Permanent Collection - Cornell Fine Arts Museum

Permanent Collection - Cornell Fine Arts Museum

The richly diverse art collection of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College boasts more than 6,000 works, one of the largest and most distinguished collections in Florida. It is also the oldest in the state, the first paintings having been given to Rollins more than a century ago.

The Samuel H. Kress Foundation in 1937 donated several Italian Renaissance paintings, including Madonna and Child Enthroned c.1475-80 by Cosimo Rosselli, an important Renaissance artist. In 1941, Winter Park resident and Rollins trustee Jeannette Morse Genius, an art patron and artist in her own right (married to Dr. Hugh McKean, president of Rollins 1951-69), donated the funds to erect the Morse Gallery of Art. Its collection of American and European art was soon the focus of many benefactors. In 1950, George H. Sullivan, a Winter Park resident, donated a Louis Sonntag painting; other Sullivan gifts works by Francesco de Mura and others followed in 1952 and 1959.

During the 1960s, the collection was vastly enriched by Jack and June Myers, alumni from Jacksonville, whose gifts form the backbone of the Old Masters collection. In 1966, the McKeans' superb collection of Tiffany glass began a ten-year-long exhibition at the Morse Gallery.

In 1976, George, Rollins class of 1935, and Harriet Cornell contributed more than one million dollars to construct a fine arts complex. The George D. and Harriet W. Cornell Fine Arts Center opened in 1978, and the renovated and enlarged Morse Gallery of Art became the Cornell Fine Arts Museum.

While the Cornell has always played a vital role in the community, the past decade has reflected extraordinary growth as notable works from the collection have been publicly viewed for the first time and more than 700 new works have been added by donation or purchase.

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