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Cornell Fine Arts Museum
Rollins College Cornell Museum01.jpg
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Established 1978 (1978)
Location 1000 Holt Avenue
Winter Park, Florida
Type Art
Accreditation American Alliance of Museums
Collection size 5,000

The Cornell Fine Arts Museum is located on the Winter Park campus of Rollins College and is the only teaching museum in the greater Orlando area. The museum houses more than 5,000 objects ranging from antiquity through contemporary eras, including rare old master paintings and a comprehensive collection of prints, drawings, and photographs. The museum displays temporary exhibitions on a rotating basis along with the permanent collection.


A collection composed of portraits of college notables and natural history artifacts was put together at Rollins College around the turn of the 20th century. In the 1930s, fine arts were added to the collection prompted, in part, by the gifts of two Italian Renaissance paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. The first purpose-built museum on campus was the Morse Gallery of Art which opened in 1941. It was administered by Jeannette Morse Genius (who also provided the funds for the building) and her husband, Dr. Hugh McKean, who later became president of Rollins College (1951–69). In 1976, George and Harriet Cornell donated the funds to construct a fine arts complex that would include a new museum. The Cornell Fine Arts Museum opened its doors in 1978, and three years later became Florida’s first college art museum to be accredited by the American Association of Museums (today the American Alliance of Museums). The building underwent a significant expansion in 2004–5, and now includes six galleries and a print study room. A satellite exhibition space for the Museum's Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art was introduced in 2013 at The Alfond Inn—a philanthropic boutique hotel owned by Rollins College, whose proceeds help fund student scholarships.


Collection totals over 5,000 objects ranging from antiquity through contemporary:

  • Over 500 paintings from the 14th–21st centuries.
  • Over 1500 prints, drawings and photographs dating from the 15th–21st centuries.
  • Over 1100 ethnographic objects and object fragments, many from the original natural history museum on campus; some of the items were donated by the Smithsonian after that museum burned in the 1920s.
  • Over 1200 watch keys ranging from the 16th–late 19th centuries.


  • 1936 General and Mrs. John Carty donate the first old master painting, The Dead Christ with Symbols of the Passion, by Lavinia Fontana. Donations by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in 1937 and 1938 formally inaugurate fine art collecting.
  • 1948 Grandma Moses gives to the college the oil painting, Out on the Lake.
  • 1950s George H. Sullivan, a Winter Park resident, made the first major donations to the museum, including works by William Louis Sonntag and Francesco de Mura.
  • 1960s Rollins alumni, Jack and June Myers, donate what would become the backbone of the Cornell’s old master collection, including works by Gerolamo Bassano, Jacopo Tintoretto, Thomas Lawrence, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Pieter Claesz.
  • 2000 Kenneth Curry bequeathed over 30 Bloomsbury Group paintings and drawings.
  • 2008 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts donated 156 photographs and polaroids through the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program.
  • 2013 Barbara and Ted Alfond donated The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, which in 2015 included over 230 paintings, photographs, sculptures and mixed media works by established and emerging contemporary artists from around the world.

Selected artists

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