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Celebrate 70: A History of Collecting

June 7 -

January 5, 2025

Exhibition overview

This exhibition highlights the PMA’s permanent collection of international, national, and regionally acclaimed artists. Since its inception, the museum has built a collection of modern and contemporary art from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. As a community museum, collecting art is vitally important to our mission of enriching the lives of locals and visitors. Each artwork functions as a “link in the chain” to inspire creativity, facilitate an understanding of art history, and give life to beautiful, aesthetic experiences. Museum staff are stewards of the collection and are charged with protecting and expanding this valuable cultural resource to benefit the citizens of Pensacola and future generations. 


2024 marks the 70th anniversary of the Pensacola Museum of Art becoming an art center in Pensacola. Seven decades ago, members of the local chapter of the American Association of University Women envisioned a venue to exhibit traveling art exhibitions, offer art classes for both children and adults, and provide a community space for public meetings, lectures, and films. In 1954 they leased the vacant, historic City of Pensacola Jail and formed the Pensacola Art Association. The group established the Pensacola Museum of Art (PMA) in 1982 and purchased the building from the city in 1988. In 2016, the museum entered into a gift agreement with the University of West Florida to transfer the museum to the university. The PMA is now part of the University of West Florida Historic Trust.


More than seventy artists are included in this exhibition with featured works by Francisco Goya, Milton Avery, John James Audubon, Henri de Touluse-Lautrec, Thomas Hart Benton, Alexander Calder, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, Philip Guston, Clementine Hunter, Alfred Stieglitz, Walker Evans, Alex Katz, Käthe Kollwitz, Erté, Louise Nevelson, Philip Pearlstein, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Fairfield Porter, Linda Benglis, Norman Rockwell, and Miriam Schapiro. Through these works, the exhibition will provide a survey of modern and contemporary styles and periods including, Cubism, Realism, Pop Art, Non-objective Art, Folk Art, and Illustration.


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