Current Exhibitions

Time for Change: Art and Social Unrest in the Jorge M. Pérez Collection

November 11 through March 12, 2023

Barthélémy Toguo (Cameroonian, b. 1967), Road to Exile, 2018. Wooden boat, cloth bundles, glass bottles, and plastic containers. 120 x 60 x 45 inches. Jorge M. Pérez Collection, Miami. Installation at the Tampa Museum of Art.
Barthélémy Toguo (Cameroonian, b. 1967), Road to Exile, 2018. Wooden boat, cloth bundles, glass bottles, and plastic containers. 120 x 60 x 45 inches. Jorge M. Pérez Collection, Miami. Installation at the Tampa Museum of Art.

Time for Change: Art and Social Unrest in the Jorge M. Pérez Collection looks at how artists explore conflicts and contradictions of contemporary society, as well as analyze historical events and reframes them within the present. An interest in the marginalized, the marginal and the margins (of society, of history) unites the works in the exhibition. Time for Change was first presented as the inaugural exhibition in December 2019 at El Espacio 23, a contemporary art space founded by collector and philanthropist Jorge M. Pérez. Featuring artists from across the globe, the exhibition highlights art—from painting and sculpture to video and works on paper—that address unrest through allegory, metaphor or veiled allusion.​ 

Time for Change: Art and Social Unrest in the Jorge M. Pérez Collection was curated by José Roca for El Espacio 23.

Exhibition Sponsor: Gobioff Foundation

Gobioff Foundation
Current Exhibitions

Prelude: An Introduction to the Permanent Collection

On View Now

Alma Thomas (American, 1891-1978), "New Galaxy", 1970. Acrylic on canvas. 54 1/4 x 54 inches. Tampa Museum of Art, Gift of Douglas H. Teller in memory of Julian H. Singman, 1997.017.
Alma Thomas (American, 1891-1978), New Galaxy, 1970. Acrylic on canvas. 54 1/4 x 54 inches. Tampa Museum of Art, Gift of Douglas H. Teller in memory of Julian H. Singman, 1997.017.

Prelude: An Introduction to the Permanent Collection presents the Tampa Museum of Art’s main collecting areas in ancient, modern, and contemporary art. The exhibition features artworks exploring themes of site, power, and the body in ancient vessels, tools, and jewelry, as well as sculptures, painting, and photography. Viewed together in dialogue with each other, the objects speak to shared experiences across time and place. An ongoing exhibition, Prelude includes both familiar works and recent additions to the permanent collection.

Current Exhibitions

Poetry in Paint: The Artists of Old Tampa Bay

Selections from Alfred Frankel’s Artists of Old Florida, 1840-1960

August 18, 2022 – January 23, 2023

Hillsborough River
Harry Bierce (American, 1886-1954). Hillsborough River, n.d . Oil on canvas. 14 x 18 inches. Frankel Collection.

Collector Dr. Alfred Frankel has studied and collected the paintings of early Florida artists for the past 40 years. After meeting Michael Turbeville in the 1980s, an antiques dealer based in Tampa, he started to collect relatively unknown artists capturing Florida’s untamed landscape. To date, Dr. Frankel has acquired nearly 500 works of art. His holdings not only depict Florida’s raw beauty, but the collection reveals how local artists from Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Gainesville, were influential in developing art communities across the state in the early 20th century. Poetry in Paint: The Artists of Old Tampa Bay explores artists essential to the founding of the Tampa Bay area’s creative circles and features painters such as Harry Bierce, Theodore Coe, and Belle Weeden McNeer. Dr. Frankel has extensively researched the artists in his vast collection, which has resulted in the self-publication of the books Artists of Old Florida, 1840-1960 and The Dictionary of Florida Artists.

Contributor Sponsor:

Current Exhibitions

All in Favor: New Works in the Permanent Collection

On view June 30, 2022 through July 23, 2023

Suchitra Mattai (Guyanese, b. 1973), Alter Ego, 2020. Acrylic, embroidery floss, vintage sari, fabric, appliques, brush. 58 x 46 inches.
Suchitra Mattai (Guyanese, b. 1973), Alter Ego, 2020. Acrylic, embroidery floss, vintage sari, fabric, appliques, brush. 58 x 46 inches.
Two-vial perfume bottle with three-tier handle
Two-vial perfume bottle with three-tier handle. Glass; Eastern Mediterranean; Roman Imperial period, ca. 2nd-3rd cent. ce. 6 ¾ x 2 ⅞ x 1 ¼ inches. Tampa Museum of Art, Gift of Ms. Lili Kaufmann, 2021.045.

