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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.


  • This sculpture is located just near the museum entrance.
  • The  Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
  • View of one of the gardens, which are located behind the museum along the river.

Nina was born in Michigan in 1875 and attended the University of Michigan where she studied Greek and Latin (she taught these languages in Michigan for a few years after graduation); she also met her future husband, Arthur Cummer, there. Arthur's family moved to Jacksonville in the 1890s to start a lumber company which became very successful. They owned a sawmill, phosphate plant and other facilities. They also built a 100 mile railroad to ship their goods to market.

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. 

Alford, Janet M., et. al. "Cummer Gardens." National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places. January 25, 2010. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cummer_Museum_of_Art_and_Gardens. "Permanent Collection." Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. Accessed October 8, 2016. http://www.cummermuseum.org/visit/art.