Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
The Cummer Museum opened in 1961 and presently houses over 5,000 works of art spanning 8,000 years including significant European and American paintings and a renowned Meissen porcelain collection. Visitors can also tour the beautiful formal gardens overlooking the St. Johns River. The gardens were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010 thanks to their association with five important landscape artists and firms of the 20th century, as well as to the person for whom the museum is named, Nina Cummer (1875-1958). Nina was an avid horticulturalist and towards the end of her life began to collect art that would become the first part of the museum's collection.
Backstory and Context
As a result, the Cummers became wealthy and Nina was able to focus on her true interest of gardening. She gave lectures, wrote for gardening publications, and eventually became an expert on southern horticulture. She also hired the best landscape designers, including the Olmstead Brothers, to help create her private gardens. She was instrumental in establishing Memorial Park and founded the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs. In order to ensure that her passion for art, education, landscaping and gardening would continue she decided to bequeath the art collection and property to the city.