POLK MUSEUM OF ART AT FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE ANNOUNCES $6 MILLION EXPANSION AND RENOVATION PROJECT | News

LAKELAND, Fla., Feb. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College announced plans for a $6 million expansion and renovation of the Museum. The expansion will add more than 10,000 sq. ft. of gallery, classroom, and art laboratory space, more than tripling the Museum’s main gallery space. Construction on the new addition is expected to begin late this year, with a projected completion in the spring of 2024. 

“We are elated to build upon the legacy of this impressive museum of fine arts and, through the affiliation of FSC and the Museum, now pursue an expanded agenda to offer exhibitions of our treasured permanent collection and welcome an increasing number of visiting exhibitions from the great museums of the world,” said Dr. Anne B. Kerr, president of Florida Southern College and member of the PMoA Board of Directors. “We are proud to be a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, and this expansion will also enable additional exhibits from the Smithsonian to be shared with our community and students. This expansion of the Museum will result in a dynamic arts venue that will greatly enrich the cultural offerings in our community.”

The two-story addition will be located on the northwest side of the present building. The sleek design of the expansion will modernize the Museum’s current façade and will add more than 10,000 square feet to the existing 1988 building. The expansion will include much needed new multi-functional exhibition and educational spaces, including galleries to feature artwork from the Museum’s large permanent collection from around the globe.

“We continue to build upon a tremendous legacy here at the Polk Museum of Art,” said Lynda Buck, board chair of the Polk Museum of Art. “These transformational gifts now allow us to make the community’s vision for the PMoA a reality, as we realize the Museum’s enduring mission to enhance lives through inspirational and engaging art experiences for all, from the very young to centenarians. This expansion sets the stage for the Museum’s status as a world-class academic museum, a community institution that serves students and our citizens.”

Along with the modern expansion, plans also include renovating the Museum’s current entrance, replacing flooring throughout the first floor, and updating the second floor galleries, classrooms, and office spaces. These additional changes will also allow the Museum to expand its current collections storage, which houses 2,800 works, as well as create flexible study, archival, and classroom spaces.

“Since the affiliation between the Museum and Florida Southern in 2017, the Museum has aspired to become a top-tier academic and community museum for learners of all ages,” said Dr. H. Alexander Rich, executive director and chief curator of the Museum and chair of Florida Southern College’s Department of Art History and Museum Studies, housed in the Museum. “Now with this exciting expansion, our whole community will benefit. The new spaces will showcase art from across time and cultures, and the Museum can continue to grow as an innovative site for learning for its entire art-loving community, including our students.” In addition to his museum responsibilities, Dr. Rich leads FSC’s Art History and Museum Studies program, one of the only higher education programs operated from a museum, providing college students the opportunity for engaged learning with internships and hands-on learning.

With the new changes, the Polk Museum of Art and Florida Southern College continue their trajectory toward becoming home to one of the nation’s leading academic fine art museums and scholarly centers for the study of the arts and visual culture. The expansion will provide additional hands-on experiences for students, including internships, volunteer opportunities, and pre-professional development programs.

About the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College 

The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is a not-for-profit, teaching museum that seeks to enhance lives through inspirational and engaging art experiences for all. It is the largest and only nationally accredited visual arts organization in Polk County and the only Smithsonian Affiliate art museum in Central Florida. The Museum’s hours are Tuesdays–Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and closed Mondays and major holidays. The facility is handicapped accessible and special needs assistance is available. Admission is free, thanks to our Strategic Partner, the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation.

About Florida Southern College

Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is the oldest private college in the state. The College maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 70+ undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, nursing, and physical therapy. Florida Southern has a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio, is an award-winning national leader in engaged learning, and boasts 30 NCAA Division II National Championships. Florida Southern is ranked at #8 among the “Best Regional Universities in the South” by U.S. News & World Report in its 2022 “Best Colleges” guide and is included in The Princeton Review’s 2022 Best 387 Colleges guide and the “Fiske Guide to Colleges 2022.” The 2021-2022 Colleges of Distinction guidebook praises Florida Southern’s AACSB accredited Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise alongside the College’s School of Education and its Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Poets&Quants, U.S. News & World Report, Fortune, and The Princeton Review further laud the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise and the Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing and Health Sciences as foremost programs in the nation for business and nursing education. Home to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, FSC has appeared on The Princeton Review’s top 20 “Most Beautiful Campus” national listing for 12 consecutive years. Connect with Florida Southern College. 

