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The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Announces Completion of Olmsted Garden Restoration

Thu, 04/04/2013

 

Jacksonville, Fla. - The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens announces the opening of the Olmsted Garden on Thursday, April 11, 2013.  The renovation of this historic garden, which has never been open to the public, nearly doubles The Cummer’s current Riverfront footage, and provides the Museum with yet another platform to discuss art, design, history, and environmental conservation, all through the use of our landscape.  Visitors to the Olmsted Garden can walk on the brick pathways under the pergola and next to the new piers and railings along the new bulkhead, linger at the Overlook, with its expansive vistas of the garden and the river, and discover their own favorite places within the new landscape.  The Cummer Gardens, including the Olmsted Garden, were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.  

“After many years of planning, The Cummer is thrilled to announce the completion of the Olmsted Garden,” said Chief Curator Holly Keris. “We are so thankful to the team of dedicated volunteers, contractors, donors, and long-time enthusiasts for spearheading this important initiative and ensuring this restoration captured the true intent of the Olmsted firm and the Cummer family. This important addition to our campus provides an opportunity for our visitors and community to experience the St. Johns River and the rest of our historic landscapes in a new way, and it also gives them the ability to watch this new space grow and mature over the years.”

The Olmsted Garden restoration began in September 2012, with the construction of a new bulkhead.  Following the completion of the bulkhead, work continued to restore the Olmsted Garden to the original designs provided by the Olmsted Brothers firm for the Cummer family in 1930.    

In the early 1900s, the magnificent gardens surrounded the Riverside Avenue homes of one of Jacksonville’s most prominent families, the Cummers. The Olmsted Garden was part of the estate of Waldo and Clara Cummer, the brother and sister-in-law of Museum founders Arthur and Ninah Cummer.  In the early 1930s, they hired the renowned Olmsted Brothers firm to complete a renovation of their grounds.  Their gardens were partially obliterated in the early 1960s, when both Cummer homes were demolished to make way for the new museum building, the Red Cross, and the former Barnett Building, which now houses the Museum’s interactive center, Art Connections. Plans have been underway to restore these gardens to their original glory for many years.

“The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens are among Florida’s most significant historic designed landscapes, and with the newly restored section originally designed by the Olmsted Office  they just got better,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, founder and president of The Cultural Landscape Foundation.  “This is the only garden in America designed by pioneering landscape architects O.C. Simonds (the original plan), Ellen Shipman (the Italian Garden), and William Lyman Phillips of the Olmsted Office, and Philadelphia nurserymen Thomas Meehan and Sons (the formal-style English Garden).”

The nationally prominent Olmsted Brothers firm, based in Brookline, Massachusetts, was involved with several projects with the Cummer family.  In 1922, while working with Ninah Cummer on the plans for Jacksonville’s Memorial Park, J. Frederick Dawson of the firm advised Ninah on a wall fountain for the English Garden. Although this fountain plan was never realized, she heeded his recommendation for its placement. He also worked on plans for the Cummer family burial plot. Waldo and Clara Cummer engaged the firm to design their riverfront garden in 1931. The landscape architect was William Lyman Phillips (1885-1966), now known as “the Pioneer of Tropical Landscape Architecture”.  From April to December 1931, Phillips led the project from the Olmsted firm’s Lake Wales office.  He would later design the world-famous Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami, McKee Jungle Gardens (now known as McKee Botanical Garden) in Vero Beach, Historic Bok Sanctuary in Lake Wales (a National Historic Landmark) and his public parks at Crandon, Greynolds and Matheson Hammock in Miami, defining Florida for generations of residents and tourists.

**This project has been financed in part with historic preservation grant assistance provided by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission.

Special thank you to the Olmsted Garden donors and sponsors: Linda Roe Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. Willis M. Ball III, Mr. and Mrs. James V.E. Bent, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Commander, III, Mrs. Maria R. Cox, Ms. Cheryl S. Cummer and Mr. Jack Lyle, Ann and David Hicks, Monica and Bob Jacoby, Carolyn Marsh Lindsay, Mr. and Mrs. Billy Morris, Russell B Newton, Jr. and Joannie Newton, Mr. and Mrs. Russell B. Newton, III, Mrs. James H. Robbins, Ryan A. Schwartz, Mr. and Mrs. Robert T. Shircliff, Mrs. Bryan Simpson, Sandra Roe Smith, Mr. and Mrs. J, Frank Surface, Joan Van Vleck,  Delores Barr Weaver and J. Wayne Weaver, Edna Sproull Williams Foundation, State of Florida.  In addition, The Cummer would like to thank the hundreds of individuals who have made this project possible through their support of special initiatives like Garden Month and the Dedicate a Brick Campaign.

