James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art Opening Soon in St Petersburg, Florida
With approximately 30,000 square feet of gallery space, the new James Museum will be a wonderful addition to the St. Pete area for art lovers. The museum is located at 100 Central Ave.
The collection is from Mary and Tom James. Tom James is the chairman emeritus of Raymond James Financial. They began collecting art while still studying at university. Tom was studying at Harvard, and Mary was at Wellesley. After Mary converted Tom into a skier, the collection turned a bend and shifted into a western art collection.
In all there will be about 400 works of art including paintings and sculpture collected over a 50 year period.
The museum will also house Mary Jame’s extensive collection of Native American jewelry.
They began to collect what moved them — an art of action and attention to place made by contemporary artists. They collected for their pleasure, though with an aim to help living artists to live by their art alone. They collected works in oil, in ink, in stone, in steel; works that define genres and defy labels; works that evoke the spirit of a wide open frontier and the beauty of life in the wild. Since their first acquisition, a vast artistic legacy has grown – one populated by emerging artists and living legends and filled with tribal tradition and classical finesse.
Through exhibitions and education programs, The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art will emphasize core values of the art that moved Tom and Mary James during their collecting: action, fortitude, heritage, and integrity.
Setting up a museum is no easy task. But clearly the team is up to it! From the amazing architecture to the the open space, this looks like it will be an amazing space, and experience. Sandstone was imported from India to create a gorgeous entryway that feels like a western Arroyo. A 20-foot waterfall will also be part of the entryway, with the water feature being made from granite.
Installing bronze sculpture is an art in itself. In this case, “Hunter Becomes the Hunted” by sculptor Vic Payne had to be hoisted to the second floor. Rogers Brothers Services were the skilled, and careful labor who managed that feat.
For more information about the museum, visit TheJamesMuseum.org
Photos–all photos courtesy of the James Museum’s Facebook page @jamesmuseumstpete
Sculptures arriving at the museum “Moving the last sculptures from Raymond James Financial today…ready for museum installation next week! Pictured are bronzes by artists John Coleman, Vic Payne, and Dave McGary. Moves by Rodgers Bros Services Inc”
Bronze installation of “Hunter Becomes the Hunted” bronze sculpture by Vic Payne also from @jamesmuseumstpete, Photo credit – @ToddBatesCreative.
The Arroyo: “The Arroyo is the iconic entrance to our museum, representative of the primary nature and the geographic association of the collection.”