Cummer Resources

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is committed to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 works of art on a riverfront campus offers more than 95,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.

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Garden Concert: Canary in the Coalmine




Friday, November 4
Doors Open at 6 p.m., Concert from 7 to 9 p.m. | Members $20, Non-Members $25
Registration required

Start your weekend off in the historic Gardens with the WillowWacks and Canary in the Coalmine playing under the stars. The WillowWacks, an intimate husband and wife duo, have a defined sound with Lauren’s timeless, tender vocal style and Micah’s diverse, playful acoustic instrumentation. Canary in the Coalmine is an Americana-Folk band fronted by songwriters Jessica Pounds and Sandy Wicker. A haunting quality underscores striking vocal harmonies that provide a focal point for the band’s Appalachian folk and alternative country influences. Canary in the Coalmine has garnered local and regional acclaim from sources such as EU Jacksonville, NPR, Folio Weekly, and many others.

Both bands will bring a beautiful tying of music to Folk Couture: Fashion and Folk Art, currently on display at the Museum. The evening will be truly special, as it will be the second-to-last performance of Canary in the Coalmine, with the band concluding their time together the very next evening at Porchfest.

Guests are invited to bring chairs, picnics, and beverages of choice to enjoy a relaxing evening in the Gardens overlooking downtown Jacksonville by the St. Johns River. Beer, wine, sodas, and light snacks will be available for purchase. Let the Cummer Café handle your food and beverages by ordering ahead. To pre-order, call 904.899.6022 or email café For further information or to register, please call 904.899.6038.

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School Tours: Enhancing Creativity and Exploration in Young Minds



On any given weekday at the Museum you will see lines of students filing through the corridors, groups of students completing activities in the Galleries, and clusters of students wandering the Gardens with clipboards examining plants and architectural features.


Arts integration is a vital part of any education, and these students are gaining knowledge about art, history, ecology, and other topics that coincide with their school curriculum, reinforcing the skills they are learning at school and stretching their minds through new applications.


“This has been my favorite field trip of the year. The children were exposed to art and culture in a way that many would never get the opportunity to with their families. My students and I thoroughly enjoyed this field trip!”

“I would like to commend our guide, Ms. Brown, on her ability to engage each and every one of my students, right on their level. She was absolutely amazing! It can be very difficult to make art at the museum relevant and appropriate to 4-year-olds, but she did it absolutely effortlessly.”


In the 2015/16 school year, the Museum hosted nearly 25,000 students, teachers, and chaperones for these educational experiences. There are 16 different tours available, including grade-level tours, science-based garden tours, and STEAM tours that combine topics in science, technology, engineering, art, and math. The Museum serves students of all abilities, and each student who comes through the campus visits the Galleries, Gardens, and Art Connections interactive space. Each tour also include a hands-on art lesson in the studios. Teacher packets on the website provide supplemental materials that can be used in classrooms before and after students and teachers come on their tour to help reinforce the skills learned at the Museum.


School tours reinforce the amazing work being done by art teachers and schools throughout the community. Arts integration creates students who are more well-rounded, with the flexibility and innovative thinking skills to grow into adults who will become our future doctors, teachers, engineers, scientists, and others who contribute to society as a whole.

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Behind the Curtain



Written by Shawana Brooks, Guest Contributor

shawana-and-marsha-sitting-at-the-penny-tableSomewhere, Over In Mandarin

Marsha Hatcher is not easy to read. First impressions with her can leave you misconstruing her high-pitched, southern, at times mumbling, monotone drawl for disdain. Her pokerface can have you wondering, if her deep dimples are there in support, or in spite of you. Her warmed melanin often mistaken for cold heartless steel. In big company, she can be a woman of few words. An oil can would not do much to unlock her jaw; what is needed is patience. Her body language is never expressionless, her doe eyes often hidden by sunglasses, show her true observations. Her thoughts don’t always leave her brain to get to her mouth. She takes that time to pick up a brush to tell a story. Hatcher says people don’t need to know her, they just need to know her art.

“It’s not about me. I’m behind the scene. This is what I want you to look at. Don’t look at me.”

She is indeed the wizard. But who is that masked woman behind the art, who doesn’t need accolades? Though she’s gotten plenty, including The Community Foundation’s Art Grant (2004). Her first show as a professional artist out of college was an international one. A solo exhibition, in Spain, handpicked by a Naval Officer’s Wife. Marsha makes artwork so personal she never imagined anyone looking at it. She still hides in plain sight. The best reward she feels she can get is for someone to look at her art and never need to know who created it. “Just say the work is gorgeous. I’m ok with just that.”