Project Team: Elkins Constructors Inc.; CMS Group LLC; Connelly & Wicker Inc.; Atlantic Engineering Services; Sunscapes Landscape Design Inc.; Francois Goffinet Limited; and Richard Skinner & Associates, Architects.

Special Programs for Adults and Children to Celebrate the Olmsted Garden:

Yoga in the Gardens

Saturdays, April 6 and April 20, 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Members $5 and Non-members $10

Certified Yoga Instructor Brittany Simpson will lead Mind/Body Yoga in the Cummer Gardens. Beginners are encouraged! This is a gentle yoga class focusing on breath awareness, alignment and balance. This type of yoga is ideal for relaxing the mind and body while helping calm the stress and tension from daily life.  Space is limited.  Please bring your own yoga mat and towel.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

Talks and Tea

Wednesday, April 17 and Thursday, April 18, 1:30 p.m.

Members and Non-members $6

Come celebrate the newest addition to The Cummer Gardens.  Associate Director of Education Maggie Reynolds will speak about the history of the newly restored Olmsted Garden.  Afternoon tea and refreshments following the lecture.

Please call 904.899.6038 to make your required reservations.

Sponsored by The Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts, Inc.

Art Fundamentals: Acrylic Painting

Wednesdays, April 17, 24 and May 1, 15, 22, 29, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Members $170, Non-members $190, Active Docents $85

Instructor Allison Watson introduces painting to beginning students and strengthens the skills of intermediate painters. Each student will receive individual attention and work at their own level.  Learn composition for landscapes and still life, color theory, and techniques in acrylic.

Ages 16 and up.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

“Revelations and Discoveries: The Olmsted Restoration Project” Lecture

Tuesday, April 23, 7 p.m.

Free admission

Come learn about the newest addition to The Cummer Gardens.  Chief Curator Holly Keris and Associate Director of Education Maggie Reynolds will speak about the history of the newly restored Olmsted Garden, share some of the interesting discoveries revealed in the restoration process and provide insight into the renowned Olmsted Brothers firm and their work in Florida.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Plein Air Watercolor Workshop with Robert Leedy

Saturday, April 27, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Members $150, Non-members $170, Active Docents $75

The Cummer Gardens will be your backdrop and inspiration as instructor Robert Leedy guides you through the process of painting outdoors. Students will learn how to edit and simplify the subject matter while getting help with washes, brushwork and value. Individual attention will be stressed and a class critique will be held at the end of the workshop. Lunch will be provided.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

Art for Two Ages 3 to 5

Saturday, May 18, 10:30 a.m. to Noon

Members $10 per pair and Non-members $15 per pair

Students explore the new Olmsted Garden and design their own aerial mixed-media garden plan.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

Art Adventures Ages 6 to 12

Saturday, May 18, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Members $10 and Non-members $15

Students explore the new Olmsted Garden and design their own aerial mixed-media garden plan.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

For the past 50 years, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens has been committed to engaging and inspiring through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 objects and historic gardens on a riverfront campus offers more than 130,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.  For more information, including hours, visit www.cummer.org.

###

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Thu, 04/04/2013

 

Jacksonville, Fla. - The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens announces the opening of the Olmsted Garden on Thursday, April 11, 2013.  The renovation of this historic garden, which has never been open to the public, nearly doubles The Cummer’s current Riverfront footage, and provides the Museum with yet another platform to discuss art, design, history, and environmental conservation, all through the use of our landscape.  Visitors to the Olmsted Garden can walk on the brick pathways under the pergola and next to the new piers and railings along the new bulkhead, linger at the Overlook, with its expansive vistas of the garden and the river, and discover their own favorite places within the new landscape.  The Cummer Gardens, including the Olmsted Garden, were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.  

“After many years of planning, The Cummer is thrilled to announce the completion of the Olmsted Garden,” said Chief Curator Holly Keris. “We are so thankful to the team of dedicated volunteers, contractors, donors, and long-time enthusiasts for spearheading this important initiative and ensuring this restoration captured the true intent of the Olmsted firm and the Cummer family. This important addition to our campus provides an opportunity for our visitors and community to experience the St. Johns River and the rest of our historic landscapes in a new way, and it also gives them the ability to watch this new space grow and mature over the years.”

