Permanent Collection: Paintings, Drawings, Graphics, & Sculpture

An essential part of any museum’s mission is to expand its permanent collection with quality examples of local, national, and international art that enhances its chosen narrative. Gifts and bequests of artwork to the museum bring greater depth and significance to its collection which, in turn, provides the visual curricula for its educational programming. These gifts to the museum are “investments” in the community that benefit thousands of visitors for generations to come. Some of the more recent donations – paintings, prints, photographs, and sculpture – are displayed here and at the downtown gallery.

When all is said and done, this institution owes the private collectors in its community an enormous debt. Without them, many of the works of art you see here would have been lost or destroyed. Our Permanent Collection is, to a far larger extent than anyone realizes, private collections which have been accumulated and donated by civic-minded individuals. It is not town councils or chamber of commerce, or any other emanations of the popular will, which have sacred works of art for the general publics edification, but a number of exceptional collectors who have had one principle worth all the rest, the principle of delight. Each purchase is the record of a vivid experience, either a long pursuit or a struggle in which mounting desire has conquered prudence and economy. It has been brought home in triumph, unpacked with trembling hands, and placed, after many experiments, in the right company and the right light. It is true that after a few months have gone by the collector will forget all about it for days on end. But each time a sympathetic visitor looks at one of his precious “pets”, something of his first rapture returns; it becomes once more a friend, toy, fetish and familiar and there is re-established that complex human relationship which gives the private collection its life.

What you will see in this exhibition is the culmination and product of the response of a civilized and imaginative community of collectors to the impulse, the creativity, and, in some cases, the desperation of the artist to make the world, its beauty and meaning, come true. Above all else these generous patrons cared for quality and beauty, however, expressed. They believed that only “the book of art” (Ruskin’s phrase) tells the ultimate truth about place or an age. Consequently, in their judgment, all society’s “high falutin” declarations and aspirations will turn to dust, but its art will remain to declare, unarguably, where its heart lay. Their continuous search for significant art together with their largess toward this museum produced this collection and made it unique.

These pieces selected from this Permanent Collection provide vision and, as Edward L. Kamarch puts it, as “vision”, they have their greatest social utility. They speak eloquently for man by devoting his larger possibilities, extending the horizons of his consciousness and understanding, and challenging the system of doctrine and dogma which narrow and constrict human aspirations. As the Museum of Art – DeLand matures as an institution, it will nurture this community by expanding its education commitments, not beyond its capabilities, but to a point where the general public can make the most of its resources.

George Bolge
CEO, Museum of Art – DeLand


Theo Wujcik: Quiet Revolution

In this survey of the Art of Theo Wujcik, one can sense the artist’s shift in sensibility. The analytical and the formal are rejected and strange new kinds of historicism, primitivism, and expressionism are embraced. There is a demi-allegory here that seemingly has not made up its mind whether to persuade, as in an argument or to disassemble, like art; whether to consort with pain and despair or to yield to an irrepressible desire to affirm humane values in man’s all-too-brief existence on earth. With a seeming will of its own, the painting in this exhibit cheerfully subverts its illusion to come down on the artist’s side as an unexpected, purely creative affirmation, perhaps attaining, thereby, an even more persuasive impact than by restating the familiar miseries and visual clichés of man’s solitary fate.

In Theo Wujcik’s poetic creation, it is not a question of overcoming the material, as the futile aesthetics extolled by so many people would have it, but of freeing the material. Paint and other materials undergo a transformation as soon as they enter into the sphere of the of the work of art. They changer their nature; they embody something that transcends and governs them. Without losing their first values, they acquire, thanks to pictorial art, a great importance and, at the same time, constitute a sort of flash that opens access to another world to us.

When an artist invents a manner or a style, he ceases to be a creative artist and turns into a designer fabricating products of applied art. Style is an external decorative element. Sometimes the artist is governed or defeated by a style that does not belong uniquely to him but belongs to the period. In a sense, Theo Wujcik has no style; he is the servant of his material and transcends it with absolute freedom.

Wujcik’s last work is a provocation thoroughly in the modern tradition. As Marshall Berman observed, “to appropriate the modernities of yesterday can be at once a critique of the modernities of today and ran act of faith in the modernities . . . of tomorrow.” (Marshall Berman, All That is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1982, p. 36.) The themes pursued in this artist’s work, however, are not as simple as that. Wujcik seems to be paraphrasing the statement that the Conceptualist, Douglas Huebler, made about a work of art in 1969: “The world is full of objects, more or less interesting. I do not wish to add any more. I prefer simply to state the existence of things . . .” This artist appears to be expressing a similar feeling – not toward objects, but toward images.

