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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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Looking Back to Look Forward: Part 3



O. Pierre Havens, Arthur Cummer at Age 25, 1898, The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Archives.

Arthur Gerrish Cummer, originally from Morley, Michigan, was born in 1873, the son of Wellington Wilson Cummer and Mary Ada Gerrish.  While attending the University of Michigan, Arthur met Ninah May Holden from Michigan City, Indiana. Born in 1875, she was one of the few women attending the university; she studied languages. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in June 1895, she returned to her hometown to teach Greek and Latin at the local high school. Two years later, Arthur and Ninah were married in Michigan City.

Immediately after their marriage, the couple moved to Jacksonville, by then the center of the family’s thriving lumber business. In 1903, the Cummers built a large Tudor-style house within the “Cummer compound” on Riverside Avenue alongside the St. Johns River. Living next door were Mr. Cummer’s parents, and alongside them were Mr. Cummer’s brother, Waldo, and his wife, Clara.

Ninah Cummer in her Wedding dress, taken one year after her Wedding, 1898, The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Archives.

Over the coming months, check back too learn more about the Cummer family, how the museum was developed, and what you can look forward to in the years to come.

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