The Olmsted Garden restoration began in September 2012, with the construction of a new bulkhead.  Following the completion of the bulkhead, work continued to restore the Olmsted Garden to the original designs provided by the Olmsted Brothers firm for the Cummer family in 1930.    

In the early 1900s, the magnificent gardens surrounded the Riverside Avenue homes of one of Jacksonville’s most prominent families, the Cummers. The Olmsted Garden was part of the estate of Waldo and Clara Cummer, the brother and sister-in-law of Museum founders Arthur and Ninah Cummer.  In the early 1930s, they hired the renowned Olmsted Brothers firm to complete a renovation of their grounds.  Their gardens were partially obliterated in the early 1960s, when both Cummer homes were demolished to make way for the new museum building, the Red Cross, and the former Barnett Building, which now houses the Museum’s interactive center, Art Connections. Plans have been underway to restore these gardens to their original glory for many years.

“The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens are among Florida’s most significant historic designed landscapes, and with the newly restored section originally designed by the Olmsted Office  they just got better,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, founder and president of The Cultural Landscape Foundation.  “This is the only garden in America designed by pioneering landscape architects O.C. Simonds (the original plan), Ellen Shipman (the Italian Garden), and William Lyman Phillips of the Olmsted Office, and Philadelphia nurserymen Thomas Meehan and Sons (the formal-style English Garden).”

The nationally prominent Olmsted Brothers firm, based in Brookline, Massachusetts, was involved with several projects with the Cummer family.  In 1922, while working with Ninah Cummer on the plans for Jacksonville’s Memorial Park, J. Frederick Dawson of the firm advised Ninah on a wall fountain for the English Garden. Although this fountain plan was never realized, she heeded his recommendation for its placement. He also worked on plans for the Cummer family burial plot. Waldo and Clara Cummer engaged the firm to design their riverfront garden in 1931. The landscape architect was William Lyman Phillips (1885-1966), now known as “the Pioneer of Tropical Landscape Architecture”.  From April to December 1931, Phillips led the project from the Olmsted firm’s Lake Wales office.  He would later design the world-famous Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami, McKee Jungle Gardens (now known as McKee Botanical Garden) in Vero Beach, Historic Bok Sanctuary in Lake Wales (a National Historic Landmark) and his public parks at Crandon, Greynolds and Matheson Hammock in Miami, defining Florida for generations of residents and tourists.

**This project has been financed in part with historic preservation grant assistance provided by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission.

Special thank you to the Olmsted Garden donors and sponsors: Linda Roe Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. Willis M. Ball III, Mr. and Mrs. James V.E. Bent, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Commander, III, Mrs. Maria R. Cox, Ms. Cheryl S. Cummer and Mr. Jack Lyle, Ann and David Hicks, Monica and Bob Jacoby, Carolyn Marsh Lindsay, Mr. and Mrs. Billy Morris, Russell B Newton, Jr. and Joannie Newton, Mr. and Mrs. Russell B. Newton, III, Mrs. James H. Robbins, Ryan A. Schwartz, Mr. and Mrs. Robert T. Shircliff, Mrs. Bryan Simpson, Sandra Roe Smith, Mr. and Mrs. J, Frank Surface, Joan Van Vleck,  Delores Barr Weaver and J. Wayne Weaver, Edna Sproull Williams Foundation, State of Florida.  In addition, The Cummer would like to thank the hundreds of individuals who have made this project possible through their support of special initiatives like Garden Month and the Dedicate a Brick Campaign.

Project Team: Elkins Constructors Inc.; CMS Group LLC; Connelly & Wicker Inc.; Atlantic Engineering Services; Sunscapes Landscape Design Inc.; Francois Goffinet Limited; and Richard Skinner & Associates, Architects.

Special Programs for Adults and Children to Celebrate the Olmsted Garden:

Yoga in the Gardens

Saturdays, April 6 and April 20, 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Members $5 and Non-members $10

Certified Yoga Instructor Brittany Simpson will lead Mind/Body Yoga in the Cummer Gardens. Beginners are encouraged! This is a gentle yoga class focusing on breath awareness, alignment and balance. This type of yoga is ideal for relaxing the mind and body while helping calm the stress and tension from daily life.  Space is limited.  Please bring your own yoga mat and towel.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

Talks and Tea

Wednesday, April 17 and Thursday, April 18, 1:30 p.m.

