The Tampa Museum of Art (TMA) announced Oct. 18 that it had completed a donation of 88 pieces of Haitian art and a donation of $1 million to support the collection.
The paintings, sculptures, and framed maps, along with the cash donation, were bequeathed to TMA by the Arthur R. Albrecht Revocable Trust. Albrecht was a devoted collector of Haitian art and was also active in philanthropy on behalf of the country.
“Florida is home to one of the largest Haitian diaspora communities in the world, and we are thrilled to make this distinctive collection available to our visitors,” said Michael Tomor, Ph.D., Penny and Jeff Vinik, executive director of TMA. “Mr. Albrecht has built a superb collection examining the rich cultural themes, landscapes and communities of the island, and this exhibition will add to the increasingly comprehensive and dynamic exhibits we have available.
The Albrecht Collection includes works by Haiti’s most prominent painters, including Rigaud Benoit, Wilson Bigaud, Prefete Duffaut, and Philome Obin. The paintings, rarely seen by the public until now, present an overview of the major developments in Haitian painting of the 1960s-80s. Funds from the Albrecht Collection further augment TMA’s collection of Haitian art, which includes one of America’s largest museum collections of “drapo Vodou,” or Haitian voodoo flags.
The $1 million donation complements the museum’s ongoing Centennial Campaign fundraising efforts of more than $100 million for renovations and expansion. TMA recently completed renovations to the Vinik Family Education Center, expanding the educational space from 1,400 to 8,000 square feet, including four classrooms, a lobby, orientation spaces and a secure entrance. With these upgrades, the museum plans to quadruple the number of students it serves each year, and the school visitation program alone can grow from 6,000 to 24,000 students each year.
Thanks to its renovation and expansion plan, new galleries should open from November, and the inauguration of the expansion part should take place next year.
TMA’s future programming for the Albrecht Collection includes a dedicated exhibition in Spring 2024, which will provide a springboard for educational and academic opportunities, including collaborations with universities on the West Coast of Florida and Miami, as well as conferences and symposia with renowned artists and scholars. Haitian art and the diaspora. A publication featuring today’s greatest Haitian artists and writers will accompany the exhibit and related programming.
For more information, visit https://tampamuseum.org/.