If I Only Had The Words

Marsha is not a writer. Words are not her enemy, but neither are they a comforting friend. She knows she is an introvert, an extremely shy child all through her adolescence, up until college. “It probably doesn’t show now,” Hatcher says jokingly.

“I used to never instigate a conversation. People make me uncomfortable. You don’t need people to create art. If I wanted people around me, I painted them. They don’t talk, so I don’t have to talk.”

She’s worked hard on her conversation etiquette. It was at college that the Georgia native made friends and met her husband of almost 40 years. The then Williams, not yet Hatcher, heeded advice given to her, “You are so shy! You are never going to have any friends. I tried really hard to break out. I could create my friends, so it didn’t bother me. I was a wallflower, I observed. But I knew it had truth to it.” Something innate to her Virgo nature.

She is by no means anti-social, just self-sufficient. That trust in self to start something and to finish it is why she stayed in college, when her then boyfriend dropped out to join the Navy. Hatcher has entertained the thought of a speechless existence. One where she iterates her disdain for “Jumping through hoops, having to get together images, I despise writing, even a bio. I’d rather use my imagery.” And with that, she is content. Her heart can be found in the art she produces. Beautiful faces that look like they are content to never utter a single word. “They don’t need to talk. They are saying enough.”

Merry Ol’ Land Of Jax

Her journey to the River City has led her down a colorful stony road across blue, red, and green bridges. After living abroad, she came to Jacksonville in 1989. Her husband was stationed here, and it felt close enough to her childhood existence in Georgia. The new mom stayed to herself and found solace in her creations. Raising two boys didn’t leave a lot of time to focus on the selling of art. The exhibition overseas was, by all means, a successful one. But besides that she had only sold one other piece of art, in high school, a picture of a dog for $120.00. She didn’t have the artwork to show when she was offered the exhibition in Spain; she created at least 20 pieces in a few months. Though it was thrilling exhibiting her art, she went back to life as usual, finding work at a private art gallery here in town. She was fulfilled to stay on the sidelines. Her bubble busted quickly.

She would create her art and hang it in her home, until someone close to her pointed out how selfish she was being. Selfish? This had not occurred to her. “They really put me in a guilt trip, said God gave you a talent and you don’t share it.” It weighed on her. Marsha was not yet aware of how Jacksonville had few opportunities afforded to a woman artist, especially a black one. This conversation ignited the flame that lies at the heart of her notoriety as an artist living and working in Jacksonville today, her tenacity.

“If you have a talent it’s not for you. If you get pleasure you should want to give it to other people. My art felt like writing in a diary. It was personal.”

She felt obligated to show her artwork outside her comfort zone. “If you are to be an artist, you have to exhibit.” Marsha didn’t wait for things to be handed to her like before; she fought to make them for herself. “I find it hard to say no, when its art-related. Sometimes I know I can do a better job. Not bragging, I have the tools. I’m detail-oriented and particular. I hate it. I can’t leave well enough alone. I don’t want it good. I want it perfect!”

We’re Off To Start Exhibiting

stanza-iMarsha didn’t exhibit again professionally until Through Our Eyes. At the time its home was at channel 7, not yet at the infamous Ritz Theatre & Museum. “Somebody told me they featured black art there. When I came here no one knew I was an artist.” They know now, if still unknown to them physically, her art does precede her. It is housed in several prominent collections along the First Coast. All three of her paintings have been sold from LIFT: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience (Stanza I, Stanza II, and Stanza III). She has been a founding member of several artists’ coalitions over the years, the now disbanded JCAAA  (Jacksonville Consortium of African American Artists), where she met most of the successful black artists creating here today. It has been reformed under the leadership of artist Suzanne Pickett, and is rebranded the JCD (Jacksonville Cultural Development Corporation), which recently was awarded an Arts Alive Grant from PNC.

