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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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See the Inspiration Behind Modern Comics, Anime, and Manga

Sep

04

(detail) Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, ‘100 Aspects of the Moon: Moon of the pleasure quarters (Kuruwa no tuski)’, woodblock print on paper, 14 x 9 1/2 in., The Dennis C. Hayes Collection, AG.1998.4.67.


The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens houses an extensive collection of ukiyo-e prints. Fields of Color: The Art of Japanese Printmaking, currently on view at the Museum, features 19 of these prints, ranging from the 19th to early 20th centuries. Ukiyo-e, which translates to “picture(s) of the floating world”, traditionally depicted images that were easy to relate to or held common interest, such as scenes of entertainment, fantasy, history, or everyday life. Because of their mass production, these images were easily accessible to all levels of Japanese society. These images were so common that some even used the prints as wrapping paper!

 

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, ‘Hodemi-no-Mikoto Riding a sea bream, from the series Beauty and Valor in the Novel Suikoden (Biyū Suikoden)’, 1867, woodblock print on paper, 9 3/4 x 7 1/8 in., The Dennis C. Hayes Collection, AG.1998.4.52.


The genre of ukiyo-e paved the way for many modern artistic styles, including Manga, comic books, and anime. Ukiyo-e prints were created for a mass audience, and functioned as the “pop culture of choice” for their day. While some scenes depicted in ukiyo-e mirror the peaceful and dignified themes of fine art, many are full of violence and fantasy and would look at home in modern comics, Manga, and anime. One of the “fathers” of Manga, Katsushika Hokusai, is best known for his ukiyo-e print The Great Wave off Kanagawa, but also published the book “Hokusai Manga” which helped to establish the craft of Manga-style art. Hokusai’s Pictures of 100 Poems by 100 Poets, as Explained by the Wet Nurse: Poem by the Lady of Ise is currently on view at the Cummer Museum.

 

The stories represented in these pieces are best told through their images, not their words. Fields of Color: The Art of Japanese Printmaking is on view through January 13, 2019. Do not miss the rare opportunity to see these incredible works in person!

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The Green Wall at the Cummer Museum

Aug

14

WRITTEN BY MARKETING INTERN EMILY WATERS

The new green wall at the Cummer Museum

Featured in many iconic cities, Green Walls are taking urban art to the next level—and one of them has arrived at the Cummer Museum!

The idea of the Green Wall was conceived in 1938 by Stanley Hart White, a professor of landscape and architecture at the University of Illinois. White was first to patent the Green Wall (or “Vegetation-Bearing Architectonic Structure and System,” as he liked to call it), though Patrick Blanc is the man responsible for making the walls popular in modern times. Blanc’s works range in size and are sprinkled throughout the world, but one of his most famous works is the Green Wall at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, France.

Green wall at Quay Branly Museum, Paris

Also known as vertical gardens, Green Walls offer benefits to the spaces they occupy, aside from being nice to look at. The plants used in the walls are adapted to live in hydroponic conditions, giving the wall the ability to help the environment; the walls are known to reduce smog and clean other general air pollutants—like Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from the air, while simultaneously replacing the VOCs with rich oxygen. Through their irrigation systems, these walls serve as natural water filters and have the ability to clean grey water (water from appliances, like washing machines and sinks, that is relatively clean). The installation also lowers the inner temperature of the structure the wall is anchored to by soaking up the extra heat that humans emit. As an added bonus to helping the environment, these vertical gardens have also been shown to increase happiness and emotional well being. As it turns out, humans like plants, and the color green is pretty calming.

Green wall at One Central Park, Sydney

Thankfully for us, we have our own Patrick Blanc right here in Florida. In early May, the Cummer Museum welcomed Green Wall artist Ricardo Gil Mendoza, who has spent 20 years developing his craft with a landscaping vision and passion that he has had since his childhood. The company, founded by Mendoza and Ram Matheus, loves weaving green walls into urban areas to bring people back to nature. The company strives to “raise awareness that [everyone is] part of a whole, that natural beauty feeds the soul, enhances our spirit, and protects us.” Organic Green Walls has many installations throughout North America, and we are excited to welcome our very own Green Wall to the Museum.

Ricardo Gil Mendoza and Organic Green Walls have generously donated the Museum’s very own vertical garden, which can be viewed on the Café Patio. Featuring the Museum’s “C” logo in the foliage, the wall ties art and nature together to make one eye-catching piece. Come by the Museum and see it today!

Plan for Cummer Museum’s green wall by artist Ricardo Gil Mendoza

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Fairies in the Garden

Jul

24

WRITTEN BY: EMILY WATERS, MARKETING INTERN

Something magical has appeared in the gardens over the weekend—a pair of fairy rings!

