Founded in 1920, the Tampa Museum of Art has gone through many name changes throughout the century. Originally the Tampa Museum of Fine Arts, the museum has educated generations of visitors and served as a staple of Tampa museum culture. Formerly a private institution for the few and wealthy, the museum would finally formally open to the public in 1979. In 1983 the name would officially become the recognizable name of today: the Tampa Museum of Art (TMA). However, it would not be until 2006 when the TMA would begin building its iconic LED light studded building in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, and later in 2010, the TMA would formally reopen to the public. The spacious design of the TMA ensures new surprises at every corner with plenty to see as multiple exhibitions come and go throughout the year. The amazing architectural design was created by Stanley Saitowitz. The main exhibitions can be found on the second floor in which you can take the large central staircase to, or the elevators. The TMA holds a stunning array of art ranging from paintings to sculptures to contemporary installations. In fact, the museum’s permanent collection includes classical antiquities from as far back as 2300 BC and over 2000 pieces of modern contemporary art. Within the permanent collection, one can discover ancient tombs, Greek and Roman pottery, and coins from a society thousands of years ago. Or perhaps, watercolor, acrylic, and oil paintings peak your interest? There is an era, style, and story bound to intrigue each visitor’s preferences. The TMA site is also home to many annual events, learning workshops, and school functions. As their priority lies in education many classes and studio times are dedicated towards teens and children, free of charge. In coordination with the many other participants in Downtown Tampa, the TMA participates in Fourth Friday. On the last Friday of each month, many museums, restaurants, and scenic downtown venues participate in sales and free entry to other museums with the purchase of one visitor ticket. This monthly event maximizes your exposure to different arts, histories, and experiences while keeping price down for the Tampa community.
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