Reluctantly her focus shifted to the business of art. She has served as President of The Art Center Cooperative (TAC) also home to fellow LIFT exhibitor Princess Simpson Rashid. It is expansive, with two locations in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville. One in the newly-minted “Cultural Corner” in

Hemming District acts as studio, gallery, and storage space to more than 20 artists. The other resides in the not-so-engaged Jacksonville Landing. TAC doesn’t quite get as much love as other art studios, such as CoRK Arts District. Its time is coming with more attention being focused on our burgeoning art scene. She’s an anomaly, an artist who feels sick if a deadline is not met. Yet falls right back in line by lending to the stereotype of the bleeding heart. Her difficulty in keeping to the “No” when having it declared is where I find her, at her home studio, hard at work on one such project. I’m greeted by the whines of woodworking, the screeching jig, of a jigsaw. She’s been commissioned to make six awards for an event. She doesn’t know what organization it’s for. It doesn’t matter, though all she knows is that she was asked to create them. That’s enough for Marsha.

Hatcher's City Scapes in Progress

Hatcher’s award cityscapes in progress

If I Were Queen Of The Artists

She’s “Sexty. Sexty years old,” words Hatcher references to describe her age. She defines herself as a black woman, “I like black. I am not the one to switch up (ethnic terms) depending on the season. We done been through some names. Negroes, Colored, African-American.” Though her work is figurative, she focuses on the upper half of the body; she considers herself a portrait artist. Her dining room doubles as a work station. The table is scratched barely through the finish. It’s worn from her constant crafting. It’s right here she crafted the three pieces entitled Stanza I, Stanza II, and Stanza III. Their magnetic gravitation is anchored directly under the sign in the Jacobsen Gallery, centered above is the title of the now nationally-recognized exhibition, LIFT: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience. The magic of those pieces are still in the hands of their master.

black-chronicleTowards the right of the table sits imagery similar to LIFT. Faces of black-skinned boys and girls seep through copies of a newspaper past its prime, The Black Chronicle. She shares the complexity of the supposed easy task. Its evolve-ment disgruntles her personal process. “It’s not always a good thing. It doesn’t stop (ideas). I can keep on.” The usual low lull in her voice is replaced by squeaks of admonishment. “Though I never know when to stop.” Her southern drawl is laced with artistic discovery. Hatcher is proud of the work she completed for LIFT; of the thousands of pieces she’s done in her lifetime these are in her top ten percent. Artists are all fairly hard on themselves and don’t always think their work has hit the mark. She is inspired by artists like Elizabeth Catlett and Augusta Savage, and her fellow LIFT artists too. In reference to the exhibition she says, “I think its exceptional (LIFT). It’s edgy and its controversial, but it’s relevant.”

Hatcher is not accustomed to making art that can be viewed as political. She thought hard about what she wanted to put on the walls of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, “I tried to give a glimpse of the truth, not so much in the face like Overstreet’s works; I didn’t want to shake the finger.” She prefers subtlety.

“I never have been one to use my canvas as a sounding board. I prefer not to do that. I want to keep it balanced, not all truth. I got to paint what I can live with.”

She is glad there are other simple perspectives, like Chip Southworth‘s three paintings involved in the exhibition. “You look at the work and you can get it,” yet she admits she wishes she could get a little deeper. “Roosevelt (Watson III) has A LOT going on. But he puts it all together, like a puzzle, and then you see how they fit. Y’all too deep! Don’t be doing stuff that I don’t know what you are doing!” Her overall concern with LIFT is representation “One thing that motivated me as a child artist is I didn’t see any faces that looked like mine. If so, they weren’t pretty faces.” I have personally heard a story of a child in the Jacobsen Gallery who looked at Mrs. Hatcher’s work and said aloud to his caregiver, “His lips look like mine.” Doesn’t seem like much when you are used to seeing your image in everything you do. But here in that rarity, in that moment, it means EVERYTHING. This where the exhibition shines its most bright, on our faces.

There’s No Place Like Home

Though finding continued success, Hatcher was disillusioned with the art scene for quite a while, weary of just exhibiting here in Jacksonville during the month of February. “It’s patronizing. For a long time I refused to do any shows. That’s when they come looking for black artists.” The negative reception for a black-themed show is disappointing. No one is opposed to criticism, this distinction is not that.


Hatcher’s penny table

LIFT will close on Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12, 2017. Lincoln holds a special place in the Hatcher household, as his face dons the copper coinage of a penny. “As long as I’ve known my husband, he has not been too proud to pick one up. We have five-gallon bottles filled with them.” Recently Marsha decorated her kitchen table in homage to her husband’s hobby, a beautiful table with pennies decorating the top. A creative fiend, she recently tackled a deck chair from scratch and is getting ready for another art exhibition with artists Annelies Dykgraaf, Cookie Davis, and Princess Simpson Rashid, at Reddi Arts, located in San Marco, in November.