A fairy ring, perceived by many cultures to contain the mischievous magical beings they are arranged for, is simply a circle of well placed mushrooms. Though the placement of the mushrooms is lucky, stepping into one of these circles is rumored to cause immense misfortune. According to English and Celtic tales, if a human enters the ring, they will be taken to an underground world, forced to dance with the creatures until they either perish from exhaustion or go mad. Dutch tales tell a different story—they claim that the rings are made by the devil to keep his milk churn, and that any livestock unluckily enough to wander into the circle will have their milk soured. Other lore believe the circles are just where fairies come to celebrate, using the stoles of the mushrooms as a resting place between the festivities of the celebration.

Richard Doyle via Wikiepida, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy_ring

Fairy rings have snuck their way into the arts for centuries. Artists, from at least the 18th century, have displayed fairy rings in their works, depicting both the good and evil the rings are said to bring about. Even Shakespeare mentions fairy ring lore in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” during Act II, Scene 1, when Puck comes across a fairy in the woods. William Blake (1757–1827) depicts this encounter as well in “Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing” (c. 1786).

William Blake via Tate Modern, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/blake-oberon-titania-and-puck-with-fairies-dancing-n02686

Though the rings seem inviting and we are curious as to what the truth of the tales are, we can only assume the worst, so enter the rings at your own risk (but if you do happen to stumble into one and nothing happens to you, let us know).

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“Urban Spaces, Open Skies: 20th-Century American Landscape” Opens Early

Jul

23

WRITTEN BY: SAMANTHA AHNEN, MARKETING INTERN

The Cummer Museum’s latest exhibition Urban Spaces, Open Skies: 20th-Century American Landscape opened nearly two weeks ahead of schedule on July 16. The exhibition, which was originally set to open on July 27, draws mainly from the Cummer Museum’s extensive collection of works on paper, featuring more than 30 prints celebrating modern cities and the timeless charms of the country.

Frederick Mershimer, American (b. 1958), Passage, c. 1993, aquatint, Purchased with funds from the Cornelia Morse Carithers Endowment Fund, AP.1994.1.13

Artists have long captured the changing realities of new metropolises, with their busy streets, skyscrapers, harbors, industries, and workers. Iconic symbols of the American urban boom, such as the Brooklyn Bridge and the skylines of New York City and Chicago, exemplify the rapid change in American landscape during the early 20th-century and inspired artists to document it.

Philip Kappel, American (1901 – 1981), Boat Builders, Essex, 20th-century, etching, Purchased with funds from the Cornelia Morse Carithers Endowment Fund, AP.1992.20.34

In contrast, the nostalgia for an idealized, “simple” way of life during this time is portrayed through through representations of wide open spaces, lakes, forests, and fields. The stillness and serenity of the countryside, often untamed or unmarked by humans, offers a break from chaotic urban life. A new appreciation for the natural American landscape was born from the industrial revolution, which artists expressed beautifully.

Charles Jac Young, American (1880 – 1940), More Snow Coming, c. 1934, etching and drypoint, Purchased with funds from the Cornelia Morse Carithers Endowment Fund, AP.1992.20.49

Urban Spaces, Open Skies: 20th-Century American Landscape will be housed in the Jacobsen Gallery until February 3, 2019. Several events are planned in connection to the exhibition, including a Talks & Tea event, an Art Adventures class for children, and a Classical Concert. Reservations for each event can be made on the Museum website.

Joseph Margulies, American (1896 – 1984), Bridges, 1976, aquatint, Purchased with funds from the Cornelia Morse Carithers Memorial Print Collection, AP.1994.2.3

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Cummer Amelia: Year in Review

Jul

12

WRITTEN BY: SAMANTHA AHNEN, MARKETING INTERN

Cummer Amelia is celebrating more than 10 years of dedicated service to the Cummer Museum. The group’s focus is to connect Nassau County residents to the Museum’s mission of engaging and inspiring through arts, gardens, and education. This year, Cummer Amelia experienced record-breaking attendance, increased volunteer support, new sponsors, enhanced partnerships, and fully funded school tours for Nassau County third and fourth-grade students. Cummer Amelia also joined fundraising efforts for two important initiatives at the Museum, the National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant and the Garden Reconstruction Fund, providing contributions from more than 100 Nassau County donors.

Each year, the Cummer Amelia calendar includes events and programming that inspire lifelong learning, instill a deeper appreciation for the arts and gardens, and raise impactful funds for the Museum. This year, these events included:

  • An October Kickoff, featuring a performance by student musicians and a presentation by local artist and Cummer Amelia member, Kathy Miller.

  • An Artistic Florist Sneak Preview welcomed the holiday season with a fundraising cocktail hour to view the designer’s new showroom.

  • A Lunch, Lecture, & Tours fall program hosted Aja Raden, best-selling author of “Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World”, relating her book to the exhibition Bijoux Parisiens French Jewelry from the Petit Palais, Paris. The spring program featured Sharon Core, contemporary photographer, with a presentation related to her work in the exhibition In the Garden.

