Since the year 2000, the Gadsden Arts Center & Museum has been growing and developing its Permanent Collection, which now maintains and preserves 172 works of art by 42 artists, and focuses primarily on contemporary art from the Southeastern United States. The Permanent Collection includes an ever-growing visual repository of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and assemblage pieces, and within the collection are significant collections of Southern Vernacular Art, and work by artists in this group, including Thornton Dial, Sr., Eddy Mumma, O.L. Samuels, Purvis Young, and Mose Tolliver.
The strength and cohesion of the collection are due in great part to Lou and Calynne Hill of Tallahassee and Josh Feldstein of Gainesville. These generous donors have made significant gifts to the collection over the past decade, which have allowed Gadsden Arts to create subsets of the collection to travel to other institutions. Exhibitions from the Gadsden Arts Permanent Collection have traveled to the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC, the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD, and the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs, FL. The Southern Vernacular Art Collection is educating the public, well beyond Florida, on the work of artists who were formerly overlooked, and further fulfills the ethical obligation of a collecting institution to share this artwork with other communities. For collection loan information, contact Curator Angie Barry at 850.627.5021.
Behind the scenes tours of collections areas are available by appointment, call Executive Director Grace Robinson at 850.627.5020.