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Polk Museum of Art
Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida
|Director||H. Alexander Rich|
The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is a private, non-profit, and nationally accredited art museum in Lakeland, Florida. It is a member of the Florida Association of Museums, is ranked among the top art museums in the state of Florida, and is a Smithsonian Affiliate. Admission to the museum is free to the general public. On June 1, 2017, the Polk Museum of Art, a private community museum, entered an affiliation agreement with Florida Southern College in order to advance the mission of both entities and better serve the community.
The museum was originally established by the Junior Welfare League in 1966 and called Imperial Youth Museum. It was renamed Polk Public Museum in 1969 as part of its expanded focus on art, history, and science. The museum's current name, Polk Museum of Art, was adopted as part of its first building campaign in the 1980s. The building was designed by architect Ernie Straughn and was completed in 1988.
Collections and Exhibitions
The Polk Museum of Art (PMoA) currently displays art from the Pre-Columbian era through the contemporary, featuring hundreds of works each year in a variety of exhibits that often revolve around a central theme. It boasts a permanent collection of over 2,500 works including student work, Pre-Columbian Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, Asian Art, African Art, European and American Decorative Arts, and the sculptures in its outdoor gardens. PMoA also dedicates much of its physical space to temporary exhibitions, including both local artwork and traveling exhibits, which provide diverse displays that include American folk art, modern masters, Japanese prints and textiles, African art, African American Art, a Moon Museum exhibit, and much more.
The Mission Statement of PMoA is that "The Polk Museum of Art enhances the lives of our varied communities by bringing people and art together." Because of this, the museum invests heavily in its Education Department and educational programming for both children and adults. Some of these initiatives include tours of the museum, art camps for children and families, and classes and workshops on subjects such as photography, drawing, and painting. There is also a program called "Meet Me at PMoA: Making Art Accessible to People with Dementia," where participants with dementia meet monthly to "create and discuss art." "Changing Lives Through Art" is the museum's outreach program, which aims to help at-risk members of the community, including teenage mothers and children in homeless shelters.
The free public charter school, Lakeland Montessori Middle is on the second floor.
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- Official site
- Florida Southern College
- Polk Museum of Art
- Video on Museum
- Description of sample exhibition
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- Official Facebook
- Straughn Trout Architects photographs
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