Rivers have always provided a range of vital necessities, as sources for fresh water, transportation, food, and recreation. One museum, and city, are looking to highlight the importance of their river through the perspective of local artists.
Stretching over 310 miles, the St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida and remains one of the state’s most significant commercial and recreational resources. The mouth of the river flows through the city of Jacksonville, where The Cummer Museum — in collaboration with the Cultural Fusion Year of the River — has invited artists working in a variety of media to offer their interpretations of river-themed works in the museum’s permanent collection. Featured in the show are, among other artists, Emily Arthur, Sarah Crooks Flaire, Jim Draper, Doug Engdahl, Brian Frus, Tiffany Melanson, Hiromi Mizugai Moneyhun, Allison Watson, and Barry Wilson. In addition to the Cummer Museum, over 50 institutions have joined in to raise awareness of the St. Johns River as the “cultural current” of Jacksonville.
A lovely example from the exhibition — and the museum’s permanent collection — is Herman Herzog’s “Figure in a River Landscape” (ca. 1910). The magnetic image shows a figure boarding his rowboat along the shore of a densely vegetated river. The hanging moss, palm trees, and water lilies no doubt recall the humid and vivid spaces found throughout the state of Florida.
“Reflections: Artful Perspectives on the St. Johns River” opened in February and will continue through October 18.
To learn more, visit The Cummer Museum.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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