Polk Museum of Art

800 E Palmetto Street, Lakeland, FL 33801 - United States





Smithsonian Affiliate Museum

Free Everyday

The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is an academic, community museum that seeks to enhance lives through inspirational and engaging art experiences for all. As the largest and only nationally accredited visual arts organization in Polk County and the only Smithsonian Affiliate art museum in Central Florida, the Polk Museum of Art strives to offer world-class, creative, and original exhibitions for all members of our community and beyond.

With free admission, the Museum champions the accessibility of arts education, inspiring visitors of all ages and interest levels to explore, learn, and find something in the world of art to appreciate. The Museum also seeks continued engagement with the community and our members through programming and educational opportunities such as studio and lecture classes for teens and adults, in-person and virtual events, kid-focused art programs, and more. As the Museum grows and innovates, we hope that you can join us by becoming a member, by enrolling in a program or class, or even just by strolling through the galleries!



"Rodin: Contemplation and Dreams / Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections"
Saturday, June 25 - Sunday, October 30, 2022

Celebrated as the greatest sculptor of the 19th century, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) revived for the modern world a new appreciation for the ageless beauty of bronze sculpture, mastering and modernizing a technique long associated with ancient Greek art. At the same time, with works like The Thinker and The Gates of Hell, he breathed new emotional and psychic life into the human figure as never seen before in sculpture. Forgoing idealization for astonishingly naturalistic representation, Rodin created sculptures that draw their power from physical and psychological truth, capturing human pathos, drama, tragedy, mindfulness, and hope through the sculpted form. The largest installation of sculptures in the Museum’s history — with more than 40 of Rodin’s works filling the Museum’s main galleries — this incredible exhibition brings one of art history’s most famous and most renowned French masters to Florida.

"Rodin: Contemplation and Dreams" has been organized and made possible by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation.

"Summer Art Camp 2022"
Saturday, September 3 - Sunday, October 16, 2022

This exhibition features artworks by students ages 7 through 13 from Polk Museum of Art’s Summer Art Camp 2022. We honor the exceptional students for their hard work and achievement while also thanking their art teachers and volunteers for their commitment and critical role in providing a nurturing environment during Summer Art Camp.

This exhibition is on view in person in our George Jenkins Student Gallery from September 3 to October 16, 2022.

"Spirits: African and Oceanic Art from the Dr. Alan and Linda Rich Collection"
Permanent Installation

Over the course of four decades, Dr. Alan and Linda Rich have displayed a passion for helping others, traveling the world and bringing medical care to those in need. With his profession as an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon and hers as an occupational therapist trained to help Alan (who goes more familiarly by Rico) in clinics and in surgeries, the Riches worked together to transform the lives of many in need of critical eye care. While administering to patients in clinics in Papua New Guinea and throughout Africa, Linda and Rico also immersed themselves in the diverse artistic cultures of the countries they visited. Along the way, they acquired a collection of ritual and ceremonial objects that filled their home in Lakeland until Fall 2020, when the Riches donated their full African and Oceanic art collection to the Museum.

The Riches’ generous gift — a large portion of which is on display in the Linda Rich Gallery and which entails artifacts that speak to the close spiritual communion between humans and animals — now fills this dedicated space in the Museum and will be on permanent display with the occasional rotation of objects. Importantly, this gallery functions on two separate but interwoven levels: it offers at once an examination of the spiritual objects themselves and their places within the cultures they come from and a story about the humanitarian work the Riches undertook in the process of acquiring the objects. The two histories are tied together intricately.


Docent-Led Tour
Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 11 am
Website and Registration: PolkMuseumofArt.org/DocentTours
Join us for a free docent-led tour to get a fresh look into the Museum's featured exhibition through an informative and engaging conversation with one of our passionate do-cents. Learn the stories behind the work and dive into the world of art with ease as we bring people and art together.

Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 12 pm
Website and Registration: PolkMuseumofArt.org/GatesofHell
Join us for a free screening of the documentary, Rodin: The Gates of Hell. Learn about the creation of Rodin’s masterpiece, The Gates of Hell, his life and artistic career, and more during this hour-long documentary.

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