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The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is committed to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 works of art on a riverfront campus offers more than 95,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.

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Collectors’ Choice: Featured Collectors, Robert and Thelma Nied



Written by Caitlyn Cooney, Curatorial Intern

bob and thelma

Nied Alder Carr

John Joseph Cotman, The Alder Carr on the Norwich River, 1877, Watercolor

The personal connection between a collector and their artworks, be it a marker of a significant memory, a part of their relationships with people, or a reminder of their cultural history, is not only necessary, but serves as the core motivation for their collecting. For collectors Robert and Thelma Nied, that personal connection to a work stems from their relationship with the artist, or their knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the artistic process that went into the making of a work. Because of this connection and investigative passion for each and every work they have accumulated, the Nieds still have every piece they have ever bought, making for an impressive and well-rounded collection.

Their history with the Cummer Museum has been a strong one, as their collecting career really set off upon their moving to Jacksonville and meeting former Cummer director, Robert Schlageter. Though they had collected various smaller pieces before their involvement with the museum, their collection grew exponentially after the fact. In 1981, they bought their first major painting from a Cummer Fundraiser, a landscape by Reynolds Beal. They then expanded their collection and their connections to the Cummer, frequenting events and fundraisers, eventually focusing their efforts on supporting local Jacksonville artists. With this, their personal connections to the pieces they acquired grew, as well as their level of community involvement. Mrs. Nied states, “I think it adds another dimension when you know the artist. You know their stories.”

Nied St. Augustine

Reynolds Beal, Matanzas River, St. Augustine, Florida, 1919, Oil

Their interest and passion for the arts grew thereafter as Mr. Nied enrolled at Florida State College at Jacksonville and the University of North Florida upon retiring. There, he immersed himself into his artistic passion, studying both Art History and Art Processes. Mr. Nied stated, “I’m not good at art, but I enjoy it, I can see an image that I appreciate, and I can appreciate what the artist did to create it, and it adds to my enjoyment.” This passion for collecting and supporting the local arts community and understanding the value in supporting and collecting fine art is evident in many of the works exhibited in Collector’s Choice. Their painting by Reynold’s Beal entitled Matanzas River, St. Augustine, Florida (1919) captures the local culture in its vibrant use of color and landscape subject matter. The Impressionistic style lends itself to the Floridian scenery, characterizing the waterways and unique boats St. Augustine is known for.

Nied Castle

Thomas Miles Richardson, Pembroke Castle, Date unknown, Pencil and Watercolor

The artistic culture of Jacksonville is something the Nieds have become a part of, woven into the creative fabric that makes Jacksonville the city that it is. The Nieds plan to leave works to the Cummer, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, and Florida State College at Jacksonville. “We’ve been fortunate,” says Mr. Nied. Mrs. Nied added, “It is really important to support the arts. If you want to live in a wonderful city, you have to have culture.” It is collectors like those featured that allow our culture to thrive, and our community to grow.


The exhibition Collectors’ Choice: Inside the Hearts and Minds of Regional Collectors will be on view from May 17th to September 14th, 2014.

For more information, please visit the Cummer’s website at

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Collectors’ Choice: Featured Collector, Cullen Hammond



Written by Caitlyn Cooney, Curatorial Intern



Hammond Painting In the Woods

Philip Evergood, Painting in the Woods, 1952, Pencil on Paper

Part of the thrill of collecting is the process of finding a piece: negotiating prices, working with dealers, going to auctions, and hunting for the treasure. A collector falls in love with a piece, an artist, a movement, and embarks on the adventure to find such works. Cullen Hammond has acquired his nearly 60 pieces within his collection by exploring and hunting through galleries and auction houses throughout the South, many of which sparked his interest in early to mid-20th century American art.

Hammond’s interest in art began immediately upon his graduation from Law School after he was amazed at the results of a restoration done on a family member’s artwork. For the past 40 years, his passion for collecting has only grown stronger. His strive to find treasures in various auction houses and galleries hasn’t stopped at the object, but rather inspired him to dig deeper, and learn about the artworks, artists, and movements associated with them. This research led him to understand and appreciate the works with his collection, three of which are currently on view within the exhibition.


Hammond Interior

Fairfield Porter, Interior with Christmas Tree, 1971, Lithograph

The range of pieces in Hammond’s collection speaks to the renaissance seen in American art at the turn of the century, as alternate media from fine oil paintings or bronze sculptures were becoming more widely accepted. Each of Hammond’s featured works represent a different stylistic moment within American Modern art. His Fairfield Porter lithograph entitled Interior with Christmas Tree (1971) embodies the craze for printmaking and experimentation by many artists with lithography seen in the 1960s and 70s.

