A Masterpiece in Marble
The Appleton is an award-winning contemporary interpretation of classical architecture clad in Italian travertine marble. The 81,610-square-foot museum features 30,000 square feet of gallery space devoted to the Appleton’s permanent collections. The Edith Marie Appleton Gallery 4,000 square- foot, two-story exhibition gallery, was added in 1996 and a 2,662-square-foot art storage facility was completed in 2009. Galleries in the original building are arranged in a quadrangle which surrounds an interior courtyard and fountain. The museum features a 250-seat auditorium equipped with state-of-the-art sound equipment. Facilities also include an art library, three art studio/classroom spaces and courtyard café which can accommodate 150 guests.
History of the Appleton
Founded in 1982, the museum was a gift from Arthur I. Appleton to the Ocala community. The City of Ocala donated the 44-acre site for the home of the museum, construction began in 1984 and the museum opened to the public in 1987. Originally built to display and preserve Mr. Appleton’s extensive art collection, today the Appleton is one of the South’s premier art museums and a leading cultural institution in Marion County.
Since opening day, the museum’s mission has been to consistently exhibit works of fine art and artifacts for the public and provide educational programming for visitors. Since 2004, governance of the museum has been through the College of Central Florida and the CF Foundation.
The Appleton Museum of Art is the focal point of the Appleton Cultural Center, a complex east of downtown Ocala on Silver Springs Blvd./State Road 40 which also includes the Ocala Civic Theatre.
A World of Art at Your Fingertips
The museum’s permanent collections of approximately 18,000 objects include European, American, Asian, African, Contemporary and pre-Columbian art and artifacts, and a series of temporary traveling exhibitions are presented throughout the year. The museum is also building a collection of works of Florida artists which relates directly to the history and cultural heritage of the Central Florida community.