Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cummer Art Museum

I spent the day in Jacksonville, Florida, primarily touring the Cummer Art Museum and gardens.  I highly recommend this gallery if you like visiting art galleries.  There are hundreds of exhibits on display in the well curated rooms within the gallery.  On display are works from Roman and Greek sculptors as well as pieces by Rodin.  There is a good selection of work by Flemish, Dutch, French, German and Italian painters.  American painters and sculptors are well represented.  On display is a work named VANITAS by de Claeuw.  Originally part of a vast collection owned by a Jewish art dealer, Goudstikker, in the Netherlands, the painting was stolen along with the rest of his collection during the nazi raids during WWII.  Purchased by the Cummer museum in the 1960's and later identified as stolen property by the heirs of the art dealer, the museum and the family came to an agreement and the painting remains on display at the museum.  The informational plaque posted next to the painting tells the entire story of how this painting was obtained and pays homage to the art dealer and his descendants.  Very well done.  Please take time to visit the gardens behind the museum.  The gardens were part of the original Cummer mansion and were preserved during the construction of the new building.  The gardens overlook the St. Johns River and offer a wonderfully fragrant spot for quiet reflection or day dreaming.  

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