In the late stage of a culture which is cast adrift in contradiction, haunted by myths of history and style and by omens of vulnerability, Theo Wujcik is uneasily grabbing hold of traditions, however spurious they may be, and elevating them to stave off disbelief. He draws upon the elementary symbolism that has accompanied human history. For him, the work of art is not so much an ideal product as an activity through which the individual asserts his sense of life.His art can be compared to a process, a living tracing of the ceaseless activity of the imagination. We can think about his art in its various manifestations in terms of a new Zeitgeist, a sudden break with the past, an unexpected reversal of taste, or we can call it a last waltz with modernism.

George Bolge
Museum of Art – DeLand


Utility Box Art Project: Art in Public Spaces

The Museum of Art – DeLand is proud to announce the completion of the Utility Box Art program with the City of DeLand as part of the Downtown Community Redevelopment Area plan.  After many months, even years of planning, the Museum and its Public Art Committee issued the call to artists, arranged for a jury selection of artwork to be displayed, handled the logistics of the vinyl reproduction of the art, and the wrap installation onto the utility boxes.  Artists chosen for the project include Bobbi Baugh, Regina Dunn, Ray Johnson, Harry Messersmith and John Wilton.

This latest public art collaboration with the City of DeLand is in addition to the DeLand Sculpture Walk, a collaborative effort offering established and emerging artists the opportunity to display their work throughout downtown DeLand.  The sculptures change annually, contributing to the quality of life for DeLand residents as well as to educational and cultural tourism.  This year’s Sculpture Walk includes internationally renowned artist Jorge Jimenez Deredia.  Two pieces shipped from Italy arrived in January having most recently been exhibited in the Giardino di Boboli, Florence Italy, City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia Spain and many more locations throughout the world.

The Museum of Art – DeLand also partners with the County of Volusia in displaying the Legendary Florida Collection of paintings by Jackson Walker which hang in the rotunda of the Historic Volusia County Courthouse.  The narrative paintings from the Museum’s permanent collection depict significant events and personalities from more than 400 years of Florida history.


Rent the Museum of Art – DeLand for your holiday party!

Whether in the heart of historic downtown DeLand or further down the lush tree-lined boulevard, DeLand’s premier cultural destination has the perfect space for an elegant event, meeting or wedding. Make your celebration a true masterpiece by hosting it at the Museum of Art – DeLand or the Museum’s downtown gallery.

Whether you choose to hold a small gathering or host a distinguished celebration for up to 120 guests, the Museum of Art – DeLand has a space to provide the perfect canvas for your event.

All of the Museum’s spaces are sure to ignite creativity and provide a memorable experience for you and your guests in a truly unique and every changing setting.

Corporate events | Private Parties | Seminars & Workshops | Showers & Weddings | Graduation | Birthday | Retirement | Holiday events

For more information about hosting events at the Museum, or to schedule a tour, contact Suzi Tanner, Manager of Guest Services, Membership & Special Events by calling 386.734.4371 or email


Walter May Art Speaks Lecture Series

Please join us for another exciting year for the Walter May Art Speaks Lecture Series.  This preeminent series highlights the art on exhibition at the Museum of Art – DeLand, as well as our Downtown Gallery by the artist and scholars closely involved with the artists’ work.  Art Speaks includes five lectures with reception. If purchased as the complete series, the price for Museum Members is $80 or $20 per lecture.  For non-members, the series runs $90 or $25 per lecture.  For more information: or call 386.734.4371.

This year’s series includes:

October 14, 2017:  A Survey of the Art of Theo Wujcik by Valerie Ann Leeds, Guest Curator.

February 23, 2018:  The Man Behind the Mirror – M. C. Escher by Pam Coffman, Museum of Art – DeLand Curator of Education.

April 20, 2018:  Masters of the Post War Realism from Pearlstein to Welliver by Dr. Louis Zona, Executive Director of The Bulter Institute of American Art.

July 13, 2018:  Robert Huff:  Retrospective by Beth Dunlop, editor of Modern Magazine and longtime architecture critic for the Miami Herald.

September 14, 2018:  Artist Janet Rogers Gallery Talk and Tour discussing her Eyescapes exhibition.

About Walter May:

As a successful bank officer and a respected philanthropist to many worthy non-profit organizations in New York, Walter May’s reputation as a supporter of the arts and as a passionate art collector preceded his retirement move to South Florida and precipitated his nomination to the Boca Raton Museum of Art Board of Trustees.  Because Walter and his family have spent a lifetime sharing their common love for the arts, he was instrumental in convincing his wife, Robin, to join and to contribute her expertise to the Museum of Art – DeLand’s Board.