Polk Museum of Art

Executive Director and Chief Curator: Dr. H. Alexander Rich

Total Full-Time Employees: 15

Annual Budget FY2022: est. $1.7 Million

Annual Visitation Numbers: 140,000

Number of Artworks: 2,800

Announcing an Expansion of the Polk Museum of Art

  • A $6,000,000 expansion and renovation of the Polk Museum of Art’s 34 year old primary building will add over 10,000 sq. ft. of gallery, classroom, and art laboratory space on top of the current 38,000 sq. ft. building. The two-story addition will be located on the northwest side of the present building. Along with the modern expansion, plans also include renovating the Museum’s current entrance, replacing flooring throughout the first floor, and updating the second floor galleries, classrooms, and office spaces
  • The expansion will more than triple the Polk Museum of Art’s main gallery spaces, as the building currently houses 3,200 sq. ft. of main gallery space. Only a small fraction of the Museum’s 2,800 pieces of art are currently able to be displayed at any time. The expansion will enable the Museum to display more of the permanent collection and to expand collections storage.
  • The Polk Museum of Art is proud to be a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum. This expansion will enable additional exhibits from the Smithsonian to be shared with our community and students, resulting in a dynamic arts venue that will greatly enrich the cultural offerings in our community.
  • In tandem with the remodeling of the existing building, the expansion will provide new multi-purpose space with the ability to house at least six new galleries featuring special art collections, special events spaces, classrooms, and additional storage and restoration areas. Additionally, the front entrance of the PMoA will be renovated with additional upgrades to the first and second floors.
  • With the new changes, the Polk Museum of Art and Florida Southern College continue their trajectory toward becoming home to one of the nation’s leading academic fine art museums and scholarly centers for the study of the arts and visual culture. FSC’s Department of Art History & Museum Studies currently resides inside the Museum, one of the only higher education programs operated from a museum. The proximity offers unique opportunities to students in the field and across disciplines, providing an exceptional engaged learning experience. The expansion will provide additional hands-on experiences for students, including internships, volunteer opportunities, and pre-professional development programs.
  • Construction for the expansion is expected to begin in 2023 with a projected construction completion in the spring of 2024.
  • Primary Architect: Tim Hoeft of Straughn Trout Associates.

About the Polk Museum of Art

The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is a teaching museum that seeks to enhance lives through inspirational and engaging art experiences for all. As the largest and only nationally accredited visual arts organization in Polk County and the only Smithsonian Affiliate art museum in Central Florida, the Museum offers world-class, creative, and original exhibitions for all members of the community and beyond. With free admission, the Museum champions the accessibility of arts education, inspiring visitors of all ages and interest levels to explore, learn, and find something in the world of art to appreciate. The Museum also seeks continued engagement with the community and our members through programming and educational opportunities such as studio and lecture classes for teens and adults, in-person and virtual events, kid-focused art programs, MUSEings: The Polk Museum of Art Blog, and more.

Collection

Polk Museum of Art houses and exhibits two collections: The Museum’s Permanent Collection and Florida Southern College’s Permanent Collection. On June 1, 2017, Polk Museum of Art affiliated with Florida Southern College. As part of the affiliation, the Museum houses and cares for a portion of the Florida Southern College Permanent Collection. Polk Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection currently consists of five major collection categories: Modern & Contemporary Art, Art of the Ancient Americas, Asian Art, European Decorative Arts, and African Art. Featuring prominent and notable artists including Rembrandt van Rijn, Andy Warhol, Faith Ringgold, Pablo Picasso, Miriam Shapiro, James Rosenquist, Barbara Kruger, Marc Chagall, Damien Hirst, Hung Liu and others.

