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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 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.

 This program would not be possible without the generous support of Florida Blue Free Tuesdays at the Cummer Museum.

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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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Healing Through the Arts: Part III



Part three showcases the profound effects that opportunities for creativity have allowed a young girl to thrive in. Her experience with painting has amazingly helped to alleviate common symptoms of autism.

A Rainbow Artist is Discovered

Dozens of amazing stories have emerged out of the MOCA and The Cummer Museum Autism art camps, but one of the most riveting is about a young girl who is non-verbal, full of stimulatory behaviors, and could rarely ever sit and attend.  Profoundly affected by autism, Gentry Groshell was at the time twelve years old and her mother Amy had witnessed Gentry painting at school one day.  Amy noted that when Gentry had a paint brush in her hand and was painting, the constant cacophony of stemming began melting away.

Amy had heard about the program at MOCA and called to see if Gentry would be able to attend the classes if accompanied by an aid. The staff agreed to give it a try and the result was stunning: each session found Gentry attending to the task of painting for longer periods of time, and her art ability progressed rapidly.

Transformation and Freedom

One day while visiting the art camp, I observed Gentry painting. It was the most unbelievable transformation in a child with such severe autism that I’ve ever witnessed.  The staff put out paints next to a huge canvas and Gentry grabbed a brush, honed in, and began a masterpiece with vibrant colors sweeping across the canvas. Sometimes she would abandon the brush and use her hands to create the image of her self-expression.  The act of painting became a symphony of movements, bouts of giddy laughter, and deep intense focus producing vivid lively paintings in colorful hues. Abruptly, she would smack the brush down and leap out of her chair which signaled she was finished.

After Gentry had completed a painting, she seemed calmer and more at ease.  The act of painting physically and mentally freed her of the stimulatory behaviors which had such a firm grip on her. During the painting process, she took full rein of the out-of-control impulses and endless energy, allowing her to hyper-focus on her creation.  Gentry’s parents had her paintings professionally matted and embellished with elaborate frames which they displayed throughout their beautiful home. When visiting the Groshell home, I would rave over Gentry’s paintings and could tell that she took great pride in her work by the immediate shift in her behavior. There was a certain twinkle in her eye–an indicator she had cued into my positive compliments regarding her paintings.

Before long, Gentry had produced so many paintings they were stacked up all over the Groshell home. It was then that Amy’s husband Howard found a venue in Jacksonville to have an exhibition of Gentry’s paintings. Hundreds came out to attend and support this first exhibition.  Next, dozens of her paintings donned the Duval County Public Library in an exhibition featured throughout the library.

Lasting Effects

Fast forward:  Gentry is now 16 years old. A few weeks ago, local art gallery Gallery 725 featured dozens of Gentry’s paintings. The event was a huge success, raising over $5,000 to benefit the MOCA Rainbow Artist Series.Amy has also created a jewelry line using Gentry’s art with the proceeds going to Autism art programs.

 Through art, Gentry discovered and unleashed her creative spirit and self expression. This wonderful story transpired because of the ingenuity of the artist/autism moms and the collaboration between The HEAL Foundation, MOCA and The Cummer Museum. A child’s life was forever changed and through this discovery, Gentry has found her gift in the arts. Gentry’s future has many great paintings yet to fill massive frames to be displayed proudly in homes and galleries.

The HEAL Foundation:  HEALing Every Autistic Life, was founded in 2004 by Bobby and Leslie Weed in collaboration with pediatrician Julie Buckley, MD, all parents of daughters with autism. The HEAL Foundation is a local non-profit organization in northeast Florida serving individuals and families living with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Foundation serves as an outreach organization and has awarded nearly one million dollars in grants to support camps, education, community programs, ESE classroom enhancements, educational seminars, and also hosts several fun recreational and social events for families.


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