Marsha doesn’t know how to stop.

“There was a time when, like Picasso, I painted a ‘Blue Series’, but it was just because I had a lot of blue paint. People always want to add more. They want a story to everything you do. I’m not a storyteller. There’s not a way to everything.”

When first focusing on her current work, she let the song dictate the images. She became absorbed, as greats do, and later pulled it back because, “Well, deadlines.” On my way to this interview I told a friend who I was going to meet. She said “Who?!?!” But once I described the art, she knew exactly to whom I would be speaking. After interviewing Marsha, I know this is exactly how she likes it. No notoriety. That isn’t how I like it. I think her name should be as recognizable as the Fuller Warrens and John Stocktons of our community. More so once you realize their history. In a hundred years will there be a Marsha Hatcher bridge? Symbolically she has been one for the art community and the black art community. Yes there is a big difference. She figures a hundred years down the line she will have that last laugh. Intellectuals will try to construct a criticism of her work but she will know better. She laughs, “Let them agonize for days!”

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Talks & Tea: Afternoons at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens



Talks & Tea offers opportunities for both social and mental connections to the artwork at the Museum, combined with delicious refreshments in a comfortable setting. Once a month, an art historian, artist, or other expert facilitates informational and educational discussions on a variety of topics related to the Museum’s Permanent Collection and special exhibitions. This daytime program is perfect for seniors, lifelong learners, and anyone with an interest in art. The program gives those with a passion for art and learning the opportunity to not only delve into a topic more deeply, but to engage in lively discussions and build relationships. A recent survey participant commented that the Museum does a “nice job of selecting interesting stories to illustrate the artist’s life and influence.” Another said the “lecture was great. I’m looking forward to exploring the exhibit more fully, many times!” After the lecture, enjoy a cup of tea and a plate of cookies and share your impressions with new friends. What’s more fun than bonding over similar interests and a decadent treat?

Talks & Tea is $6 for both Members and Non-Members, but space is limited so please register here or call 904.899.6038. Below is the schedule for the year to come. We hope to see you there! 

This program is made possible through support by The Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts, Inc., National Endowment for the Humanities, The Director’s Circle at the Cummer Museum, the City of Jacksonville, and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Inc. If available, transportation funds enable groups from assisted living facilities who have expressed an interest in the arts to attend.


***Talks & Tea will not be offered in January, July, and August 2017***

October 20 – LIFT

Come enjoy tea and a sweet treat while learning about how the idea for LIFT: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience was inspired by the lyrics of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” written by the Jacksonville native, Johnson brothers in 1900. From conception to implementation, discover how artists created works that present their views on the complex issue of race relations in contemporary times.

November 16 – Folk Couture

Sip a cup of tea as Chief Operating Officer & Chief Curator Holly Keris speaks about Folk Couture: Fashion and Folk Art. Fashion has always been inspired by unconventional sources and this idea was the concept for Folk Couture. Thirteen established and emerging clothing designers were challenged to create one-of-a-kind ensembles inspired by folk art masterpieces that are part of the American Folk Art Museum’s permanent collection.

December 14 – David Ponsler

Enjoy an insightful talk in the Sculpture Garden by featured local artist and blacksmith David Ponsler. Have some tea and cookies while he offers an in-depth look at his art. Among some of his most known works are the archway at Stockton Park in Ortega and the spiral staircase he created for the Kickbacks Gastropub expansion in Riverside.

February 15 – Academic Splendor

The Dahesh Museum of Art is the only institution in the U.S. that is devoted to collecting and exhibiting European academic art of the 19th century. Associate Curator Nelda Damiano will talk about the collection which features paintings and sculptures by artists trained in the academies and private ateliers of France and other countries. Over a cup of tea learn more about theses Masterworks and the artists who  created them.

March 15 – Constance Spry- The Woman Who Made Flower Arranging an Art

Director of Education Lynn Norris will discuss the journey of Constance Spry and the rise of floral arranging as an art form. She pioneered the country house style of flower arranging and laid the foundation for the style of arrangements in the Cummer Museum’s foyer. Enjoy a cup of tea and a treat while learning about her influence in the field of modern flower arranging.

April 19 – Heroes and Battlefields: World War I Prints by James McBey

Enjoy tea and a sweet treat as Associate Curator Nelda Damiano talks about these historic prints and the war artist who created them.