Members and Non-members $6

Come celebrate the newest addition to The Cummer Gardens.  Associate Director of Education Maggie Reynolds will speak about the history of the newly restored Olmsted Garden.  Afternoon tea and refreshments following the lecture.

Please call 904.899.6038 to make your required reservations.

Sponsored by The Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts, Inc.

Art Fundamentals: Acrylic Painting

Wednesdays, April 17, 24 and May 1, 15, 22, 29, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Members $170, Non-members $190, Active Docents $85

Instructor Allison Watson introduces painting to beginning students and strengthens the skills of intermediate painters. Each student will receive individual attention and work at their own level.  Learn composition for landscapes and still life, color theory, and techniques in acrylic.

Ages 16 and up.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

“Revelations and Discoveries: The Olmsted Restoration Project” Lecture

Tuesday, April 23, 7 p.m.

Free admission

Come learn about the newest addition to The Cummer Gardens.  Chief Curator Holly Keris and Associate Director of Education Maggie Reynolds will speak about the history of the newly restored Olmsted Garden, share some of the interesting discoveries revealed in the restoration process and provide insight into the renowned Olmsted Brothers firm and their work in Florida.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Plein Air Watercolor Workshop with Robert Leedy

Saturday, April 27, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Members $150, Non-members $170, Active Docents $75

The Cummer Gardens will be your backdrop and inspiration as instructor Robert Leedy guides you through the process of painting outdoors. Students will learn how to edit and simplify the subject matter while getting help with washes, brushwork and value. Individual attention will be stressed and a class critique will be held at the end of the workshop. Lunch will be provided.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

Art for Two Ages 3 to 5

Saturday, May 18, 10:30 a.m. to Noon

Members $10 per pair and Non-members $15 per pair

Students explore the new Olmsted Garden and design their own aerial mixed-media garden plan.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

Art Adventures Ages 6 to 12

Saturday, May 18, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Members $10 and Non-members $15

Students explore the new Olmsted Garden and design their own aerial mixed-media garden plan.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

For the past 50 years, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens has been committed to engaging and inspiring through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 objects and historic gardens on a riverfront campus offers more than 130,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.  For more information, including hours, visit www.cummer.org.

###

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Jacksonville, Fla. - The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens announces the opening of the Olmsted Garden on Thursday, April 11, 2013.  The renovation of this historic garden, which has never been open to the public, nearly doubles The Cummer’s current Riverfront footage, and provides the Museum with yet another platform to discuss art, design, history, and environmental conservation, all through the use of our landscape.  Visitors to the Olmsted Garden can walk on the brick pathways under the pergola and next to the new piers and railings along the new bulkhead, linger at the Overlook, with its expansive vistas of the garden and the river, and discover their own favorite places within the new landscape.  The Cummer Gardens, including the Olmsted Garden, were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.  

“After many years of planning, The Cummer is thrilled to announce the completion of the Olmsted Garden,” said Chief Curator Holly Keris. “We are so thankful to the team of dedicated volunteers, contractors, donors, and long-time enthusiasts for spearheading this important initiative and ensuring this restoration captured the true intent of the Olmsted firm and the Cummer family. This important addition to our campus provides an opportunity for our visitors and community to experience the St. Johns River and the rest of our historic landscapes in a new way, and it also gives them the ability to watch this new space grow and mature over the years.”

The Olmsted Garden restoration began in September 2012, with the construction of a new bulkhead.  Following the completion of the bulkhead, work continued to restore the Olmsted Garden to the original designs provided by the Olmsted Brothers firm for the Cummer family in 1930.    

In the early 1900s, the magnificent gardens surrounded the Riverside Avenue homes of one of Jacksonville’s most prominent families, the Cummers. The Olmsted Garden was part of the estate of Waldo and Clara Cummer, the brother and sister-in-law of Museum founders Arthur and Ninah Cummer.  In the early 1930s, they hired the renowned Olmsted Brothers firm to complete a renovation of their grounds.  Their gardens were partially obliterated in the early 1960s, when both Cummer homes were demolished to make way for the new museum building, the Red Cross, and the former Barnett Building, which now houses the Museum’s interactive center, Art Connections. Plans have been underway to restore these gardens to their original glory for many years.

