The Museum enjoyed a tremendous winter season as visitation returned to more normal levels, and participation in our signature events and programs was extraordinary. It was rewarding for us to see on a daily basis how important art is to people’s lives. We ended the season with the highest attendance ever for our annual Athena Society Dinner, at which two spectacular works were voted into the Museum’s collection: Daisy Youngblood’s Gorilla and Wu Chi-Tsung’s Cyano-Collage 121 are both foundational additions to our permanent collection. Also, in late April, the Children’s Art Festival brought over 2,000 people to the Museum as families enjoyed the free admission weekend. We also welcomed Congressman Bill Posey and his 2022 Congressional Art Show Exhibition entitled An Artistic Discovery. We are honored to host this great event annually and display over 80 student artworks from Brevard, Indian River, and a small portion of Orange County.
The exhibition Vero Collects: Hidden Treasures Revealed was not only a huge hit with our visitors but led to several gifts and promised gifts of art to the Museum. Along with the Athena Society acquisitions, these donations are crucial to building an excellent permanent collection for Vero Beach to enjoy for generations. Vero Collects will be followed by another stunning exhibition, Simple Pleasures: The Art of Doris Lee, the first major retrospective of this unsung hero of American Modernism. Doris Lee captured mid-century American life, combining folk art with illustration and modern art to become one of the most celebrated artists of her time. In recent decades, she has been overlooked until this nationally traveling exhibition from The Westmoreland Museum of American Art was organized, which we are pleased to offer to Vero Beach.
Three exceptional exhibitions will follow the Doris Lee retrospective: Changing Nature: A New Vision, Photographs by James Balog, who has become internationally known for his pioneering environmental work. Concurrently, we will present Picasso, Matisse & Friends: Drawings from a Private Collection, a show with exceptional works rarely seen in public by these major masters. And then, in the winter of 2023, Rolling Sculpture: Streamlined Art Deco Automobiles and Motorcycles will present a unique exhibition with twenty spectacular Art Deco vehicles in the galleries. This show will be unlike anything we have presented at the Museum, and together with our signature programs, we will explore the richness of the Art Deco period.
We look forward to taking this journey with you!
Executive Director/ CEO
The Museum is bursting with great art! It has been a pleasure to welcome visitors back to the Museum as they view American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collection, which has received wonderful accolades. We are thrilled, to present concurrently a special exhibition of local folk art in the Patten Community Gallery organized by the Cultural Council of Indian River County and our Education team. Along with the Hanneke Beaumont drawing show in the Holmén Hallway and the Martin Puryear exhibition in the Stark Gallery, we have continued to utilize all our galleries to offer our community an exceptional art experience.
Our relationship with the School District of Indian River County remains quite strong as the Museum hosted the inaugural Superintendent’s Exhibition and award ceremony in early November. It was a delight to see so many families turn out to attend and take advantage of access to the Museum galleries afterwards.
It was with great sadness that we received the news of the passing of our visionary founder Jean Armstrong. She was incredibly passionate about the Museum and as we mourn her recent passing, we will forever remember her love for the arts and desire to provide a source of cultural light for the community.
This December, the Museum will present for the first time a spectacular outdoor video art exhibition Art After Dark over the weekend of December 17-18. The show will feature more than eight international artists and will light up the Museum in an exciting new way. Many thanks to the Museum team for delivering these great exhibitions and events. We are also thrilled to be on the cusp of opening Vero Collects: Hidden Treasures Revealed. Senior Curator Anke Van Wagenberg has secured over 100 loans for this stunning exhibition which promises to be a revelation. We are grateful to the many collectors in our community for their generous loans and encourage you to take the time to visit the show now that we will return to normal open hours, seven days a week in late January. As you will read in this issue, many of our humanities programs, including the 2022 International Lecture Series, will explore the theme of collecting, and we look forward to your continued participation and a great season ahead.
We also look forward to seeing many of you back, in person, for our annual Gala 2022: Masterworks in Art and Music. Many thanks to our talented co-chairs Janet Tribus and Xaque Gruber for their excellent work on this signature event.
From everyone at the Museum, we wish you a happy and healthy 2022!
Executive Director/ CEO