The Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art is located in Gainesville, Florida. Visitors to the museum will enjoy the wide variety of art collections including Asian, African, photography, contemporary, representations of oceanic and ancient American art, and an expanding collection of natural history works put on paper.
The Harn Museum of Art is an important part of the University of Florida. The museum was and in September of 1990, and has been able to serve a variety of people with comprehensive range of programing. The Museum takes its name to commemorate Samuel Peebles Harn. His wife and daughters along with their husbands and grandchildren gifted the funding for the building of the Museum. Between the three generations, over three million dollars was generated for the museum’s construction in 1983. It was the biggest private bequest given to the University during that time.
David A.Cofrin’s family funded an addition to the museum in 2000. The addition was eighteen thousand square-feet of space to house contemporary art. In 2005 the Mary Ann Harn Cofrin Pavilion was opened. It was named to commemorate one of Samuel P. Harn’s daughters. The Pavilion showcases six thousand feet of space for exhibits and includes classroom spaces and the Camellia Court Café.
The Museum opened yet another addition in 2012. This addition was twenty-six thousand square feet and added to the Asian Art Wing. It was meant to be used for storage, conservation, and exhibition of the Asian art collection.
The Samuel P. Harn Museum hosts a variety of exhibits, most temporary, that are changed out frequently. There are a few ongoing exhibits that remain all the time.
ClayCurvyCool- This exhibit is based on Japanese ceramics. The art on display shows the large variety of innovations, transformations, and reinterpretations of these traditional ceramics. New conceptualization of form through processes, surface treatments, materials and firing methods are displayed. The artists in this exhibition include both established and outsiders. This exhibition is possible through the Cofrin Curator of Asian Art Endowment.
American Abstraction- This exhibition features American Artists that are representative example from a diverse, large variety of movements that defined abstraction beginning in 1945. Artists from these decades between then and now struggled with capturing meaning by artistic expression, the power of shape and color, the art of illusion, and the possibilities that came with experimenting with gesture and form.
Elusive Spirits: African Masquerades- This exhibition displays thirty masks from the collection of the Museum along with other works loaned out from private collections. Most of the masks originate from West Africa. The masks from the middle of the twentieth century to early in the twenty-first century display the continuity of making masks but also highlight new techniques and directions used for mask making.
The exhibition explores the process of change through the components of the mask and performance. It examines the religious and spiritual principles of masking.
Highlights from the Asian Collection- Four core galleries along with two concentration galleries contain the collections of the Asian Art collection. Over seven hundred artworks are highlighted in the collection including art from China, India, Japan, Korea, and South/Southeast Asia. Some of the highlights of this collection are on permanent display.
· Ceramics: Avenues of Exchange- This display contains ceramics from Central, South and Southeast Asia, China and Japan. They represent the Silk Road and Silk Maritime routes along with areas of new contact with other cultures.
· Wit and Wonder of Kogo Incense Boxes: The Sandra G. Saltzman Collection- These boxes are small and usually house incense or blended aromatics for use in ceremonies.
· Sculptures: Religion in the Round- This display highlights sculpture all through the Asian continent that are made from a variety of mediums such as ivory, wood, and stone. These sculptures date back to the fourth and fifth centuries. It explores traditions steeped in religion.
The Museum offers several programs for those interested in learning more about the art collections kept by the museum. Some of these programs include:
· Lectures and Talks
· Museum Nights
· Family Programs
· School Programs
· Performances and Films
· Art Camps
· Displays: Other spaces.
More information on these programs can be found on the website.
Docent Program- Harn Museum offers a program for docents who are volunteer tour guides. They must complete two training sessions a month on a continuous basis and are required to lead at least twenty tours a year. The docent program requires copious amount of time for study and is a long-term commitment.
The Museum Store offers a variety of items to commemorate a visit to the museum such as local art, jewelry, culture themed items, and games for kids.
The Camellia Court Café offers lunch, coffee and desserts with a view of the landscaped gardens.
3259 Hull Road, Gainesville, FL 32611, Phone: 352-392-9826