“The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens are among Florida’s most significant historic designed landscapes, and with the newly restored section originally designed by the Olmsted Office  they just got better,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, founder and president of The Cultural Landscape Foundation.  “This is the only garden in America designed by pioneering landscape architects O.C. Simonds (the original plan), Ellen Shipman (the Italian Garden), and William Lyman Phillips of the Olmsted Office, and Philadelphia nurserymen Thomas Meehan and Sons (the formal-style English Garden).”

The nationally prominent Olmsted Brothers firm, based in Brookline, Massachusetts, was involved with several projects with the Cummer family.  In 1922, while working with Ninah Cummer on the plans for Jacksonville’s Memorial Park, J. Frederick Dawson of the firm advised Ninah on a wall fountain for the English Garden. Although this fountain plan was never realized, she heeded his recommendation for its placement. He also worked on plans for the Cummer family burial plot. Waldo and Clara Cummer engaged the firm to design their riverfront garden in 1931. The landscape architect was William Lyman Phillips (1885-1966), now known as “the Pioneer of Tropical Landscape Architecture”.  From April to December 1931, Phillips led the project from the Olmsted firm’s Lake Wales office.  He would later design the world-famous Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami, McKee Jungle Gardens (now known as McKee Botanical Garden) in Vero Beach, Historic Bok Sanctuary in Lake Wales (a National Historic Landmark) and his public parks at Crandon, Greynolds and Matheson Hammock in Miami, defining Florida for generations of residents and tourists.

**This project has been financed in part with historic preservation grant assistance provided by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission.

Special thank you to the Olmsted Garden donors and sponsors: Linda Roe Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. Willis M. Ball III, Mr. and Mrs. James V.E. Bent, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Commander, III, Mrs. Maria R. Cox, Ms. Cheryl S. Cummer and Mr. Jack Lyle, Ann and David Hicks, Monica and Bob Jacoby, Carolyn Marsh Lindsay, Mr. and Mrs. Billy Morris, Russell B Newton, Jr. and Joannie Newton, Mr. and Mrs. Russell B. Newton, III, Mrs. James H. Robbins, Ryan A. Schwartz, Mr. and Mrs. Robert T. Shircliff, Mrs. Bryan Simpson, Sandra Roe Smith, Mr. and Mrs. J, Frank Surface, Joan Van Vleck,  Delores Barr Weaver and J. Wayne Weaver, Edna Sproull Williams Foundation, State of Florida.  In addition, The Cummer would like to thank the hundreds of individuals who have made this project possible through their support of special initiatives like Garden Month and the Dedicate a Brick Campaign.

Project Team: Elkins Constructors Inc.; CMS Group LLC; Connelly & Wicker Inc.; Atlantic Engineering Services; Sunscapes Landscape Design Inc.; Francois Goffinet Limited; and Richard Skinner & Associates, Architects.

Special Programs for Adults and Children to Celebrate the Olmsted Garden:

Yoga in the Gardens

Saturdays, April 6 and April 20, 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Members $5 and Non-members $10

Certified Yoga Instructor Brittany Simpson will lead Mind/Body Yoga in the Cummer Gardens. Beginners are encouraged! This is a gentle yoga class focusing on breath awareness, alignment and balance. This type of yoga is ideal for relaxing the mind and body while helping calm the stress and tension from daily life.  Space is limited.  Please bring your own yoga mat and towel.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

Talks and Tea

Wednesday, April 17 and Thursday, April 18, 1:30 p.m.

Members and Non-members $6

Come celebrate the newest addition to The Cummer Gardens.  Associate Director of Education Maggie Reynolds will speak about the history of the newly restored Olmsted Garden.  Afternoon tea and refreshments following the lecture.

Please call 904.899.6038 to make your required reservations.

Sponsored by The Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts, Inc.

Art Fundamentals: Acrylic Painting

Wednesdays, April 17, 24 and May 1, 15, 22, 29, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Members $170, Non-members $190, Active Docents $85

Instructor Allison Watson introduces painting to beginning students and strengthens the skills of intermediate painters. Each student will receive individual attention and work at their own level.  Learn composition for landscapes and still life, color theory, and techniques in acrylic.

Ages 16 and up.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

“Revelations and Discoveries: The Olmsted Restoration Project” Lecture

Tuesday, April 23, 7 p.m.

