Art Museums in Orlando - Museum Of Art
Orlando is more than just the major theme parks and the hundreds of attractions that can be found here. It also has a thriving art and cultural scene, with numerous museums and galleries housing stunning collections of artworks that are carefully curated and displayed for the enjoyment of Orlando's many visitors. There are several excellent art museums in Orlando, one of which is the Orlando Museum of Art.
The History of Orlando Museum of Art
Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) was established in 1924 as the Orlando Art Association. This organization started as a small art center composed of artists who met on an informal setting in the 1920s where they displayed and critiqued their work. During the late 1950s, the group raised funds to build a facility which was designed by James Gamble Rogers III and was completed by the year 1960.
They began collecting various artworks the same year they accepted donations of famous paintings by Charles Sheeler and Georgia O'Keeffe. They expanded their facility over time with the help of noted architects Duane Stark and Nils Schweizer, both of whom were Frank Lloyd Wright students. Their new facility includes three studio classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, a vault, a library, and offices. The Orlando Museum of Art received a significant collection of Art of the Americas as well as other African artworks, which launched their Contemporary American Graphics Collection.
The state of Florida designated Orlando Museum of Art as a major cultural institution in 1985.
Orlando Museum of Art
The mission of the Orlando Museum of Art is to interpret and present the most compelling works of art to the public, as well as to make a positive impact on people's lives through inspiring and innovative education programs. Their mission is to inspire creativity, intellectual curiosity, and passion in the arts in both local and international artists. OMA's mission is to bring people together through new ideas and art works.
Every year, OMA presents up to 12 on-site exhibits and 13 exhibits off-site, endless gallery tours, award-winning art enrichment programs, video programs, studio classes, teacher in-service training programs, outreach services not only in their facility but also throughout the community.
What to See in Orlando Museum of Art?
There is much to see in Orlando city for sure, but if you want to immerse yourself in fine arts, a trip to OMA is well worth it. Aside from their special events like galleries and exhibits, there are a few pieces here that art lovers will want to take a closer look at.
Citron and Cobalt Tower
Upon entering the museum, you’ll immediately be struck by the Chihuly Glass which was made by the well-known glass artist Dale Chihuly, that features those dark lemon and blue glass tentacles reaching for the sky. The intricacy of the work is simply stunning.
Barbara Sorensen’s “Dwellings” are wire-frame sculptures that were inspired by the woven fish traps that the Aborigine used to catch fish. Sorenson is based in Colorado, but she has already exhibited in OMA as well as in Cornell Fine Arts Museum and Mennello Museum of American Art.
Aside from the Chihuly Glass, there are several post-impressionist landscapes showcased here which were done by Louis Dewis. His paintings consisted of scenes of villages, cities, as well as the countryside in France and Belgium. His artwork will be displayed in OMA until the 9th of September.
Art Abounds in Downtown Orlando
Aside from the amazing collection of artworks in OMA’s gallery, there are other museums in Orlando that are well worth visiting. Downtown Orlando is home to several art spaces that are also well worth adding to your list of things to do while you are in Orlando. Here are a few that are worth mentioning in the Orlando Art district.
City Arts Factory
City Arts Factory is Downtown Orlando’s largest collection of art galleries showing work done by both local and international artists. The artwork displayed here is rotated every month with free admission from Tuesday to Saturday from 11 in the morning to 6 in the evening.
Mad Cow Theatre
Mad Cow Theatre is a local theatre that provides several shows from comedy performances all the way to musicals.
Dr. Phillips Center of the Performing Arts
If you’re looking for a show, you can check out Dr. Phillips Center of the Performing Arts where you can watch Broadway musicals, Jazz concerts, ballet and more.
Grand Bohemian Gallery
Another art gallery that you should check out while you are downtown is the Grand Bohemian Gallery located within the Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando where you can view works of art done by local, international, and regional artists .
Art Schools in Orlando
For budding artists, Orlando has several colleges and universities that offer art programs to local and international students as well. Here are a few that are worth checking out if you’re thinking about enrolling in the city.
University of Central Florida
University of Central Florida has 14 Art and Design Degree programs where a large percentage of their students graduate in the Art and Design field, getting Masters and Doctoral degrees in the same university.
Rollins College is a small private university that offers 3 Art and Design Degree programs. It also has an art gallery which is one of the most visited in downtown Orlando.
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts
This private college offers 2 Art and Design Degree programs with 264 students graduating in this field in 2015.
Best Art Store Orlando
Budding artists will need their art supplies and Orlando is packed to the brim with art stores where you can easily get a variety of art materials and tools. Here are a few that you should take note of:
Sam Flax stands out in terms of an art store Orlando because of the mural design that changes from time to time. It is also home to dozens of art materials and it has become the ‘go to’ spot for artists because they have everything that they could need. They also offer art classes, which is a plus for young artists who want to learn how to wield paint brushes like a pro.
Reynolds Advanced Materials
Another art supply store that you’ll find in Orlando is Reynolds Advanced Materials where you will find materials for sculpting, making molds, or even pouring resin castings. They also have video tutorials which are useful for beginners.
Art Systems of Florida
This is another great spot if you are looking for art supplies like easels, spray paint, paint brushes, canvas, and paint just to name a few. The prices are reasonable here especially for students who are on a budget.
Top Museums to Visit in Orlando
If you are looking for art museums in Orlando that have free admission, there are several choices because Orlando has numerous museums that are sure to be worth a visit. Here are a few that you should add to your itinerary.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum
Cornell Fine Arts Museum offers free admission to its guests with more than 6,000 art pieces that range from Renaissance all the way to the Baroque period. If you are an art lover, this is a good place to start because it houses some of the oldest collections that you will find in Florida.
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Another option to consider in terms of free museums in Orlando is Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. Here you will find an impressive selection of Louis Comfort Tiffany which includes the chapel interior that was designed by Charles Hosmer Morse. It also houses an extensive collection of American Pottery including 19th and 20th century paintings as well. Admission is free from 4pm to 8pm every Friday from November to April.
Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts
Make your way to Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts where they celebrate this famous artist who is known for her story Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Fort Christmas Historical Museum & Park
If you're a history buff, don't forget to include Fort Christmas on your list of things to do in Orlando. A full-size replica of Fort Christmas, which was built for the Second Seminole Indian War, can be found here. It features seven restored pioneer homes as well as exhibits depicting pioneer life. Homesteading, citrus, cattle, fishing, hunting, and trapping are some of the major themes.
When it comes to art, the Orlando Museum of Art is always a good place to start, and with downtown Orlando being home to several artworks and galleries, there is always something new to enjoy in the city. And the list of other museums and galleries is long enough to keep you busy for the duration of your trip
Orlando Museum Of Art Resources:
 Wikipedia; Orlando Museum of Art; 2019.
 Orlando Museum of Art; About The Orlando Museum Of Art, 2014.
 Orlando Sentinel.com; 5 things to see at Orlando Museum of Art, Anne Dunlap, July 25, 2018.
 Downtown Orlando.com; Guide To The Arts In Downtown Orlando, August 11,2016.
 Yelp.com; The Best 10 Art Supplies in Orlando, Fl, United States,2014-2019.
 Tripster Travel Guide; 17 Totally Free Things To Do In Orlando, Asley, Travel Expert, April 26, 2018.