829 Riverside Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida 32204
Open: Sunday 12:00pm-4:00pm/Monday Closed/Tuesday & Friday 11:00am-9:00pm/Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday 11:00am-4:00pm
Fee: Adults $10.00/Seniors and Students (with valid ID) $6.00/Children under 5 and Members Free
I recently went Jacksonville, Florida while visiting relatives and spent time at the Cummer Museum which is in the Five Points section of the City. This small museum by the water offers galleries full of interesting art as well as beautiful gardens to stroll through when you are finished.
There were some interesting exhibitions to visit when we were there. The ‘Lewis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection’ showcased the artist’s works from glasses and tableware to a series of his famous lamps. These colorful works were sometimes lit so that you could see the intensity of the colors in the glass design.
The Louis Comfort Tiffany display
Another interesting exhibition in the museum was the ‘Innovation and Imagination: The Global Dialogue in Mid to Late 20th Century Art’ showing the shift of the art world innovations from Paris to New York following World War II. Pop Art, Cubism and Modern art were displayed and it showed a range of styles of the artists some borrowing from more famous counterparts.
We also enjoyed visiting the Permanent Collection of the museum. The Cummer Family Parlor showed the family’s taste in furnishings and decoration to their home. A lot of late Victorian furniture is shown here.
The small showing of works in the Ancient Art Gallery displayed art from the Greek and Roman worlds and a few small items from Egypt.
The Gardens were the one thing that stood out. On a beautiful day there is nothing like strolling through the pathways along the tree lined stone ways. Most of the gardens had been damaged during Hurricane Irene so there is a lot of rebuilding going on.
The pathway leading from the museum to the gardens
Along the river though are the gardens designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead for the museum grounds. These gardens are currently being renovated but you can still see the traces being redone in their updated form.
It is best to visit the museum on a nice day to enjoy both the inside and outside of the museum.
History of the Cummer Museum & Gardens:
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is the culmination of the civic, social and business involvement of a remarkable family. The Cummer’s came from a long line of lumber barons, whose business interests began in Canada before branching out to Michigan, Virginia and Florida. As early as 1890, Wellington Willson Cummer (1846-1909) recognized the value of Florida cypress and prolific stands of pine timberlands in the state. After relocating his family from Morley, Michigan to Jacksonville, Florida, he went on to found the Cummer Lumber Company in 1896. Among his many feats, Wellington built a railroad for transporting lumber from the low country of Florida to Jacksonville, where the mills and distribution centers were located.
His sons, Arthur and Waldo Cummer, along with his son-in-law, John L. Roe, all of whom came up through the ranks in the family business, assumed control of the company after Wellington’s death in 1909.
In 1902, Mr. and Mrs. Cummer began constructing a large English Tudor Revival house, replete with exterior half- timbering and richly carved interior paneling. Situated on Riverside Avenue, the home was part of the close-knit family compound of three houses with adjacent gardens and the construction of the Cummer house led to Mrs. Cummer’s masterminding of her gardens. The development of the gardens would remain her passion until the time of Mr. Cummer’s death, with her focus expanding to the establishment of city parks for public access to the open environments. Today, the Cummer Gardens are one of the most popular locations in the city and visitors enjoy their beauty.
(Taken from the Cummer Museum History website)
Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Cummer Museum History website and I give them full credit for the information.