Over the past five years the Tampa Museum of Art has received a record number of gifts to the permanent collection. The exhibition, All in Favor: New Works in the Permanent Collection, highlights the many recent works that have entered TMA’s holdings, ranging from ancient glass and bronze objects to contemporary paintings and sculptures from today’s leading artists. Artists on view include the collective assume vivid astro focus (AVAF), Christo, Jane Corrigan, Mitchell Johnson, Suchitra Mattai, Simphiwe Ndzube, Roger Palmer, Daisy Patton, Jaume Plensa, Claudia Ryan, John Scott, and others.

Collections may be described as the heart of any museum. At their best, collections should inspire museum staff and influence exhibition and education programming. More importantly, collections should reflect the community at large and create a lasting impression on visitors. It is common for museum objects to become like old friends, with visitors returning again and again to see their favorite work or artist on view. Acquisitions, or works collected by a museum, can define a museum and tell its story. These objects not only reflect the institution’s evolving vision and mission over time but also highlight socio-political events and ideologies, creative choices and nuances in artistic technique, as well as technological advances that define specific periods and genres of art. 

The Tampa Museum of Art’s collection focuses on two main areas: ancient art, and modern and contemporary art. Throughout its storied history, TMA has prided itself on its growing collections. In 1986, the Museum acquired its first major collection of ancient art from the Joseph Veach Noble Collection, which continues to anchor the Museum’s Greek and Roman antiquities. The modern and contemporary art collection includes works in five major groups—painting, sculpture, prints, photography, and new media/installation art. In total, the Museum has acquired nearly 7,500 objects. 

Collecting institutions such as the Tampa Museum of Art maintain strict standards of acquisition policies. While each museum’s procedures may be slightly different, the goal is to adhere to high levels of research with acute attention paid to an object’s history, its relevance to other works in the collection, as well as its needs for long-term care and conservation. Like many museums, TMA works with a Collections Committee, a dedicated group of Board and community members who review artworks recommended by curatorial staff. Each object is carefully discussed and voted on, with each assessment concluding (hopefully) with the resounding vote of approval, “All in favor, say aye.” 

All in Favor: New Works in the Permanent Collection presents a select group of objects and artworks recently acquired by the Tampa Museum of Art. Over the past five years, the Museum has accepted more than 200 works of art, the majority of which have been generously gifted by the Tampa Bay area community. All in Favor looks at a mere sample of the many works that have entered the collection, with a special focus on new contemporary paintings and sculptures, as well as ancient glass and bronze pitchers. The exhibition not only celebrates the growth of TMA’s collection but the heart of its priorities—sharing our holdings with the community and fostering a new generation of collection favorites.

All in Favor is one of several new exhibitions dedicated to the Museum’s permanent collection that will be on view for long-term displays over the next five years.

This exhibition is supported in part by:

Culture Builds Florida - Florida Department of State - Division of Arts & Culture
Tampa Museum of Art Foundation
Current Exhibitions

Purvis Young: Redux

June 18, 2022 – June 30, 2024

Installation view of "Purvis Young: Redux" at the Tampa Museum of Art. Photographer: Paige Boscia.
Installation view of Purvis Young: Redux at the Tampa Museum of Art. Photographer: Paige Boscia.

Inspired by the success of the exhibition Purvis Young: 91 in 2019, the Tampa Museum of Art will remount its Purvis Young collection as one of the first of several long-term displays of the permanent collection. Young’s paintings reflect his observations of daily life and the fight for social justice, hope for his community, immigration and otherness, as well as the fragile balance between life and death.

Purvis Young: Redux is one of several exhibitions on view between 2022-2024, highlighting the Tampa Museum of Art’s permanent collection focused on ancient art and modern and contemporary art.

Purvis Young: Redux is presented in part by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

About the Purvis Young collection at the Tampa Museum of Art

In 2004, the Rubell Family Foundation gifted 91 artworks to the Tampa Museum of Art by self-taught artist Purvis Young (American, 1943-2010). The selection of assemblage paintings represents a snapshot of Young’s prolific artistic production. Based in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami, Florida, Young created an impressive body of work that numbered in the thousands. He rendered his work from found objects—items he discovered in his neighborhood. Discarded wood, windows, furniture fragments, cabinets, doors, carpet, fabric, string, and cables motivated Young to make art, and he built his compositions with various forms and textures. He constructed his palette—fiery reds, golden yellow, forest green, navy blue, hot pink—from everyday household paints. Although his means were limited, Young was recognized throughout Miami for his remarkable painting practice and his contributions to the cultural landscape of South Florida.