The privilege of naming this Art Lecture Series – Art Speaks in memoriam for Walter May has given the art communities who have benefited from his lifetime largess an opportunity to pay tribute to this renaissance man who believed in everyone’s  responsibility to contribute actively to his community’s cultural life thereby ensuring the advancement of knowledge and education for future generations.





Roberto Edwards

Cuerpos Pintados is a unique project that marries the concerns of painting, performance art, documentation, and photography. In the last 25 years, more than 100 painters and countless models have participated in a rich interactive dialog exploring the potential of the body as both landscape and a three-dimensional canvas. The first 45 painters were from Chile, as the studio is located in Santiago: however, soon painters from all over South America, Europe and the United States wanted an opportunity to work collaboratively at Taller Cuerpos Pintados.

Roberto Edwards, born in 1937, is a Chilean photographer and entrepreneur. After partial studies of architecture, economics, and film, he began in the publishing business, producing numerous books and magazines. During the 1980’s he established Cuerpos Pintados and in 1991 the project was presented for the first time, with Edward’s photographs of nude bodies painted by 45 Chilean artists. The resulting exhibition traveled to 32 museums in Latin America and Europe. In 2003, he presented a new version of Cuerpos Pintados. This time, more than 100 visual artists, mainly from Latin America, participated in the project, as well as musicians who composed their scores with body sounds and photographers who documented the body in a wide variety of traditional cultures.

The photographs of Roberto Edwards have been exhibited in over 40 museums throughout the world and have intrigued, fascinated, and amazed viewers. They represent accurate records of an organic project that has endless variations and morphs into an amazingly productive exploration of the expressive power of the body. Watching Edwards photograph is like watching a drama unfold, but one that has no linear narrative. Initially, he directs actions, but invariably the models start to move and to strike a myriad of poses on their own which derive from an almost dance-like ritual. During the process he never corrects or changes the original concept, but uses tools like cropping, changing focus and compressing space through depth of field and f-stop selection. The photographer also has the cinematic equivalents of long shot, medium shot and close up at his disposal. Sometimes he builds images through multiple exposures and montaging.

The Museum of Art – DeLand would like to recognize the talent and achievements of Roberto Edwards and all the gifted artists who participated and collaborated in the Experimental Workshop of Cuerpos Pintados. This exhibition was organized and curated by Holden Luntz, Director of the Holden Luntz Gallery. His close association with Roberto Edwards and his work has ensured the success of this endeavor.

George S. Bolge
CEO, Museum of Art – DeLand, Florida


Thank You for Your Continued Support

The following donors and businesses merit special appreciation for their support of this presentation and their commitment to this year’s exhibition schedule: Dennis Aylward, Dr. Bruce Bigman and Carolyn Bigman, Samuel and Donna Blatt, Thomas and Loretta Chudy, Earl and Patti Colvard, Sal Cristofano and Laura Gosper, Manny De La Vega, Dr. Wayne Dickson and Jewel Dickson, Robert Dorian and Linda Colvard Dorian, Lee and Susan Downer, Dr. Susan Griffis, John and Karen Horn, Ed Jackson and Pat Heller-Jackson, Betty Drees Johnson, Ray and Betty Johnson, Ed and Pauline Lacey, Barney and Linda Lane, Doni Lennon, Tim and Mary Jeanne Ludwig, Robin May, Greg and Beth Milliken, Linda Pinto, Dagny and Tommy Robertson, Stephen and Claudia Roth, Patricia Schwarze, Judith Thompson, Paul and Becky Vasquez, Dr. Ian Williams and Dr. Nancy Hutson, Dr. John Wilton and Nancy Wilton, Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation, DeLand Breakfast Rotary, DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts, DeLand Rotary Club, Inc., Boulevard Tire Center, E.O. Painter Printing Company, Krewe Amalee, Krewe Nouveau, Lane Insurance, Inc., Lacey Family Charitable Trust, Mainstreet Community Bank, Massey Services, Inc., Museum Guild, Publix Supermarket Charities, West Volusia Beacon, W. W. Gay Mechanical Contractor, Inc., State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and the County of Volusia.

I would like to honor our institution’s Board of Trustees, led by Judy Thompson, President, for support the Staff’s ambitious and diverse programming.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the unfailing support of my Staff of professionals whose daily contributions are a constant source of encouragement.