Prominent works include:

  • Barbara Kruger, American (b.1945), Trance (#3264), 1979, Photomontage, Gift of Norma and William Roth, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1990.55
  • Roy Lichtenstein, American (1923-1997), Before the Mirror, 1945, Lithograph and screenprint with embossing on BFK Rives roll paper, Museum Purchase from Hamilton Art Gallery, Allentown, PA through the Douglass Screen Printers Serigraphy Collection Fund, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2006.12
  • Robert Rauschenberg, American (1925-2008), Tibetan Garden Song, 1986, Cello, acrylic, chrome-plated washtub, Chinese scrollmaker’s brush, and mirrored plexiglass, Museum Purchase through Funds Given in Memory of Trustees George Truitt, Meta Kryger, Robert Murray, Murray Weaver, and Craig Massey, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1999.19
  • Dale Chihuly, American (b. 1941), Sunset Red Macchia with Sky Blue Lip Wrap, 2004, Blown glass, Museum Purchase through funds from the Art Resource Trust with additional support from Steve & Lynda Buck, Sarah D. McKay, Barbara S. Moore, Dr. Alan & Linda Rich, Dr. David & Lucia Taxdal, Kerry & Buffy Wilson; Dedicated to the Docents of the Polk Museum of Art, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2009.1
  • Anonymous Italian artist, Piove la Manna, 16th Century, Earthenware, majolica, tin-glazed, Gift of Dr. Jane Carver Holmes, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1975.2.1
  • Gino Miles, American, Introspection, 2015, Stainless steel and rocks from the Pecos River, Gift of the artist, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2016.4
  • Yousuf Karsh, Armenian-Canadian (1908-2002), Winston Churchill, 1941, Gelatin silver print, Gift of the Estate of David P. Hauseman, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2013.3.1
  • Albert Paley, Splayed Bench, 1992, Forged and fabricated steel with mahogany, Museum Purchase made possible through the Kent Harrison Memorial Acquisition Fund and through donations from Norma Canelas and William Roth; Mrs. Kirk McKay, Jr.; Lucia and David Taxdal; Mr. and Mrs. T.R. Tucker; Mr. and Mrs. David Bunch; Homer Hooks and Lois Cowles Harrison; Mr. and Mrs. Richard M. Powers; Mr. and Mrs. A. Ernest Straughn, II; Clear Springs Land Company L.L.C.; The James Luffman Fund through the Community Foundation; Lisa and Robert Rath; Peggy Spirakis; Tampa Electric Company; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph S. Buck; Sue and Randy Bentley; Mrs. John F. Collins; Dr. and Mrs. Thomas McLaughlin; Susan M. Spelios; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Macey; C.B. and Dixie Myers; Terry and Julius Aulisio; Wayne and Pat Ezell; Brian R. Propp; Mr. and Mrs. Mark Sessums; Catherine and Daniel E. Stetson; Sheryll and Carl Strang; Marilee Truitt; Diane Van Dusen; Mischelle Anderson; James W. and Sandra J. Robinson; Bill and Ruby Stinson; and Carmelita Amann, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2002.18
  • Miriam Schapiro, Canadian-American (1923-2015), The Poet, 1983, Acrylic & fabric collage on canvas, Museum Purchase with donations by Mr. & Mrs. Rhett Barker; Sue Bentley; Mr. & Mrs. W. Wm. Ellsworth, Jr.; Mr. & Mrs. Tip Fowler; Dr. Jane Carver Holmes; Mr. & Mrs. Bob Macey; Dr. & Mrs. Tom McLaughlin; Norma Roth; Dr. & Mrs. David Taxdal; Anne T. Tucker; Mr. & Mrs. Jim Weeks; Barbara Fowler Wilson; Carol & Steven Boyington; Kristen Carlson; Dan Gunter; Lois Harrison; Lisa & Robert Rath; Terri & Joe D’Orsaneo; Dr. & Mrs. John Fargher; Bonnie Franks; Wendy Hall; Alfred & Lucille Pfund; Dr. & Mrs. James Rogers; Catherine & Daniel Stetson; Diane Van Dusen; the Docent Acquisition Fund; the Friends of the Polk Museum of Art; and the Kent Harrison Memorial Acquisition Fund, Dedicated to The Muses of the Polk Museum of Art on the Occasion of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary, 2016, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2000.7

