Past Exhibitions


Coveted Delights: Qing Dynasty Snuff Bottles from the Permanent Collection

June 17-September 10, 2017

Asian and Western collectors have been fascinated with snuff bottles since they were first produced in China in the early 18th century. Deemed as precious containers for ground tobacco imported to China, snuff bottles were initially made for the emperor and the court. They were eventually produced in greater quantities for the public, who enjoyed the functionality of the bottles as well as their display as symbols of status. These striking miniatures not only illustrate the technical artistry of Qing dynasty craftsmen, but also provide a window on life and culture in late imperial China. Organized by Robin Dunn, curatorial department intern, the exhibition features approximately 35 bottles.


Con-Text: The Word Based Images of Tyrus Clutter

June 10-September 10, 2017

Marked by exuberant color combinations and embossed textural variations, the images of College of Central Florida Associate Professor Tyrus Clutter have relied increasingly on text over the past few years. These recent printmaking ventures explore the ways humans interpret both words and images—how both can be “read” and reexamined when paired within the same space. Some images are literally drawn with words. All the works explore interactivity, leading viewers to personally complete them by engaging the juxtapositions of texts and imagery.

Click here to watch a short video on the artist's color viscosity etching process.


Art for the Afterlife: Chinese Funerary Objects

Through September 10, 2017

Historically, elite individuals in Chinese society were buried with all of the everyday items that they might need in the next realm. Objects such as clay servants and musicians, as well as a finely glazed Tang Dynasty ceramic horse and stunning tomb guardian figurines, make up this display from the Appleton’s permanent collection.


Art of the Ancient World

Through September 10, 2017

The Appleton presents a selection from our permanent collection of antiquities. Encompassing themes such as dining, warfare and daily life, this display invites viewers to experience the art of the ancient world through the eyes of those who lived it.

The antiquities collection includes more than 900 pieces, collected by Arthur Appleton and gifted by several other generous donors. Art of the Ancient World includes fine examples of Egyptian, Greek and Roman works along with others from neighboring ancient civilizations.


Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints
Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil

June 17-August 13, 2017

Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints explores how the ancient cultures of Africa blended with indigenous and colonial Portuguese traditions to form the vibrant and complex cultural mosaic of modern Brazil. Photographs and works of popular art, including sculptures, paintings, prints, religious objects, toys, and booklets of poetry illustrate the complex and vibrant culture of the Northeast of Brazil and introduce the festivals, heroes, and spiritual traditions that give shape and meaning to the daily lives of the Nordestinos, common people of Brazil’s Northeast. The exhibition explores how diverse traditions come together in the region, using work by historical and contemporary artists to illuminate a fascinating history that reaches into modern Brazil, while exploring the resilience and vitality of modern-day descendants of Africa.

This exhibition was curated by Marion E. Jackson, Ph.D. and Barbara Cervenka, O.P., Curators, Con/Vida–Popular Arts of the Americas, and organized by Con/Vida–Popular Arts of the Americas and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, MI, in partnership with NEH on the Road/Mid-America Arts Alliance, Kansas City, MO.


Patrick Dougherty: Stickwork
Fancy Free

February 2016-June 2017

February 1-19, 2016, sculptor Patrick Dougherty (Chapel Hill, NC) and a bevy of volunteers designed and built a site specific sculpture out of Crepe Myrtle and Elm limbs. Titled Fancy Free, the artist was inspired to create a sculpture with a jogging, casual footprint that works in juxtaposition to the angular, linear quality of the Appleton’s building, windows and reflecting pool. He also drew inspiration from Marion County’s status as “Horse Capital of the World,” creating his series of huts to resemble the natural, easy gait of a horse, with the hut closest to the museum boasting a wild mane.

Fancy Free was part of the museum's Sculpture Walk and Garden from February 2016-June 2017, until it naturally decomposed.

For more information on the artist and this project, click here.


Diversity in Cultures Through African Insights

January 10-June 11, 2017

Diversity in Cultures Through African Insights by artist Annelies Dykgraaf consists of woodblock and linocut prints using textile pattern designs and themes of West African folk tales and myths.

Dykgraaf was born and raised in Nigeria and is a founding member of the Jacksonville Consortium of African-American Artists. She has a BFA from Calvin College, studied in France through the Cleveland Institute of Art and has shown extensively throughout Florida.


Hallowed Absurdities: Work by Theodore Waddell

January 14-May 28, 2017

Made of road kill, animal skulls, jawbones, pelts and skins, as well as body bags, bullets, tools and actual guns, the artwork in Hallowed Absurdities raises the issue of the use of guns in our society. With humor, irony and wit, Waddell's mixed media assemblages poke fun at gun collectors, question the ethics of competitive big game hunting and defend the equality of all life, be it human or animal.

Organized by Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, Montana.


Art on the Move
Youth Art Exhibition

January 14-February 5, 2017

License tag art from Marion County fifth-grade students. This annual exhibition is sponsored by Marion County Tax Collector.

This program inspires fifth grade art students to design their own specialty plate while learning about the practical application of license plate art and how Florida’s 100+ specialty license plates support worthy causes. Each school earns a share of over $16,000 provided by generous sponsors and 100 percent of the sale proceeds.


Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray

January 28-April 2, 2017

Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray provides an intimate look at Frida Kahlo, Mexico’s most prolific and well-known female artist, through the photographic lens of her long-time friend and lover, Nickolas Muray.

In May 1931, Muray (1892-1965) traveled to Mexico on vacation where he met Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), a woman he would never forget. The two started a romance that continued on and off for the next 10 years and a friendship that lasted until her death in 1954. Approximately 50 photographic portraits of Kahlo taken by Muray comprise the exhibition. The photographs, dating from 1937 to 1946, explore Muray’s unique perspective; in the 1930s and 1940s he was Frida Kahlo’s friend, lover and confidant. Muray’s photographs bring to light Kahlo’s deep interest in her Mexican heritage, her life and the people with whom she shared close friendship.

This traveling exhibition has been organized through the Nickolas Muray Archives and is circulated by GuestCurator Traveling Exhibitions located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Hand 'N' Hand
Youth Art Exhibition

February 11-26, 2017

Student artwork in partnership with Marion County public schools and Very Special Arts, the state organization on arts and disability.


Young in Art
Youth Art Exhibition

April 8-May 7, 2017

An exhibition of artwork from Marion County K-12 students.


2016 Exhibitions

2015 Exhibitions

2014 Exhibitions

2013 Exhibitions

2012 Exhibitions

2011 Exhibitions

2010 Exhibitions