Free admission

Come learn about the newest addition to The Cummer Gardens.  Chief Curator Holly Keris and Associate Director of Education Maggie Reynolds will speak about the history of the newly restored Olmsted Garden, share some of the interesting discoveries revealed in the restoration process and provide insight into the renowned Olmsted Brothers firm and their work in Florida.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Plein Air Watercolor Workshop with Robert Leedy

Saturday, April 27, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Members $150, Non-members $170, Active Docents $75

The Cummer Gardens will be your backdrop and inspiration as instructor Robert Leedy guides you through the process of painting outdoors. Students will learn how to edit and simplify the subject matter while getting help with washes, brushwork and value. Individual attention will be stressed and a class critique will be held at the end of the workshop. Lunch will be provided.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

Art for Two Ages 3 to 5

Saturday, May 18, 10:30 a.m. to Noon

Members $10 per pair and Non-members $15 per pair

Students explore the new Olmsted Garden and design their own aerial mixed-media garden plan.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

Art Adventures Ages 6 to 12

Saturday, May 18, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Members $10 and Non-members $15

Students explore the new Olmsted Garden and design their own aerial mixed-media garden plan.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

For the past 50 years, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens has been committed to engaging and inspiring through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 objects and historic gardens on a riverfront campus offers more than 130,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.  For more information, including hours, visit www.cummer.org.

###

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Thu, 04/04/2013

 

Jacksonville, Fla. - The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens announces the opening of the Olmsted Garden on Thursday, April 11, 2013.  The renovation of this historic garden, which has never been open to the public, nearly doubles The Cummer’s current Riverfront footage, and provides the Museum with yet another platform to discuss art, design, history, and environmental conservation, all through the use of our landscape.  Visitors to the Olmsted Garden can walk on the brick pathways under the pergola and next to the new piers and railings along the new bulkhead, linger at the Overlook, with its expansive vistas of the garden and the river, and discover their own favorite places within the new landscape.  The Cummer Gardens, including the Olmsted Garden, were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.  

“After many years of planning, The Cummer is thrilled to announce the completion of the Olmsted Garden,” said Chief Curator Holly Keris. “We are so thankful to the team of dedicated volunteers, contractors, donors, and long-time enthusiasts for spearheading this important initiative and ensuring this restoration captured the true intent of the Olmsted firm and the Cummer family. This important addition to our campus provides an opportunity for our visitors and community to experience the St. Johns River and the rest of our historic landscapes in a new way, and it also gives them the ability to watch this new space grow and mature over the years.”

The Olmsted Garden restoration began in September 2012, with the construction of a new bulkhead.  Following the completion of the bulkhead, work continued to restore the Olmsted Garden to the original designs provided by the Olmsted Brothers firm for the Cummer family in 1930.    

In the early 1900s, the magnificent gardens surrounded the Riverside Avenue homes of one of Jacksonville’s most prominent families, the Cummers. The Olmsted Garden was part of the estate of Waldo and Clara Cummer, the brother and sister-in-law of Museum founders Arthur and Ninah Cummer.  In the early 1930s, they hired the renowned Olmsted Brothers firm to complete a renovation of their grounds.  Their gardens were partially obliterated in the early 1960s, when both Cummer homes were demolished to make way for the new museum building, the Red Cross, and the former Barnett Building, which now houses the Museum’s interactive center, Art Connections. Plans have been underway to restore these gardens to their original glory for many years.

“The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens are among Florida’s most significant historic designed landscapes, and with the newly restored section originally designed by the Olmsted Office  they just got better,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, founder and president of The Cultural Landscape Foundation.  “This is the only garden in America designed by pioneering landscape architects O.C. Simonds (the original plan), Ellen Shipman (the Italian Garden), and William Lyman Phillips of the Olmsted Office, and Philadelphia nurserymen Thomas Meehan and Sons (the formal-style English Garden).”

The nationally prominent Olmsted Brothers firm, based in Brookline, Massachusetts, was involved with several projects with the Cummer family.  In 1922, while working with Ninah Cummer on the plans for Jacksonville’s Memorial Park, J. Frederick Dawson of the firm advised Ninah on a wall fountain for the English Garden. Although this fountain plan was never realized, she heeded his recommendation for its placement. He also worked on plans for the Cummer family burial plot. Waldo and Clara Cummer engaged the firm to design their riverfront garden in 1931. The landscape architect was William Lyman Phillips (1885-1966), now known as “the Pioneer of Tropical Landscape Architecture”.  From April to December 1931, Phillips led the project from the Olmsted firm’s Lake Wales office.  He would later design the world-famous Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami, McKee Jungle Gardens (now known as McKee Botanical Garden) in Vero Beach, Historic Bok Sanctuary in Lake Wales (a National Historic Landmark) and his public parks at Crandon, Greynolds and Matheson Hammock in Miami, defining Florida for generations of residents and tourists.

