Away From The Beach: The Art Galleries Of Florida

On January 16, 2012 by Kevin Forde

Sure, you can spend your time in Floridasipping cocktails while sun bathing on South Beach, but wouldn’t you feel a bit guilty? After all, just think of all that great culture you’re missing out on. OK, maybe you’re probably thinking, what culture? After all, isn’t Florida all theme parks and beach holidays? Yes, it certainly is, but that’s not all there is to the Sunshine State, for, behind the bikinis, Botox and boob jobs, lies something equally, eh, artistic.

Florida is actually a heaving, culture-soaked  mess of galleries and museums, so next time you think of hitting Paris or Milan for a spot of cultural sophistication, why not go to one of these little wonders instead:

Museum of Modern Art, Jacksonville

The current incarnation of the Modern Art Museum opened its doors in 2003 and has been dedicated to presenting all kinds of innovative and wonderful exhibitions by the world’s finest modern art inspired folk.  It is not only one of Florida’s largest art institutions but is also one of the largest in the South East of the States.

It’s actually been going since way back in 1923 but had something of  a peripatetic existence for much of that time before finally finding a home in 1999 in the Western Union Telegraph Building in Hemming Plaza.  After a bit of paint and a general touch it finally re-opened its doors fully in 2003 (see pic above).  For the next few months MOCA will be focusing on the seminal art of the sixties in something it’s creatively titled, Refocus: The Art of the 1960s.

Weatherburn Fine Art Gallery

It’s all well and good getting yourself lost in the modern artistic world of baked beans and pencil sharpeners but what if you wanted something more traditional? Florida has plenty of artistic havens all over its lands, one of the most famous and complete is Weatherburn Gallery the in Bayfront Place Naples.

The gallery opened its doors in November 1998 in a small showroom in the south of old Naples. At that time, there were few fine art galleries throughout Naples – less than 30 in fact. Then Naples became one of the fastest growing cities in America which had the odd side-effect of making it the number one small art market in America, with the Weatheburn Gallery at its forefront.  You can find splendid local, national and international artists in this charming establishment which looks set to only continue its remarkably quick growth.

Bass Museum of Art

Miami is known for all sorts of things, sun, sand and bikinis so small they seem to defy the laws of physics but few people would think of the word art when they think of Miami. The thing is it’s positively overflowing with the stuff. Just check this link out.  It’s not all pretty paintings either, take the Bass Museum with its collections of antiquities, art anchors and educational programs. It was founded in 1963 with just 500 works today it has over 3,000.

This is just a trace of a taste of the all the splendid cultural activities a Florida holiday has to offer, or you could just stick around the beach.