George S. Bolge
Chief Executive Officer
Museum of Art – DeLand, Florida


Adolf Dehn

Adolf Arthur Dehn: Painter of America invites us to examine our understanding of the visual arts in America during one of the most important and crucial phases of modernism’s evolution – the historical epoch that starts with the 1913 Armory Show and continues to just after World War II. This exhibition documents the impressive achievements of the watercolorist and lithographer, Adolf Dehn, who studied at the Minneapolis School of Art and the Art Students League. While under the influence of his contemporaries – Robinson, Pascin, and Grosz – he helped to pioneer the development of American modernism during a time of tremendous growth and political and cultural upheaval.

The modernism revealed in these works is diverse and wide-ranging, going beyond abstraction to include figurative, expression, American scene painting, and social realism. To showcase this artist’s diversity, the exhibit will be divided into the following parts:

• A small group of works Dehn did in Haiti from 1949-52 in casein tempera on panel, watercolor, and lithography.
• A selected retrospective of his prints (he did 665 from 1932-65)
• An overall retrospective offering different media and different subject matter rang- ing from early student drawings to watercolors, pastels, and caseins.

It took almost a century for American painting to find its own unique identity in Abstract Expressionism after World War II. Much of the modern American painting which proceeded mid-century was twice faulted by being too modern in its own time, and not modern enough when seen in relation to Abstract Expressionism. It is this period of America’s art – largely disregarded and long disdained – that this exhibition sets out to re-examine.

This period in which Adolf Dehn worked is one of the richest in terms of personalities, collective and communal spirit, an environment where artists were sharing in the development of American modernism and looking to one another for inspiration and support. The work of Adolf Dehn mirrors this fascinating, fertile and turbulent time in American art’s often-resistant embrace of the “modern” and is a reflection of the evolution of twentieth-century art.

George S. Bolge
Chief Executive Officer
Museum of Art – DeLand, Florida


Larry Griffin

After retirement from his career as Professor of Art at Miami-Dade Community College (1966 to 1999), Larry Griffin took full advantage of what he referred to as “his time” and began working daily in the studio.

Larry received an MFA from the prestigious Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield, Michigan. His earliest painting efforts concentrated on realism with an emphasis on studies of the human figure; however, a strong sense of design and composition led him to explore the nonfigurative realms of abstraction. Larry approached his art sequentially with a tendency to create thematic works using related iconography. Later works were generally nonobjective with formal elements of line, texture, color, and composition applied to the two dimensional surface of the canvas.

Larry was fascinated with the radiate qualities of illusion derived from multiple layers of transparent glazes. This vibrant use of color strongly augments the angular compositions, combining a dynamic geometric structure with veiled landscape references. In addition to his energetic and vibrant design, there is a decorative quality to the later works. Although these paintings are small and intimate they often evoke an aesthetic associated with much larger paintings.

Most of the canvases on view here have the designation Homage to R.D. in the title. This is a reference to the California abstract expressionist painter Richard Diebenkorn for whom Larry had great admiration and respect.

David Fithian
Curator of Art & Exhibitions
Museum of Art – DeLand, Florida


John Briggs

John Ralph Briggs is an exceptionable painter, not only demonstrating great technical skill but also possessed of an inquiring intellect that imbues his work often with challenging ideas. His work over the past forty years can be described as Representational Figurative. He has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, such as the Pollack-Krasner Fellowship, the DuPont Foundation Purchase Award, the Art Patron Art Award (nominated by Joseph Hirshhorn), two National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships and two Individual Artist Fellowships from the State of Florida. His work is in many private, corporate and public collections such as Joseph Hirshhorn’s private collection, New York Times, Tropicana Corporation, the Polk Museum of Art, the Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale and numerous banks and State of Florida government buildings.

The new body of work in this exhibition entitled, “Casting for the Unknown” represents Brigg’s most recent exploration and was completed between 2014 and 2016. It was inspired by a drawing he found in his studio that he had set aside many years ago and represents an idea that has evolved over twenty-five years.

The pictures depict nude figures serenely casting nets into the surf. This scene evokes a mysterious response in the viewer. Why are they fishing nude? Are these paintings allegories for some other thing? Are this figures meant to be symbols of mankind hoping to capture their past, future or identity?

In discussing this work with Ken Rollins, the curator of the show and author of the catalog, Briggs acknowledges an art historical connection to Giorgio de Chirico, the Italian Surrealist whose paintings had a mysterious, dreamlike quality about them. Brigg’s paintings are flat. There is no attempt as in his other landscapes to define a sense of volume, perspective or dimensionality. He provides only enough information to captivate the curiosity of the viewer.

George S. Bolge
Chief Executive Officer
Museum of Art – DeLand, Florida


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