  • Cocktails & Canvases was hosted and sponsored by Omni Amelia Island Plantation, giving guests an unmatched experience with artists, mixologists, and chefs. The main event included an immersive culinary and visual arts dinner.

  • Cummer Amelia’s Fourth Annual Garden Walk fundraiser featured tours of four private gardens and a Garden Market offering plants and garden accessories. The event hosted more than 350 guests, volunteers, and vendors. This event provided $8,000 in revenue and in-kind support of $10,000.

  • Marshes & Moonlight invited more than 100 guests to enjoy live music, delicious food, and beautiful scenery. Generously hosted by Brian & Candace Loftus and Tommy & Becky Grimes, this pre-Garden Walk event raised more than $13,000 to fund Cummer Amelia’s outreach for 2019 and gifted more than $15,000 of in-kind support.

  • An Afternoon of Art, in partnership with the Fernandina Beach Branch of the Nassau County Library System, was a very successful series of four lectures focused on the historical impact of women artists. The series was free and open to the public, and attracted 324 guests.

In addition to these special events and programs, Cummer Amelia’s fundraising efforts allowed more than 600 Nassau County students, parents, and teachers to visit the Museum for a day of art education. These trips include time in the galleries and gardens, transportation, and hands-on studio time.

Cummer Amelia was once again recognized at the Director’s Circle level of the Museum’s Ponce de León Society for annual contributions exceeding $45,000 in revenue, as well as $100,000 of in-kind support this year. Sponsorships and partnerships have increased by 75% over the past year.

Thank you to all the members of Cummer Amelia, who contribute not only financially, but also give time and talent to the Museum through volunteerism. Special thanks to Cummer Amelia’s board, sponsors, partners, and community supporters for promoting the mission and goals of Cummer Amelia this year!

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Engaging Local Schools Through Cummer in the Classroom

Jul

05

WRITTEN BY: SAMANTHA AHNEN, MARKETING INTERN

Each year, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens partners with underserved urban core elementary schools to promote its mission to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens, and education. Cummer in the Classroom provides PreK3 through 5th grade students with cultural experiences that fully integrate art, creativity, literacy, play, music, and parental involvement, and reflects the belief that the arts are an essential part of school readiness and success. Cummer in the Classroom is the largest educational program that the Museum offers. Students receive four to nine interactions per year, with either Museum staff visiting the school or students visiting the Museum.

“Many of my students wouldn’t have the opportunity to visit the Museum without this partnership” – Denyse Cohen, Sallye B. Mathis Elementary School Teacher

Through the program, participating classes receive at least two field trips to the Museum. The first visit connects students’ grade level curriculum to the Museum’s collection. The second is focused on either a tour of the gardens or a special exhibition. Both of these options offer students an enriching experience. Touring the gardens teaches students about the environment, landscape design, and sculpture through hands-on activities and discussion, while touring the special exhibitions provides a unique experience for students, linking art from various times and cultures to the learning objectives already in place with the Cummer in the Classroom curriculum.

In addition to field trips to the Cummer Museum, participating classes receive outreach visits from Museum Educators, which include language-building exercises, art projects using a variety of media, and appropriately chosen literary and musical components. All curricula used in these visits are developed by Museum Educators in alignment with the Next Generation Sunshine State standards, as well as Duval County STEAM standards (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). Cummer in the Classroom helps students build critical thinking skills which are useful in all school subjects.

The Cummer in the Classroom program also offers assistance to classrooms, schools, and teachers in the form of donation of art materials, lesson plans, and vocabulary lists. Principals, teachers, and administrators from all schools are also offered development workshops, education credits, and a stipend to further art education.

Additional resources are provided to students and families to enrich their experience and build a stronger community impact, including the ability to take free art classes, as well as access to scholarships that can be used towards Camp Cummer enrollment. All students are also gifted with a free Family Membership to the Museum, which gives Museum access to families who may otherwise not have it.

”We are very thankful to participate in this program. Our students feel as if the Cummer is THEIR museum. Students talked about visiting the Museum on weekends and how happy they were to take their entire family at no cost.” – Dinah Stewart, Central Riverside Elementary School Principal

Cummer in the Classroom is highly beneficial not only to the Museum, but also to thousands of children and families throughout Duval County. The program has created a relationship with students that is sure to stay with them for years, as many students identify the Museum as “their museum”, a place outside of their home and school that connects them to their community. This initiative is helping to engage and inspire children from all backgrounds in the arts.

Cummer in the Classroom would not be possible without donations from generous sponsors. Many thanks to EverBank, The Main Street America Group, Dianne T. & Charles E. Rice Family Foundation, J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, Holland & Knight, and The Rea Charitable Trust for their contributions.

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