Charles Sheeler’s Chartres Cathedral  (1946) reinterprets the traditional European depictions of cathedrals in the impressionistic style. Sheeler’s loose brushstrokes speak to that movement, yet revive it in his use of watercolor instead of oil. Thus, Sheeler presents a reinterpretation of a traditional European subject and style within a Modern American culture.

Hammond Chartres

Charles Sheeler, Chartres Cathedral, 1946, Watercolor

As evident from the featured pieces, his collection includes many works on paper. “Oil paintings tend to be more expensive” he states, “and I have a budget!” As a collector, Hammond’s goal is not so much to collect the most expensive, prominent artists, but rather to find pieces, or “treasures,” that mean something to him. Each of these pieces speak to an aspect of the golden years in American Modern art, and it is Hammond’s passion to have discovered each one. It is his ambition to keep discovering and to keep learning in the future.



The exhibition Collectors’ Choice: Inside the Hearts and Minds of Regional Collectors will be on view from May 17th to September 14th, 2014.

For more information, please visit the Cummer’s website at

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Collectors’ Choice: Featured Collector, Dr. Diane DeMell Jacobsen



Written by Caitlyn Cooney, Curatorial Intern

Alexander Krisosheiw, First Kiss, 2013, Mirror Polished Bronze

As cultural institutions, Museums exist based on the premise that they are responsible for the exhibition and preservation of our visual history. The collection of objects and motivation for exhibiting select artworks lies in significance of art in its representation of a culture, a history, and a visual framework for our world. Diane Jacobsen values artwork for this very reason, proactively collecting pieces in order to understand, preserve, and display our cultural history. For Jacobsen, art is something that outlives generations, lifetimes, cultures, and eras, standing as a valuable form of creative documentation. She states, “Hippocrates, the Greek physician who lived circa 460 BC-375 BC, explained in succinct terms the importance and enduring quality of art. His quote was: ‘Ars Longa, Vita Brevis,’ which translates ‘Art is Long, Life is Short.’ I collect art and share it with the broader community because I value art, and my hope is that by showing others, they will appreciate it too. While art represents a snapshot of our visual culture and helps us all to better understand the economic, political, cultural, and social phenomenon of our times, it also transcends them. Art endures and has a civilizing effect on societies, representing the cherished past and hopes for the future. Thus, ‘Art is Long.’”

Seymour Joseph Guy, A Bedtime Story, 1878, oil on canvas

Jacobsen’s collection ranges from the late 19th century to present day, including both sculptures and works on canvas. Collectors’ Choice features several of her most prominent American masterpieces, representing the quintessential aspects of their respective artistic eras. Not to mention, her pieces serve as some of the most captivating, magnetic pieces throughout the entirety of the show, speaking not only to her taste and passions as a collector, but also to the movements and cultural history represented in each piece.

Jacobsen Summer Morning

Edward Moran, Summer Morning, New York Bay, 1872-3, O

Edward Moran’s Summer Morning, New York Bay (1872-73) is a prime example of Jacobsen’s efforts as a collector to feature key pieces of a historic moment. The painting features the essential stylistic aspects of American landscape painting at the time, incorporating inspiration from the Hudson River School and tonalism in his precise rendering of light and form.  Moran became famous for capturing the Maritime history of the United States, and for this reason, he stands out as a shining example of Jacobsen’s strive for historical and cultural preservation.

Jacobsen Vase

Edward Lycett, Aesthetic Movement Covered Vase, c. 1886-92, Ceramic, Enamel and Guilding

Jacobsen states, “Preserving our art treasures, and for me specifically our American art masterpieces, is important so that our future generations can appreciate the richness of our great cultural heritage. We are all here for such a brief moment in time, but art endures.” Though she has comprised her inspiring collection of some of the most aesthetically impressive pieces and noteworthy artists of the last  century or so, her main impact on our community is that of her efforts to preserve and showcase our history, both in the represented artistic movements and artists, as well as in the subjects some depict. As a collector, her efforts encourage our society to value the art of their cultural history as well as support their artistic community every day. She serves as an inspiration for cultural preservation and the appreciation for art in general.



 The exhibition Collectors’ Choice: Inside the Hearts and Minds of Regional Collectors will be on view until September 14th, 2014.

