State of Excellence: Treasures from Florida Private Collections

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ORLANDO, January 12, 2018 – This spring, Central Florida will have a unique opportunity to get a glimpse of private art collections by collectors from all over the state of Florida. State of Excellence: Treasures from Florida Private Collections opens on January 26 with a reception starting at 6:30pm for OMA Members and the general public. The opening reception will feature a cash bar, complimentary soft drinks, and free admission for Members. Visitors only pay $10. The exhibition will be on view from January 26 through April 29, 2018.

State of Excellence brings a new level of recognition to the depth and quality of collecting in the State,” said Glen Gentele, Director & CEO. Organized by the Orlando Museum of Art, the exhibition is drawn from some of the finest collections of European and American art held privately in Florida.

Highlights include paintings by 17th century Dutch masters, 19th and 20th century French and American Impressionists and 20th century European and American Modernists and Abstract Expressionists. Sculpture is represented with exceptional bronzes by Auguste Rodin, Antoine Bourdelle and Käthe Kollwitz. Decorative art includes examples of French Art Nouveau furniture and glass, American Arts and Crafts furniture, American Art pottery and early Steuben Glass. A special focus within the exhibition is historic photography. Selected from four extensive collections in the state, the 48 vintage photographs on view offer a mini survey of the medium from its early decades in the 1840s through the mid-20th century.

“Collecting art is a passionate and thoughtful enterprise. For most of the collectors whose works are shown here, the pursuit of acquiring art is an added joyous vocation; for some it has become their primary occupation. This exhibition is grounded in their willingness to share their passion and these outstanding works of art from their collections with the public,” says Dr. Jennifer Hardin, the exhibition’s guest curator.

These collectors have a wide variety of profiles. Many are philanthropists and benefactors of cultural institutions and art museums, and some are even museum builders. Some acquire with spontaneity, yielding to impulse; others study intensely before making a purchase. Still others rely on their deep knowledge of a specific field, having collected for decades. Few collect as an investment, and few have a dedicated art advisor. They trust their taste and understanding of art and the market in their area of interest.

This exhibition is the first to present a broad, statewide survey of significant collections of American and European art. There are many reasons for, and advantages of, collecting historic art: for some it is the thrill of the search and discovery, as well as belonging to a community and sharing works for educational purposes; for others, it reflects their personality and specific interest in a medium, time or place; still others collect as a means by which to understand history.

“The Orlando Museum of Art believes it is important to recognize this aspect of collecting in the State and the contribution these collectors make to Florida’s diverse and vibrant cultural life. State of Excellence is an opportunity for the Museum to educate and inspire others about this fulfilling pursuit,” says Hansen Mulford, the Museum’s curator.

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