Cummer Resources

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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Letter from the Director, Hope McMath




Nudity in art.  The role of museums.  Artistic freedom.  Public funding of arts and culture.  The individual creative voice.  Collective will.

These are all topics that have been at the center of a debate in our community that arose from a work currently on display in Angela Strassheim’s exhibition at MOCA Jacksonville.   The media has covered the issue. Artists and the cultural community have mobilized.  Political and personal opinions have been expressed on all sides.  It is a story that will continue to play out over the coming days and weeks, through what I hope will be a meaningful conversation.  The kind of conversation that is integral to the experience of art.

As I have engaged in the conversation and expressed our solidarity with the leadership at MOCA Jacksonville, I have also been reflecting on the broader context that shelters the details of the current controversy.

Questions have been raised around the portrayal of the nude human form in art.  History is filled with art works expressing the human condition through the nude form.  More specifically, there are masterworks across millennia and geographic boundaries that illustrate the state of motherhood; being found in works ranging from the Venus of Willendorf’s swollen belly and pendulous breasts to Mary nursing the Christ child in thousands of Renaissance paintings and sculptures.   Museums, houses of worship, and street corners across the globe are filled with such images.  There is hardly a gallery at the Cummer Museum that is not populated by the nude body.

Questions have also been raised about the appropriateness of access to such images by children. Education through art is a cornerstone of  the mission of the vast majority of museums in this country. The two art museums in our community, combined, see over 50,000 children a year.  In my twenty years at this Museum, I have had thousands of interactions with children viewing works of art that show the nude body, depict places they have yet to visit, and express religious or cultural ideals different from those they have so far known.  These are special moments for learning and they happen every day on school tours, during family visits to the galleries, and between young people themselves.

Museums are among those special places where all opinions are welcome.  The works of art we preserve and exhibit are diverse in subject and style, inevitably conjuring a wide variety of responses.  People of all ages and experiences freely express their likes, dislikes, elation, confusion, joy, and disdain.  It is the freedom to create, exhibit, and discuss the works that is the foundation of museums in this country, beautifully reflecting the individual rights we all enjoy.

It is good that our community is having this conversation.  We should all demand artistic excellence, fiscal responsibility, and measurable impact from all of our cultural institutions.  Our process for receiving public funding requires this, and the partnership with all those who financially support our organizations is one marked by transparency, common goals, and mutual respect.

We should also recognize how tenuous the right to artistic freedom can be.  There have been nations and regimes that not long ago determined what art was legitimate and deemed the rest “degenerate”, using art to feed fear and discontent.  I am proud to know that we find ourselves in a place that honors divergent opinions and provides many platforms for the expression of those ideas.

So, today I am thankful for the father who brings his daughter to visit each new exhibit, for the volunteer Docents who facilitate meaningful conversations with children of all ages, for the members, donors, and partners who lift up our cultural institutions through their engagement and financial support, for artists who give expression to our common humanity through their individual experiences, and for leaders, in all sectors, who work hard, stand strong, and have an inspirational vision for our community.  I am thankful for the opportunity each and every day to see the powerful role that the arts play in bridging differences and celebrating what makes us unique.

To see more about Angela Strassheim’s exhibition, click here.

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Champagne and Shopping: Gift Guide



The Cummer Museum’s annual Champagne and Shopping event is happening this Wednesday, December 3rd and Thursday, December 4th, with extended shop hours on Wednesday (open till 7 p.m.). Plus, shopping is some much better with a glass of complimentary bubbly in hand! Make sure to come by and check out all the wonderful, unique gifts the Cummer Shop has to offer this holiday season, including some by the great artisans below.



Statement necklaces are so in this season and Constance Beresford is way ahead of the game. Starting her business in 2006, with a background in floral and interior design, she has been using her keen eye for color and style to craft gorgeous one of a kind jewelry pieces. Stop by the Museum, (no admission required when visiting the Shop) to peruse Constance’s ever-evolving collection.




Sarah Oliver handbags are another shop favorite that come with a unique story. Each bag is made of hand knitted wool (and then felted to give it a thicker look) by a group of Senior Citizens known as The Purlettes. To learn more about their group, click here.