Exhibitions and Programs

The Polk Museum of Art host traveling and original permanent collection exhibitions that rotate throughout the year. In addition, the Museum has permanent exhibitions, including “Spirits: African and Oceanic Art of the Dr. Alan and Linda Rich Collection,”  “Material World: A Global Family Portrait,” and “Hungry Planet: What the World Eats.” The Museum also dedicates one of their galleries to students enrolled in the Polk County School systems, hosting 9-12 exhibitions of student art a year, and a gallery for local, emerging artists.

In addition to our exhibitions, the Polk Museum of Art provides a variety of free programs, including tours, gallery lectures, virtual programming, educational programs, hands-on activities, and more. In addition, the Museum collaborates with additional community individuals and organizations to provide educational free and paid programming, including lectures, tours, concerts, and more. The Museum also maintains an online blog, eMUSEings, and continually adds online resources that are free and accessible to the public.

About the Museum

The Polk Museum of Art is located at 800 E Palmetto Street, Lakeland, Florida. The Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Contact Information: (863) 279-6764. Connect with us online at PolkMuseumofArt.org, Facebook, and Instagram.

On View and Upcoming Exhibitions

“American Impressionism: Treasures from the Daywood Collection”

On view through October 24, 2021 | PolkMuseumofArt.org/Impressionism

This Summer and Fall, the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College presents audiences with an incomparable peek not merely into the incredible story of Impressionism’s rise in the United States but also into the influential world of private collecting. “American Impressionism: Treasures from the Daywood Collection” features 41 rarely-seen Impressionist paintings originally from the private collection of Arthur Dayton and Ruth Woods Dayton (whose surnames combine to create the collection’s portmanteau name: “Day-Wood”). Celebrated as patrons of the arts in West Virginia and as consequential collectors of American art, the Daytons developed a fine art collection that exceeded 200 works. This extraordinary and beautiful exhibition exemplifies how the support of patrons like the Daytons helped American Impressionists claim their niche in the art world, allowing them to hone their crafts, survive as artists, and find national acclaim at the turn of the 20th century.

“Finding Meaning Within: The Photography of John Pinderhughes

November 13, 2021February 24, 2022

John Pinderhughes has established himself over the past half-century as the ultimate observer and narrator of the communities around him. This extraordinary retrospective exhibition, years in the making, showcases Pinderhuges’ broad reportorial eye and his ability to find meaning and value in everything — and every person — he photographs.

“The Art of the Highwaymen: From the Woodsby Family Collection”

February 12, 2022May 22, 2022

Starting in the 1950s, a period when America was still in the throes of segregation, a prodigious group of African-American painters who plied their trade painting in Florida’s landscapes, known as the Highwaymen, produced more than 200,000 works, and achieved widespread popularity in the process. This exhibition revisits the Highwaymen, examining their legacy and studying the complete story of their rise, seeking answers for their unexpected mass appeal. 

“Rodin: Contemplation and Dreams: Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections”

June 25, 2022October 29, 2022

Celebrated as the greatest sculptor of the 19th century, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) revived for the modern world a new appreciation for the ageless beauty of bronze sculpture, mastering and modernizing a technique long associated with ancient Greek art. At the same time, with works like The Thinker and The Gates of Hell, he breathed new emotional and psychic life into the human figure as never seen before in sculpture. Forgoing idealization for astonishingly naturalistic representation, Rodin created sculptures that draw their power from physical and psychological truth, capturing human pathos, drama, tragedy, mindfulness, and hope through the sculpted form. The largest installation of sculptures in the Museum’s history — with more than 40 of Rodin’s works filling the Museum’s main galleries — this incredible exhibition brings one of art history’s most famous and most renowned French masters to Florida.

 

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SOURCE Florida Southern College

Angelia S. Rico

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