May 24 – An American in Venice: James McNeill Whistler and His Legacy

In 1879 the American artist arrived in Italy with a commision from the Fine Arts Society of London to create 12 etchings of Venice. He sought to capture a “Venice of the Venetians” and his works depict palazzos and canals more than Venice’s famous landmarks. His prints have become the most studied in history, right after Rembrandt. Whistler’s work has influenced a broad range of artists and deeply impacted his medium. As you sip a cup of tea, Associate Curator Nelda Damiano will discuss his lasting legacy.

June 14 – Ink, Silk, and Gold: Islamic treasures from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Islamic art’s meaning is derived from the material it is made from. This exhibition introduces viewers to the complex artistic traditions of the Islamic world. Enjoy tea and a treat while learning more about how an object’s color, shape, and texture all play a role in expressing that meaning.

September 13 – A Collector’s Eye: Celebrating Joseph Jeffers Dodge

Dodge was Director of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens from 1962-1972. He not only made significant acquisitions for the Museum, but contributed to it as well. Dodge was a still life painter, heavily influenced by jazz musician Duke Ellington, and he played an important role in the cultural circle of Jacksonville.


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Cummer Amelia: Kickoff



Martin Johnson Heade, American (1819 - 1904), 'Orchid with an Amethyst Hummingbird, c. 1875 - 1890, Oil on canvas, 18 1/16 x 10 1/8 in., Bequest of Ninah M.H. Cummer, C.O.112.1.

Martin Johnson Heade, American (1819 – 1904), ‘Orchid with an Amethyst Hummingbird, c. 1875 – 1890, Oil on canvas, 18 1/16 x 10 1/8 in., Bequest of Ninah M.H. Cummer, C.O.112.1.

Tuesday, October 18
5 to 7 p.m. | Members Free, Non-Members $15
Amelia Island Museum of History
233 S. Third Street
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

What is the “life of an object”? How do we give “life” to something that is inanimate, inert? Chief Operating Officer & Chief Curator Holly Keris will be addressing this very concept at the annual Cummer Amelia Kickoff event, which will be held at the Amelia Island Museum of History on October 18. At this year’s kickoff, you will experience the full stories behind some amazing works of art, while learning about the Museum and its relationships with artists. With food, cocktails, and remarks, this event will be an evening you do not want to miss.

Using the piece Orchid with an Amethyst Hummingbird by Martin Johnson Heade, Keris will demonstrate that art does indeed have a “life” of its own, highlighting the history of this masterpiece from its creation to its accession into the Museum’s Permanent Collection.

While experiencing the history of this piece, you will also learn a bit about the artist himself and his prominent place in American Art history. Keris will highlight many of the artist’s major works of art, including The St. Johns River, which is Cummer Amelia’s signature artwork. We hope that these remarks will demonstrate that each piece of art has its own story to tell, beyond that which is illustrated in the frame.

Join us as we celebrate art, history, and the beauty of life! Register now or contact Member Relations Officer Wendy Mayle at 904.899.6007.

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Written by: Julie Thieman, Marketing Intern

Photo by Ingrid Damiani

Photo by Ingrid Damiani

Dustin Harewood is a contributing artist for LIFT: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience which presents a modern response to Jacksonville’s African American Heritage, while using the lyrics to James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson’s Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing as inspiration.

Harewood is from New York City, and was quickly introduced into the arts at age 7 when he became a junior member at the Brooklyn Museum. Later in his life, his parents moved the family to Barbados where Dustin attended high school and it was there he received his “first true perspective on culture.” He moved back to the U.S. where he received his Bachelors from North Carolina Central University and his Master of Arts at North Caroline Greensboro. Currently, he is a Professor of Art at Florida State College of Jacksonville.

Dustin Harewood, Out from the Gloomy Past, acrylic, 2016, spray paint, resin on canvas, each 40 x 62 in.

Dustin Harewood, Out from the Gloomy Past, acrylic, 2016, spray paint, resin on canvas, each 40 x 62 in.

The line “Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last, where the white gleam of our bright star is cast,” specifically influenced his paintings for this exhibition. From that, Harewood painted a series of abstract painting that “hopefully will communicate the action of leaving behind anger, hopelessness, confusion, and frustration in favor of clarity, determination, and optimism.”



To learn more about Dustin Harewood visit his website.

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