Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens celebrates 60th anniversary

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens kicks off its 60th anniversary celebration this Veterans Day weekend with free admission, live music, arts activities and more. Admission is free thanks to support from VyStar Credit Union and PNC Bank.

Since its founding on November 11, 1961, the Museum has served as a dynamic cultural resource bringing the community of Northeast Florida together through the arts, education and its beautiful riverfront gardens. The Cummer Museum’s 60th Anniversary Kick-Off Celebration begins on Thursday, November 11 and continues through Sunday, November 14, 2021; the Museum will also offer programming throughout the year in honor of this special occasion.

“For 60 years, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens has served as a vital source of inspiration and a place of reflection for our community — a role that has taken on even greater significance during the pandemic,” Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director and CEO of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, said. “We are excited to celebrate this important moment and welcome everyone to the Museum for a vibrant weekend of art, music and fun.”

Ninah Cummer, the Museum’s namesake, bequeathed her collection of works to create “a center of beauty and culture” for the benefit of all the people of Northeast Florida. Today, the Museum holds over 5,000 works of art in its collection, spanning from 2100 B.C. through the 21st century, and includes 2.5 acres of historic gardens overlooking the St. Johns River. Its robust educational programming provides multigenerational learning through classes, lectures and camps, as well as a series of impactful programs focused on accessibility and inclusivity, including “Women of Vision,” a unique initiative that brings visual arts to women with blindness or low vision; the “Arts4All Festival,” an arts festival at the Museum for students with differing abilities living in Northeast Florida; and initiatives like “Cummer in the Community,” which serves students, staff and families in high priority areas through strategic partnerships with schools and community-based program providers.

The Museum recently launched “60 & 60 in 60,” a year-end campaign to welcome 60 new and renewing members to its core membership, and 60 new and renewing donors to the Ponce de León Society (donors who give $1,250 or more per year) by December 31, 2021. This year-end initiative invites the entire community to support ongoing efforts to ensure that the Museum is an inspiring and accessible place for art, beauty and reflection. To join, visit cummermuseum.org/join-us.

Over the course of the next year, the Museum will honor its 60th anniversary with a variety of programs and events designed to celebrate its legacy of community impact and signal its future growth. For a list of programs, visit cummermuseum.org.

Woodward Studio, Ninah Cummer in the English Garden . C. 1929, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Archives
Woodward Studio, Ninah Cummer in the English Garden . C. 1929, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Archives

60th Anniversary Kick-Off Weekend activities will include:

Thursday, November 11 | Veterans Day | MUSEUM HOURS: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. | FREE

Admission sponsored by VyStar Credit Union

  • Let’s Ride Brass Band: Sets every hour at 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. 
  • Permanent Collection Highlight Tours: 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. 
  • “Ninah Cummer’s Museum: On Women and Art in American Society”: A virtual lecture with Scott Brown, Ph.D., Ninah Cummer’s Museum: 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • All day: 
    • Lawn games in the Gardens
    • Drop-in papermaking activity 
    • 60th anniversary scavenger hunt

Friday, November 12 | MUSEUM HOURS: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. | FREE

Admission sponsored by PNC Bank

  • Streams of Sound: Playing on the Upper Tier Colonnade from 1 to 4 p.m. 
  • Groov Band: Playing in the Cummer Café from 5:30 to 8 p.m. 
  • Jeremy Prince Jazz Trio: Playing on the Upper Tier Colonnade from 5:30 to 8 p.m. 
  • Permanent Collection Highlight Tours: 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. 
  • Food & Fun: 5 to 8 p.m. 
    • Food station with gourmet hot dogs, homemade gelato and bar in the Upper Tier
    • Balloon animals 
    • Face painting in the Gardens by Debra Heuskin-Adloff
  • All day: 
    • Lawn games in the Gardens
    • Drop-in papermaking activity 
    • 60th anniversary scavenger hunt  

Saturday, November 13 | MUSEUM HOURS: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. | FREE

  • Let’s Ride Brass Band: Playing sets every hour at 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. 
  • Permanent Collection Highlight Tours: 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. 
  • Food & Fun: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Food station with gourmet hot dogs, homemade gelato and bar in the Upper Tier 
    • Face painting in the Gardens with Debra Heuskin-Adloff
    • Balloon animals 
  • All day: 
    • Lawn games in the Gardens
    • Drop-in papermaking activity 
    • 60th anniversary scavenger hunt  

Sunday, November 14 | MUSEUM HOURS: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. | FREE

  • The Band Be Easy: Playing sets from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m., and 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. 
  • Permanent Collection Highlight Tours: 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Food & Fun: 12 to 3 p.m.
    • Food station with gourmet hot dogs, homemade gelato and bar in the Upper Tier 
    • Face painting in the Gardens with Debra Heuskin-Adloff
  • All day: 
    • Lawn games in the Gardens
    • Drop-in papermaking activity 
    • 60th anniversary scavenger hunt  

**All events are rain or shine and moved indoors if inclement weather arises. 

Visitors enjoy the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens lawn
Visitors enjoy the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens lawn

About the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens:

For 60 years, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens has been committed to engaging and inspiring through the arts, gardens, and education. A permanent collection of more than 5,000 objects and historic gardens on a riverfront campus offers nearly 150,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.

The Museum is committed to ensuring that diversity and inclusion are woven into the fabric of its exhibitions, programs, and offerings.

For further information, including hours, visit www.cummermuseum.org.

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