The Cornell Fine Arts Museum, part of Winter Park’s Rollins College, will be announcing a lineup of exciting news as it embarks on a complete expansion and rebrand as the Rollins Museum of Art, commencing September 2021.
Rollins, founded in 1885 and Florida’s oldest liberal arts college, has embraced donations from some of the country’s most dedicated art advocates, garnering a collection of over 5,700 works. From Thomas Gainsborough to Bloomsbury artists and Warhol, to some of today’s cutting-edge talent such as Julie Mehretu, Shirin Neshat, and Hank Willis Thomas, the museum’s holdings reflect a global, diverse roster with a sizeable American collection, a forward-thinking contemporary collection and the only European Old Master paintings in the Orlando area.
The last decade, in particular, has marked tremendous transformative growth for the museum, including 900 new works added to the collection, a significantly expanded exhibitions calendar, an over-quadruple increase in yearly visitors, and a triple increase in student involvement, underscoring the museum’s unique teaching mission. Fundraising and support have grown sevenfold, as visibility and awareness continue to expand; the museum has achieved significant press coverage from notable sources like The New York Times, USA Today, Forbes, The Art Newspaper, and beyond.
A new facility for the museum – which was greenlighted by the Winter Park City Commission in March 2020 – will transform it into a full-fledged community resource. Joining the other cultural venues in the heart of Winter Park, it will strengthen and augment the city’s reputation as the City of Arts and Culture.
Located one block from Park Avenue, and within walking distance from the train station, a spacious, more contemporary building will offer exhibitions and programs completely free of charge year-round. Equipped with larger galleries, study rooms, an Education Center, and an auditorium and café, the museum will become a local, national and international destination, and a space for learning and contemplation, for enjoyment, enlightenment, and new experiences. The museum anticipates a doubling of guest attendance within the facility’s first year.
“The Rollins Museum of Art can, and will, serve a wider and more diverse community, while at the same time emphasizing its unique characteristics as the only teaching museum in greater Orlando, embodying our college’s mission and values,” noted Rollins President Grant Cornwell.
Today, as it enters the final stage of the capital campaign for a new facility in the heart of Winter Park, the museum believes it is the right moment to rebrand. The museum’s new name – the Rollins Museum of Art – embodies both its recent history and the vision for its future.
“The museum has always been part of the Rollins brand, offering educational experiences for learners of all ages on and off campus - with an emphasis on depth and diversity, thoughtfulness, interdisciplinarity, dialogue. A museum visitor has recently characterized us as ‘the best museum I’ve ever been to, where I can understand the very thought-provoking content,’” noted Director Ena Heller.
Among the exciting announcements coming from the museum later this summer will be plans for fall exhibitions, launch celebrations, and community events. For more information, visit their site here.