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History

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The purpose of the Museum is twofold: to enrich the university and the community by exhibiting works of art which expand the understanding of art today and of the past and to serve as a teaching instrument for art instruction, particularly by holding exhibitions of informational value to students and the general public and by providing student artists with an arena to exhibit their work.

Founded 1950; operations suspended; Fine Arts Building facility 1970.

Accredited by the American Association of Museums, August 2003.

The Museum of Fine Arts, a division of the College of Fine Arts at Florida State University, at 16,000 sq ft. with 9000 sq. ft. of exhibition space and a permanent collection of over 6000 objects, is a major art exhibition space and an integral part of the Tallahassee community. At the time of its formation in 1950, it occupied one small room and was administered by faculty on a volunteer basis who operated without specific funding. Spurred on particularly by the move in 1970 into the Fine Arts Building, a complex that houses Fallon Theatre as well, and by the establishment of the School of Visual Arts in 1973, the growth of the Museum has been significant and steady. The staff consists of five full-time employees, quarter-time employees who are academic interns, and a rotating population of student volunteers.

The choice of quality exhibitions plays a dominant role in the Museum’s efforts to reach its goals with respect to the general public and the university community. The lower level exhibitions run concurrently with upper gallery changing exhibitions. The scope ranges from national-impact, scholarly presentations of works never previously exhibited, to the work of regional artists or students. This balance between response to the artistic community and leadership in treating art in a consciously educational way reflects the Museum’s perception of its role in the region. In the last decade the number of critically valid exhibitions has risen, as has national distribution of research in the form of catalogues.

Current Advisory Committee Members:

Peter Weishar
Dean, College of Fine Arts
Jack Freiberg
Assoc. Dean, College of Fine Arts
David Gussak
Chair, Art Education
Carolyn Henne
Assoc. Dean, College of Fine Arts
Scott A. Schamp
Associate Dean, CFA
Cameron Jackson
Director, School of Theatre
Adam Jolles
Chair, Art History
Joséphine Garibaldi
Chair, School of Dance
Jessica Comas
Senior Development Officer, CFA
Allys Palladino-Craig
Director, Museum of Fine Arts
Lisa Waxman
Chair, Department of Interior Architecture & Design

 

In addition to staff proposals, outside proposals from guest curators from the university and the community at large are considered with regard to creating interesting new exhibitions of high calibre. Catalogue authors are approached on the basis of their relevant, parallel, or intensive research in any field of consideration. Publications are overseen by staff with many years’ editing experience, and a balanced season schedule is the result of available resources, categories of media, art historical periods and contemporary issues. The Museum of Fine Arts also provides a special network for one of its primary constituent groups—artists. The Artists’ League was formed in the Fall of 1986 as a forum for discussion, exchange of information and critical commentary, successfully supporting artists who in turn support the programming of the Museum.