**This project has been financed in part with historic preservation grant assistance provided by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission.

Special thank you to the Olmsted Garden donors and sponsors: Linda Roe Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. Willis M. Ball III, Mr. and Mrs. James V.E. Bent, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Commander, III, Mrs. Maria R. Cox, Ms. Cheryl S. Cummer and Mr. Jack Lyle, Ann and David Hicks, Monica and Bob Jacoby, Carolyn Marsh Lindsay, Mr. and Mrs. Billy Morris, Russell B Newton, Jr. and Joannie Newton, Mr. and Mrs. Russell B. Newton, III, Mrs. James H. Robbins, Ryan A. Schwartz, Mr. and Mrs. Robert T. Shircliff, Mrs. Bryan Simpson, Sandra Roe Smith, Mr. and Mrs. J, Frank Surface, Joan Van Vleck,  Delores Barr Weaver and J. Wayne Weaver, Edna Sproull Williams Foundation, State of Florida.  In addition, The Cummer would like to thank the hundreds of individuals who have made this project possible through their support of special initiatives like Garden Month and the Dedicate a Brick Campaign.

Project Team: Elkins Constructors Inc.; CMS Group LLC; Connelly & Wicker Inc.; Atlantic Engineering Services; Sunscapes Landscape Design Inc.; Francois Goffinet Limited; and Richard Skinner & Associates, Architects.

Special Programs for Adults and Children to Celebrate the Olmsted Garden:

Yoga in the Gardens

Saturdays, April 6 and April 20, 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Members $5 and Non-members $10

Certified Yoga Instructor Brittany Simpson will lead Mind/Body Yoga in the Cummer Gardens. Beginners are encouraged! This is a gentle yoga class focusing on breath awareness, alignment and balance. This type of yoga is ideal for relaxing the mind and body while helping calm the stress and tension from daily life.  Space is limited.  Please bring your own yoga mat and towel.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

Talks and Tea

Wednesday, April 17 and Thursday, April 18, 1:30 p.m.

Members and Non-members $6

Come celebrate the newest addition to The Cummer Gardens.  Associate Director of Education Maggie Reynolds will speak about the history of the newly restored Olmsted Garden.  Afternoon tea and refreshments following the lecture.

Please call 904.899.6038 to make your required reservations.

Sponsored by The Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts, Inc.

Art Fundamentals: Acrylic Painting

Wednesdays, April 17, 24 and May 1, 15, 22, 29, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Members $170, Non-members $190, Active Docents $85

Instructor Allison Watson introduces painting to beginning students and strengthens the skills of intermediate painters. Each student will receive individual attention and work at their own level.  Learn composition for landscapes and still life, color theory, and techniques in acrylic.

Ages 16 and up.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

“Revelations and Discoveries: The Olmsted Restoration Project” Lecture

Tuesday, April 23, 7 p.m.

Free admission

Come learn about the newest addition to The Cummer Gardens.  Chief Curator Holly Keris and Associate Director of Education Maggie Reynolds will speak about the history of the newly restored Olmsted Garden, share some of the interesting discoveries revealed in the restoration process and provide insight into the renowned Olmsted Brothers firm and their work in Florida.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Plein Air Watercolor Workshop with Robert Leedy

Saturday, April 27, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Members $150, Non-members $170, Active Docents $75

The Cummer Gardens will be your backdrop and inspiration as instructor Robert Leedy guides you through the process of painting outdoors. Students will learn how to edit and simplify the subject matter while getting help with washes, brushwork and value. Individual attention will be stressed and a class critique will be held at the end of the workshop. Lunch will be provided.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

Art for Two Ages 3 to 5

Saturday, May 18, 10:30 a.m. to Noon

Members $10 per pair and Non-members $15 per pair

Students explore the new Olmsted Garden and design their own aerial mixed-media garden plan.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

Art Adventures Ages 6 to 12

Saturday, May 18, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Members $10 and Non-members $15

Students explore the new Olmsted Garden and design their own aerial mixed-media garden plan.

For reservations and information, please call 904.355.0630.

For the past 50 years, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens has been committed to engaging and inspiring through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 objects and historic gardens on a riverfront campus offers more than 130,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.  For more information, including hours, visit www.cummer.org.

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