts Grounds grew to comprise new and renovated facilities, including:

•    a restored Fayerweather Hall for the Art History program;

•    a renovated and expanded Campbell Hall for the School of Architecture;

•    renovated galleries in the Bayly Building for The Fralin Museum of Art;

•    Ruffin Hall for Studio Art;

•    the Culbreth Road parking garage serving Arts Grounds


The Campaign for the University of Virginia launched in September 2006. The purpose of the campaign was to fulfill Jefferson’s vision in our own time and to secure for the University a permanent position among the top universities in the nation and the world. With the help of our generous supporters, the campaign exceeded the $3 billion goal.

During the campaign, more than $38 million of the private gifts made to arts priorities went toward capital projects. The Drama Building’s stunning new 300-seat thrust Ruth Caplin Theatre, which opened in the spring of 2013, was the latest in a string of expansions, renovations and new construction on the Arts Grounds. Other projects included the new Ruffin Hall (studio art) and Hunter Smith Band Building, plus renovation and/or expansion of Fayerweather Hall (houses the McIntire Department of Art), Campbell Hall (School of Architecture) and the Bayly Building (The Fralin Museum of Art). Together, arts-related capital projects resulted in more than 90,000 square feet of added academic or exhibition space, plus a new parking garage on Culbreth Road serving the Arts Grounds.

Arts Commons

Located in the middle of the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds, the Arts Commons is shared space among all those located close by. At the present, you will find Mark Dion’s Virginia Curiosity Shop, which is currently being worked on by UVA students, faculty & staff under Dion’s leadership.

The Fralin Museum of Art

The Museum promotes visual literacy as part of a broader, comprehensive education for all and seeks to enhance its visitors’ perceptions and understanding of world cultures throughout history and of art as an enduring human endeavor.

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Ruffin Hall

Home to the McIntire Department of Art‘s Studio Art program, the new three-story facility helps the program meet the growing demand for its courses and unites all of the studio program’s classrooms and faculty offices under one roof.

Hunter Smith Band Building

Three levels of rehearsal halls, practice rooms, instrument and uniform storage and offices make up this bright, streamlined building that hosts the Cavalier Marching Band, as well as the basketball band, the Olympic sports ensemble, the wind ensemble and the concert band. The building was designed by William Rawn Associates and was made possible by a gift from Hunter Smith, the building’s namesake.

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Drama Buidling

Drama Students at U.Va. have the opportunity to pursue their degrees in a state-of-the-art theatre complex, which includes the 520-seat Culbreth Theatre with proscenium stage, the flexible 160 to 200-seat Helms Theatre and, the brand-new 300-seat Ruth Caplin Theatre, a thrust theatre.

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Fayerweather Hall

The McIntire Department of Art, which includes the undergraduate and graduate programs in art history, is housed in Fayerweather Hall. Originally constructed as Fayerweather Gymnasium, the building was designed in 1892-94 by Norfolk architect John Kevan Peebles (Col 1890) and James R. Carpenter.

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School of Architecture

The School of Architecture, offering degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, architectural history, and urban & environmental planning, can be found in Campbell Hall, completed in 1970. The building is named for Edmund S. Campbell, director of the architecture program from 1927-50. Recent additions include the Elmaleh East Wing and the South Wing, which have added 12,000 square feet of review rooms, faculty offices, seminar rooms, and a technology bridge.

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Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library

The Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library provides research support and collections for the School of Architecture and the subjects of Art, Art History, and European Archeology. We offer research and digital tool consultation, resources for image scanning, and spaces for quiet and collaborative study.

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Culbreth Road Parking Garage

The Culbreth Road Parking Garage opened in 2008. Located off of Culbreth Road near the Drama Building (The Caplin, Culbreth and Helms Theatres) and the Campbell Hall School of Architecture, this parking garage is available for specific permit holders during the day and for visitors of the Arts Grounds & Carr’s Hill at night and weekend events.

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