For more information, please visit The Cummer’s website at

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What’s Blooming? – Nierembergia



By Liliana Cerquozzi

Photo by Amber Sesnick

The nierembergia can be seen in both blue and white here in The Cummer Gardens. It makes it a habit to grow neatly and can be used in the front of beds or borders to give your garden a crisp look. The nierembergia is hardy yet tender coming from South America. Their leaves are linear and only up to an inch long while their flowers shape into shallow cups 1-2 inches across. Aside from the blue and white found in The Cummer’s Garden, they can also be found in violet and lilac. Known to bloom in the late Spring until early Fall, right now is the perfect time to catch the nierembergia in The Gardens.

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This Seat’s Taken



The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is hosting a performance written and directed by Barbara Colaciello on Tuesday, July 29 at 7 p.m. “This Seat’s Taken” is a new play by Barbara Colaciello that tells the story of Rosa Parks and the event that became the tipping point of the Civil Rights Movement. This performance is in connection with A Commemoration of the Civil Rights Movement: Photography from the High Museum of Art, on view at The Cummer through November 2, 2014.

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Barbara Colaciello received her BFA from Rider University and earned her Actor’s Equity card at the age of 20 performing in summer stock at Bucks County Playhouse, PA. Barbara worked with Andy Warhol for six years at the Flux Factory as the Advertising Director of Interview Magazine. Further pursuing her passion for acting, she studied at the Warren Robertson Studio in NYC and at Lee Strasberg’s Real Stage. After her Warhol years, she worked with her brother, Vanity Fair Magazine writer Bob Colacello, for 10 years managing his many projects.

“This Seat’s Taken” will take place in The Cummer’s Hixen Auditorium and is free to the public. For more information or to make your required reservation click HERE or call 904.356.6857.

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Collector’s Choice: Featured Collector, Helen Lane



Written by Caitlyn Cooney, Curatorial Intern



When viewing a work of art, it is common that the piece may evoke memories of an experience, a place, or significant people in the viewers’ lives. For collector Helen Lane, these relationships serve as motivation in her artwork selections.

Auguste Rodin, Portrait of Rose Beuret, 19th c., Bronze

Auguste Rodin, Portrait of Rose Beuret, 19th c., Bronze

Her collection of 19th and early 20th century works contain notable artists and artworks that characterize many of the movements of the era, as well as moments or people in her life. Each of the pieces featured in the exhibition are significant to Lane on a personal level, evoking memories of her childhood, family, friends, and personal experiences.            

Lane is an example of a collector who started later in life. She and her late husband, Edward, had both always shared a passion for art and took an interest in understanding it, though collecting was not always a part of their lives. Instead, they took time to listen and learn about movements, artists, and the historical context of pieces they were interested in. For Lane, the history and context in which the artists were working and their creative intentions were the most important aspects of understanding the works, as well as art in general. “But when we started to buy,” says Mrs. Lane, “then we were hooked.”

Lane Mere et Enfant

Nicolas Tarkhoff, Mere et Enfant, c. 1900-1910, Oil

Each of the three pieces featured in Collector’s Choice are lively, expressive, and moving in their own ways. Featuring both sculpture and painting, each piece was created within the same stylistic era, capturing the expressive brushstrokes and sculptural forms that characterized the Impressionist age. Though each of the subjects is different, ranging from the domestic sphere to architecture, they all speak to Lane’s passions and memories in a very specific way. A notable piece in her collection is Nicolas Tarkhoff’s Mere et Enfant  (c. 1900-1910).  The painting speaks to Lane’s personal relationships and memories of her family, children, grandchildren. The bond between the mother and child is captured in the play of color throughout the composition, highlighting the figures and blurring the delineation between their garments, while the strong use of line unites the two figures in their embrace.

Lane Venice

Raoul Dufy, Venice, Early 20th c., Oil

When one looks around Lane’s home at the collection that she and her husband have accumulated over the years, their passion and personal connection to the objects is evident. There are objects that remind them of their siblings, parents, children, grandchildren, friends, memories, experiences, and the like. They are not only pieces of artwork to be admired, but rather objects that have become visual reminders of shared memories, and have become friends themselves. For that reason, collecting has become a deeply embedded aspect within the fabric of the Lanes’ lives, and each object serves as a reminder of that. 






 The exhibition Collectors’ Choice: Inside the Hearts and Minds of Regional Collectors will be on view from May 17th to September 14th, 2014. 

For more information, please visit the Cummer’s website at

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