Degas Exhibit Coming to Polk Museum of Art

By: Jessica Roberts

Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is a local gem, and an attraction and we are fortunate to have in Lakeland. The Museum is the largest and only nationally accredited visual arts organization in Polk County, and has been the only Smithsonian Affiliate between Orlando and Tampa since 2010.

Polk Museum of Art’s permanent collection has grown to more than 2,500 works of art, including works by Rembrandt van Rijn, Andy Warhol, Faith Ringgold, Pablo Picasso, Miriam Shapiro, James Rosenquist, Barbara Kruger, Marc Chagall, Damien Hirst, Hung Liu and others.

Current Exhibitions at the Museum

The Art of Romaine Brooks

December is a wonderful time to visit Lakeland and the surrounding communities if you are a newbie or seasoned art lover. Today through December 9, visitors will have the opportunity to view The Art of Romaine Brooks, an exhibit on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum that includes 18 paintings and 32 drawings by the American expatriate artist, a number of which have not been seen for decades.

Extraordinary is the first word that comes to mind when you walk into the Dorothy Jenkins Gallery. Brooks used a muted color palette consisting primarily of black, white and various subtle shades of gray, ochre, umber, or red and specialized in portraiture. The exhibit is almost exclusively about women, including her own self-portraits. Romaine Brooks crafted an androgynous appearance and a unique artistic voice that challenged conventions of how women should look and behave; her rebellious ideas extend to many of the portraits she painted in the 1920s and underline the alluring modernity of her best-known works.

Read about Romaine Brooks

Chagall: Stories Into Dreams

Marc Chagall was a was a Russian-French artist, an early modernists actually, associated with several major artistic styles including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints. Stories Into Dreams features Chagall’s Fables of La Fontaine etchings (1952) with his Story of Exodus lithographs (1966).

Much of Chagall’s artwork is influenced by universal themes of human morality, steeped deeply in allegory and religion.  As in the case of this exhibition, Chagall takes timeless stories — such as those from the Bible and famous fables — and provides dream-like illustrations for them in his inimitable manner.

You can see this exhibit now through January 6 in Gallery II.

Read about Marc Chagall

Opening in January

Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist

Plan to return to the museum in a few weeks to see the works of Edgar Degas, a French Impressionist renowned for his paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings that take the viewer deep into the world of late 19th century Paris.


Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist reveals the artist’s particular masterly in depicting lifelike movement, as seen in his rendition of dancers, racecourse subjects, and female nudes.

This exhibition is comprised of works from a private collection and seeks to shed light not only on the artist’s favorite themes but also on the complex man himself and the artists he called his friends. Indeed, beyond the work of Degas, the show also boasts more than forty additional works on paper by Degas’ artist friends and colleagues, including Mary Cassatt, Paul Cézanne, Jean-Auguste-Dominque Ingres, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

You will find this exhibit in the Dorothy Jenkins Gallery & Gallery II from December 22 – March 24.

Admission to Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is always free, thanks to their generous sponsors, and is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College
800 East Palmetto St.
Lakeland, FL 33801

Photography provided by Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College

You may also be interested in Top 10 Museums and Cultural Attractions or Lakeland.

water ripples used as email signup background

Subscribe to EMAIL LIST

Join our email list and stay up to date with all the great things happening in Florida’s Sweetest Spot.