Saturday, April 19, 2014

Museums of Tampa Walking Tour Video Released

YouTube Video Shows Street View of Tampa's Top Museums

Did you ever wonder what Tampa's museums looked like at street level? Of course you did! Now you can view them from the comfort of your own home or car or walking down the street looking for a great museum to visit.

This new video includes easy-to-read maps, helpful captions and classical music to walk by. The film features seven Tampa museums that are within walking distance of one another - Tampa Museum of Art, Glazer Children's Museum, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, the Henry B. Plant Museum, Tampa Bay History Center, the Florida Aquarium and the SS American Victory.

Check it out and take it along on your next museum crawl. You'll be glad you did. (And, please, no snickering as you watch it; after all, it's the FIRST Tampa Bay Museums blog video!)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Is the Perfect Time to Visit Heritage Village

Florida History Comes Alive in Largo Park

There's nothing like a sunny spring day with a warm breeze to remind you why so many people came to Florida -- and stayed. A walk around Heritage Village, the Pinellas County historical park, gives you a visceral feeling for the reasons pioneers decided to settle in the Tampa Bay area.

McMullen House at Heritage Village
McMullen House at Heritage Village

This 21-acre living history museum includes almost every kind of building from turn of the century Florida, all moved to the park from their original locations around the county. Several are important to local history, including the McMullen House, built in 1868, the oldest continuously-occupied home in Pinellas County, and the McMullen-Coachman Log Cabin, circa 1852, the oldest existing structure in the county.

House of Seven Gables at Heritage Village
House of Seven Gables at Heritage Village

You can walk through most of the buildings and view first hand how the early residents of Florida spent their days. Two of the houses, the House of Seven Gables (1907) and the Walsingham House (1915) are completely furnished and viewed with a docent-guided tour.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Don't Miss the Warhol Exhibit at the Dali Museum

"Warhol: Art. Fame. Mortality." through April 27, 2014

If you still haven't made it to the Dali Museum for the impressive Andy Warhol
exhibit, you'd better "pop" on over. Closing on Sunday, April 27, this show
The author poses with a cardboard cutout of Andy Warholprovides an excellent overview of Warhol's career and his connections to Dali. Included are a sampling of Polaroids of Warhol with various other celebrities, paintings and drawings, the famous Heinz Tomato Ketchup Boxes, early films, and much more.

Other events include two documentaries on Warhol's life and art, three Warhol films ("Space," "Camp" and "Lonesome Cowboys") and two lectures on Warhol's methods of creating art. Check dates and times here.

Don't wait. Make the scene like I did. You might even make a new friend!

Photo (c) D.G. Brinkerhoff  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Make Your Own Art with Art Classes at Tampa Bay Museums

Sure, art museums help you appreciate the works they exhibit but they also help create the next generation of artists, no matter how old you are. Here is a sampling of art classes at local museums in the Tampa Bay area. Always call ahead for days and times; special events cause schedule changes and cancellations.

Tampa Museum of Art

"Art Spot"  Every Saturday from 11am to 2pm
Children drop-in to create an art project around monthly themes based on current exhibits. No registration required.

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa

FMoPA offers photography workshops, photo safaris and camps on a regular basis for adults and children. You can check them out here.

Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg

"MFA: Make & Take"  1st and 3rd Saturday of the month from 11am to 2pm
Children ages 5 and up create art based on works in the museum. Supplies included. Free with Museum admission.  No registration required.

The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg

"Dillydally with Dali"  Every Saturday from 11:45am to 4:30pm
Children and their families create arts and crafts based on Dali's works in the Education Classroom. Free admission to the First Floor. No registration required.

Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs

"Leap into Art"  Second Thursday of the month at 4:30pm
Children and their families listen to a story about modern art and create art based on the story. Children admitted free.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Is There a Museum Renaissance in Tampa Bay?


If it is true that great cities must have great museums and that museums are the soul of a city, does that mean Tampa Bay is on its way to cultural greatness?

Consider this: In the past seven years, Tampa Bay has added or expanded seven
museums. Since the new wing on the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg in
2008, almost every year has seen a major change in location or venue in at
least one museum that could be seen as an improvement.

Tampa Finally Gets Its Museum Act Together

In 2009, Tampa Bay History Center found a permanent home in Tampa's
Channelside district that became a historical museum of not only Tampa Bay
but Florida and the nation as well.

Tampa Museum of Art, after years of wrangling, finally found a new location
in an stunning new building in 2010, joined by The Glazer Children's Museum
in a park on the banks of the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa.

More Positive Changes in St. Petersburg

The same year saw the opening of The Chihuly Collection in downtown St.
Petersburg across the street from the Museum of Fine Arts. Although
technically more gallery than museum, it is one of very few "one artist"
venues in the U.S. In 2011, also in St. Petersburg, the Salvador Dali Museum
re-located to its new building that is as iconoclastic as its namesake. It is
the second museum in the Tampa Bay area that is dedicated to a single artist.

The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts settled into its new quarters in the
atrium building known as "the Cube" in downtown Tampa in 2012.

Re-Birth of a Collection

But bad things even happen to good museums. After the 2009 closing of the
much-missed Gulf Coast Museum of Art in Largo, its collection of contemporary
art first migrated to Florida International Museum, the home of so-called
"blockbuster" exhibitions and associated with St. Petersburg College, until
it too failed in 2010. Fortunately, the collection finally landed at the
Leepa-Rattner Museum on the Tarpon Springs campus of St. Petersburg College
in 2011.

And perhaps that rescue of an established collection shows most clearly that,
culturally, Tampa Bay has a "soul."