Just when you thought you didn’t want to buy another tie for your guy…  Check out the very unique ties from Swell Fellow for an interesting gift for your ‘fella.






Author, Jeffery Spear, will be at the Museum during Champagne and Shopping signing copies of his wonderful cookbook, First Coast Heritage. Grab a copy for your favorite foodie and share with him or her about dishes from Jacksonville’s past and present.





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Art for Two: Wondrous Watercolor!




Saturday | 10:30 a.m. to Noon
Members $15 per pair, Non-Members $20 per pair

After exploring the British Watercolors exhibition, students will work with crayons and watercolor paints to create a watercolor seascape.

Come make art with your little one and enjoy gallery and Garden visits on the second Saturday of every month.  Children ages 3 to 5 and their favorite adult. Class size is limited. For further information please call 904.355.0630 or email

Click HERE to register for this class.

(Some dates may be subject to change around major Holidays)

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Affinity Group: Spring 2015 Calendar of Events



Icons 1

Photo Credit: Debra Heuskin-Adloff

The Cummer Museum’s Affinity Groups offer Members unique opportunities to become more involved in the life of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens by exploring their own passions. Affinity Group Members participate in programs and special events related to the mission of each group. Each Affinity Group has its own board and special events, which support the mission of the Cummer Museum.

For more information about Affinity Groups or to pre-register for any of the events below, please contact Events & Programs at 904.899.6038 or

Cummelia and FOCUS Lunch & Tour on the Art of Abstract Expressionism
Wednesday, February 4
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. | FOCUS and Cummelia Members $35, Non-Member $45
Registration Required

FOCUS Evening and Lecture at Nocatee
Friday, February 20
6 p.m. | Free
Registration Required

FOCUS Bus Trip to the Harn Museum of Art – Monet and American Impressionism
Friday, February 27
FOCUS Members $170, Non-Members $195
Registration Required

FOCUS Medallion Cocktail Party at the home of Fred & Susan Schantz
Thursday, March 5
5:30 p.m.
Registration Required

FOCUS Nocatee Day at Cummer
Friday, April 3
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
No registration needed

FOCUS Celebrate The Rivers & Annual Meeting
GTM Research Reserve
Wednesday, April 15
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. | FOCUS Members $40, Non-Members $50
Registration Required

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Fifth Grade Garden Tours: Gardners by Design



Fifth graders step into a landscape architect’s shoes as they solve the problems of garden design. How do you blend a landscape and a built environment? How should it feel? Windy Hill Elementary Garden Tour17

Textures, shapes, colors, and symmetry are all elements that are part of good garden design. How do you deal with scale?

Windy Hill Elementary Garden Tour20

Unlike paintings, living things grow. Will this plant still maintain the designer’s intention when it is three times as big? 5th Grade Garden & Sculpture Tours15

Students plot sensory maps and solve the design challenge of a new addition. Your client has given you instructions to put a boat dock in the Cummer Gardens. How will you do this and maintain the integrity of the original design? Windy Hill Elementary Garden Tour09

Introducing students to careers in landscape architecture is all part of the new Fifth Grade Garden Tour.

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Buy a Brick, Leave a Legacy



Brick Collage

Please consider making your mark at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens by purchasing a donor brick today!

Make a lasting commitment to culture in our community by adding your name or the name of someone who has made a difference in your life to the Cummer Campus.  Purchase an engraved brick for the gathering plaza in the green lot directly across from the main Museum entrance. A brick would make the perfect gift for end-of-year giving, a holiday, or special event. Funds from brick purchases support our ongoing mission to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens, and education.

The Cummer Museum is a vital community partner that reaches out to diverse audiences through outstanding artistic offerings, dynamic learning experiences, and opportunities to participate in the beauty of the natural world. The Museum is an environment in which joy and discovery infuse all that we do. Arts, gardens, and education converge to create meaningful personal experiences and open a world of new possibilities. We honor our rich history, embrace the energy of our time, and commit to a vibrant future through the advancement of resources to grow and deepen our mission.

Click here to place your order online. If you prefer to order by phone or mail, please call Advancement at 904.899.6007. Thank you for your support!


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