About Purvis Young

Born in 1943 in Miami, Florida, Purvis Young’s mother encouraged her son’s artistic talents. His grandparents immigrated to Miami by boat from the Bahamas and settled in Overtown. Although he did not complete high school, Young educated himself as an adult by watching documentaries and reading. He spent hours at the Miami-Dade Public Library, and books became an important part of his life and work.

As a child, Young enjoyed drawing, however, it wasn’t until adulthood that he embraced painting. He spent hours looking at books filled with imagery by El Greco, Rembrandt, Paul Gaugin, and Vincent van Gogh. In the early 1970s, Young began painting regularly, and he created a visual language reflective of life in Overtown. Although adversity was constant, Young’s neighborhood inspired him, and he strove to paint positive imagery. Angels with halos dominated his work and represented the good he admired in people. He revered pregnant women and holy men and painted this imagery in a range of configurations. While he supported his community, he also acknowledged its struggles.

Young created his magnum opus early in his career. For a short period of time in the 1970s, Young installed his paintings from the ground to the rooftops of abandoned storefronts in his neighborhood. The Wall of Respect in Chicago, a mural that featured heroic black men and women painted at the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the late 1960s, influenced Young. He aimed to replicate the Wall of Respect in Overtown with his powerful, provocative paintings and often overlapped the paintings in an extreme salon-style hang. Titled Goodbread Alley Mural, the project was on view from approximately 1971-74 until the City of Miami started to dismantle the artwork. The installation on view at the Tampa Museum of Art takes inspiration from the Goodbread Alley Mural and features the entirety of the Museum’s Purvis Young collection.

In the late 1990s, Don and Mera Rubell, art collectors based in Miami, befriended the artist and acquired the contents of Young’s studio. In total, they transferred over 3,300 works from his studio to their art warehouse. Since then, they have donated nearly 500 works by Purvis Young to museums and universities across the country. Young died in 2010, and today his work resides in private and public collections across the globe.

Current Exhibitions

Highlights from the Karam Collection

November 11, 2021
through January 15, 2023

Bust of young man holding palm frond
Bust of young man holding palm frond, Stone sculpture, Roman Syria, ca. 2nd-3rd cent. CE. Karam Collection, USF Libraries’ Special Collections, 63

In 1998, Dr. Farid Karam and his wife Jehanne generously donated 149 objects to the Special Collections of the University of South Florida (USF) Libraries. The authentic antiquities originate from ancient Syria, Phoenicia, Egypt, Greece and the Arab world. In date, they range from the Bronze Age to the early Islamic period (ca. fifteenth-century BCE – thirteenth-century CE). The metal, stone, glass and ceramic artifacts include cosmetic and medical implements, utility vessels and oil lamps, as well as sculptures and figurines. This presentation of 58 highlights is the first time the Karam Collection of Lebanese Antiquities is on display for the general public. The selection reveals Dr. Karam’s profound interest in the diversity of ancient cultures found in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

Learn more about the Karam Collection at the USF Libraries.

About Farid Karam, M.D. 

Farid Karam (1929–2018) was born in a Greek Orthodox village in northern Lebanon. After specializing in plastic surgery in Cleveland, Ohio (1961), he taught medicine at the American University of Beirut Hospital until 1976. Due to the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990) he moved to Bay Pines, Florida. In 1992, Dr. Karam was appointed Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, Florida. Before returning to Lebanon, where he continued to practice otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery, Dr. Karam donated his antiquities collection to USF. Since 1977, Dr. Karam was a member of the World Scout Foundation headed by King Carl Gustav of Sweden and received the highest medal for life achievements, the Bronze Wolf Medal. Dr. Karam passed away on March 1, 2018, in his hometown in northern Lebanon. 

The Ancient Levant 

The Eastern Mediterranean seaboard, also known as the Levant, which is the region of present-day Syria, Lebanon and Israel, has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Some of the oldest cities in world history were founded there. From the Bronze Age, peoples called Canaanites, Phoenicians or Philistines populated the region. The Israelites appeared in the Iron Age. They all spoke Semitic languages. Phoenicians based their wealth on trade – especially purple dye and wine as well as cedar wood and glass. They also contributed their alphabet to the development of ancient civilizations across the Mediterranean. During the early first millennium BCE, Phoenician trade colonies were established across the southwestern Mediterranean, most notably the city of Carthage. The Eastern Mediterranean coast meanwhile came under the successive spheres of influence from Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia and Persia. The Seleucids and Ptolemies, dynasties ruling from Babylon and Egypt respectively, competed for power over the region during much of the Hellenistic period (ca. 323–30 BCE). In 64 BCE, Roman rule was established and for the following four centuries, Syria became one of the richest eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. In the Mediaeval period, the region first came under the influence of the Christian Byzantine empire and then the Muslim Arab world.