Newly expanded gallery space at Tampa Museum of Art enables the showcasing of touring exhibits

Renovations at the Tampa Museum of Art are already paying dividends and enhancing visitors' experiences. In addition to increased space for educational programming, the museum now also has more room to display pieces from its permanent collection and host outside artworks through touring exhibitions.

One such exhibit was "Frontiers of Impressionism: Paintings from the Worcester Art Museum." The show featured 53 colorful works by over 30 artists, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Mary Cassatt, and Childe Hassam. The collection was on loan from the Worcester Art Museum.

Joanna Robotham, Tampa Museum of Art's curator of modern and contemporary art, says the exhibit showcased more than vibrant color and brushstroke techniques, both characteristic of impressionism. The show also offered a visual timeline of the 19th century art movement.

"It tells the story of impressionism from how it unravels from its early origins to its roots in Paris, and how it spread to the United States and throughout Europe. And then it closes with looking at how artists broke away from the impressionist tradition and found new avenues for creating art. And lastly, how they took impressionism and used those techniques to paint the American West," Robotham explained.

The collection of masterpieces was unique in that some of the paintings were acquired by the Worcester Art Museum when the artists were still living. A handful of works were displayed in their original frames.

"It's important to us that all residents of Hillsborough County can come and experience what we have on view at the Tampa Museum of Art. We recently went through a major renovation and expanded our education center and also our gallery space. And with that, that means we can serve many more residents of Hillsborough County," Robotham said.

The museum recently renovated 25,000 square feet of existing interior space, allowing it to accommodate an additional 74,000 visitors and program participants annually. The project included expanding existing education spaces and adding another 7,000 square feet for gallery exhibitions -- doubling current exhibition capacity. It also added four bathrooms and included renovations to the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and fire prevention systems.

Capital improvements at the museum will also serve out-of-towners and the local economy. According to the most recent Arts & Economic Prosperity (AEP6) study 28.6% of attendees at local arts and cultural events are nonlocal visitors who traveled from outside Hillsborough County to attend. Tourists and locals alike strengthen the economy by spending money on restaurants, transportation, shopping, and paying for parking when attending arts events.

More information about the museum's exhibits and programming can be found on the Tampa Museum of Art website.

Photo Information: Paul Signac's "Golfe Juan" was featured in "Frontiers of Impressionism: Paintings from the Worcester Art Museum."
Posted: 1/23/2024, 5:46:34 PM