ABOVE: JMOMAs permanent collection includes
Robert Zakanitchs How I Love Ya, How
I Love Ya.
ABOVE: Known for his colorful portraits of women,
Alex Katz painted Red Coat in 1983.
ABOVE: : Dawn, shown here, and Dusk
comprise a 1946 series by Alexander Calder.
ABOVE: : The main lobby accesses the atrium gallery.
Photography by Neil Rashba, Jacksonville, FL.
In 1931, no one could have imagined that the newly
built Western Union Telegraph building in downtown
Jacksonville would one day be home to the Jacksonville
Museum of Modern Art. Founded in 1924, the Jacksonville
Fine Arts Society as it was known then
was still a fledgling organization itself.
Over the next 80 years, however, the organization
continued to evolve, changing names and locations
as part of its metamorphosis into a world-class
art institution. In 1936, the Jacksonville Fine
Arts Society merged with the Civic Art Institute,
and in 1948, the organization moved into the historic
Fleming Mansion and changed its name to the Jacksonville
Museum of Art. Another move in 1966 brought the
museum to the Koger Executive Center.
Its most recent transformation occurred in 1999,
when the museum acquired the Western Union Telegraph
building, and members voted to change the museums
name to the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art to
more accurately reflect the scope of its holdings
JMOMA moved into the building in 2000 and began
renovations the following year. Throughout the construction
process, it held exhibitions in temporary space
within the building. In May 2003, the museum celebrated
its grand opening.
Today, the 60,000-square-foot museum houses one
of the finest collections of modern and contemporary
art, with over 14,000 square feet of gallery space.
Its permanent collection comprises more than 700
works by 20th- and 21st-century artists of international
acclaim, including Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró,
Alexander Calder, Helen Frankenthaler and Frank
Upon entering the main lobby of the five-story structure,
visitors will find a 40-foot-high atrium gallery,
as well as a museum store and a café on the
first floor. Traveling exhibitions occupy the second
floor, while regional exhibitions, the permanent
collection, works on paper and photography fill
the third floor. The fourth floor is for administrative
offices, and the fifth floor accommodates an interactive
center and classrooms. Even the basement contains
a photography darkroom, classroom space and an auditorium.
While the museums focus and name have
changed several times, it has always stressed the
importance of art education for children and adults,
says Jane Craven, the museums president and
As part of its commitment to the community, JMOMA
showcases the works of regional artists from the
Southeast with exhibitions that rotate about every
three months. Upcoming shows will feature works
by Atlanta artists Pam Longobardi and David Isenhour,
and Miami artists Ray Azcuy and Federico Uribe.
JMOMA also stays on the cutting edge by presenting
such exhibitions as Push Play: Redefining
Pop, in which dynamic wall installations constructed
of vinyl, aluminum and plastic share space with
floor sculptures that fuse childhood toys with modern
On display through Sept. 12, 2004, this exhibition
offers a glimpse into the works of some of todays
most innovative artists who borrow from various
successive contemporary art movements while charting
new creative territory, says George Kinghorn,
On the heels of this exhibition comes Highlights
from The Haskell Collection, slated to run
from Sept. 24, 2004, to Jan. 2, 2005. For this exhibition,
Kinghorn tapped the private collection of Preston
Haskell, one of Americas foremost collectors
of Abstract Expressionism. Works by Hans Hofmann,
Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell,
Frank Stella and many others are among the collection.
JMOMA is also spearheading other art initiatives
to make the downtown area a cultural hot spot. These
include Sunday ArtFusion, a free childrens
program; First Wednesday Artwalk, a
tour of galleries and art spots; and Underground
Cinema at JMOMA, an independent and foreign
There is an aura of excitement that is drawing
bigger and bigger crowds, Craven says. Our
goal is to provide the most relevant, exciting programming
For more information, contact JMOMA at 904/366-6911
or visit its website at www.jmoma.org.