Southwestern Allure: The Art of the Santa Fe Art Colony Kicks-off Mennello Museum’s 15th Anniversary Season

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The Mennello Museum of American Art is one of Central Florida’s best hidden gems.  The small museum in Loch Haven Park has an incredible permanent collection that is worth the $5 regular admission but opening today is another impressive exhibit that should put the museum on your spring must-see list.

Southwestern Allure: The Art of the Santa Fe Art Colony considers the development of Santa Fe as an art colony through the artists who visited there and helped establish the city as an artistic center, tracing the colony’s formative years from approximately 1915 up to 1940. Southwestern Allure is on view at The Mennello Museum of American Art through April 6, 2014, and is the first exhibit in a yearlong series devoted to “The Art of the American West.” The series celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Mennello Museum, which opened its doors in November 1998.

Southwestern Allure features almost 50 outstanding artworks carefully selected from leading public and private collections. The exhibition and accompanying catalog is organized by the Boca Museum of Art in conjunction with independent curator Dr. Valerie Ann Leeds, a specialist in American art of this period. The Mennello Museum is the second venue to present the exhibition, which will travel next to the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe.

“It’s a good historical introduction to the visual arts in Sante Fe in the first part of the 20th century,” says Frank Holt, Executive Director of The Mennello Museum of American Art. “What’s interesting to note is how artists such as Robert Henri brought their own style of painting to this landscape.”

To make a visit to the museum extra special make sure to visit during one the following special events. All events are $5 (free for MMAA members) unless otherwise noted. Reservations are requested for all events, unless otherwise noted.

  • Saturday, February 15 | The Santa Fe Writer’s Colony: Lecture by Lynn Cline  | 2p | Lynn Cline is the author of Literary Pilgrims: The Santa Fe and Taos Writers’ Colonies, 1917-1950, which offers an engaging history of the writers who lived and worked in northern New Mexico during the artistic heyday from 1915 to 1950, including D.H. Lawrence, Willa Cather, Mary Austin, Witter Bynner, Spud Johnson, Oliver La Farge and Paul Horgan.
  • Tuesday, February 18 | Evening With the Director: Frank Holt | 7-8:30p
  • Saturday, March 8 | Gallery Walk & Talk with Valerie Ann Leeds, Curator of Southwestern Allure: The Art of the Sante Fe Art Colony | 2 p
  • Sunday, March 9 | Free Family Day on the Second Sunday: Southwest Edition | The make-and-take craft table is open from noon-2:30p., and docents are available to give mini-tours of the museum. Then it’s open house in the galleries until 4:30p Reservations not required.
  • Thursday, March 20 | Lecture by Richard Meltzer, author of Fred Harvey Houses of the Southwest | 7p | Meltzer has written that “The Fred Harvey name will forever be associated with the high-quality restaurants, hotels and resorts situated along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in the American Southwest.” Harvey essentially opened up the Southwest territory for luxury tourism and an influx of artists and art collectors.
  • Tuesday, March 25 | Evening With the Director: Frank Holt | 7-8:30p
A touch of the Southwest: Enhancements such as a faux kiva fireplace set the tone in the galleries of The Mennello Museum of American Art for Southwestern Allure: The Art of the Santa Fe Art Colony.

A touch of the Southwest: Enhancements such as a faux kiva fireplace set the tone in the galleries of The Mennello Museum of American Art for Southwestern Allure: The Art of the Santa Fe Art Colony.