Museum of Fine Arts

One of West Florida’s most accomplished exhibit spaces has displays that range from ancient crafts to classic paintings and contemporary photography.

Cultural St. Pete revels in art, and the Museum of Fine Arts is the richest, most eclectic display the city has to offer. Since 1965, the museum has showcased work from around the world. Art buffs can easily spend the best part of a day exploring its galleries.

The permanent collection shows different genres of painting, photography and sculpture. Head to the European gallery to see 15th-century paintings and more recent art. See famous modern works such as Vicky Colombet’s Urban Landscape from 2002, or admire the art of world-famous master painters such as Monet, Gauguin, Renoir and Bruegel.

A definite highlight of the permanent collection is the photography. Exhibits here date back to the mid-19th century. Many capture exciting and poignant moments in American history. Look out for Berenice Abbott’s delightful SS Normandy, and The Steerage by Alfred Stieglitz. Further galleries in the museum’s permanent collection include American, Ancient Western, African and Decorative. If you are into American art, you’ll be happy to see the pieces in the Tiffany Glass, Georgia O’Keefe and Mary Proctor sections.

Other exhibitions at the museum change regularly; however, there is usually a display both of painting and photography to be enjoyed. Check the museum’s website for current exhibitions. Tours take place two times daily except Sundays, and are free with admission. Book ahead to secure a spot.

For lunch or dinner, visit Café 255 and enjoy fresh salads and sandwiches in this high-ceilinged conservatory adjoined to the museum. If the sun’s out – as it is on most days – take a table on the terrace that overlooks downtown’s waterfront.

The Museum of Fine Arts is in the heart of St. Petersburg and is open daily. On Thursdays, it is open longer, with reduced admission if you arrive after 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Sunday mornings, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Children pay considerably less to enter the museum, and those under seven enter for free.

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