Boca Museum of Art
501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432
In Mizner Park
T: 561.392.2500 F: 561.391.6410



Tuesday - Friday 
Saturday & Sunday

10AM - 5PM
10AM - 9PM

Children(12 & under)
Seniors(65 +)
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CLOSED Mondays and holidays
Museum galleries will be open on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014

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Friday, July 17, 2009
Hurricane preparation at the Boca Raton Museum of Art

As some of you may be aware, hurricane season is upon us in South Florida and we are readying our sculpture garden for the possibility of storms. To start, we are taking down the hanging sculpture Celestial Presence by Dorothy Gillespie. Although the individual pieces are made of sturdy aluminum and can be bent easily back into shape if a strong wind hit them, they are strung up next to the windows with fishing line which could create any number of problems with tangling or colliding with the glass.

Dorothy Gillespie, Celestial Presence, 2007, polychrome painted and shaped-cut aluminum, 25 x 20 x 12 feet. Permanent Collection 2007.20. Gift of the Dorothy Gillespie Foundation, Inc.


How do we safely store these works of art? First, the fishing line that is strung horizontally between the hanging columns of sculptural elements is cut. The placement of the horizontal fishing line is needed so that the individual pieces hang in straight columns and do not get tangled with one another.

After that, the Facilities staff, Robin Archible and John Finewood, take down one hanging column of the shaped aluminum pieces at a time and wrap each piece separately. John is raised up in the boom lift and slowly lowers the line so that Archie can receive and wrap each piece in bubble wrap. They are then placed in large storage crates to await reinstallation in the fall. It takes about three days to complete the process.

John releasing the line.

John lowering the sculpture to Archie, waiting with roll of bubble wrap.

Final product: wrapped pieces ready for storage.

Once a hurricane warning is announced for the Boca Raton area, we take additional measures to ensure the safety of the sculptures in the garden. Depending on how the season shapes up, you may see more entries dedicated to hurricane preparedness but we will keep our fingers crossed that you won't!

Posted by: Kelli Bodle @ 10:48:37 am  Comments (0)
Monday, July 13, 2009
Fun with math: Federal art stimulus funding

There's so much talk lately of national and global economic stimulus plans, budgets and federal funding, that it's easy to reach information overload - what does it all mean?

A recent blog entry at Art:21 on the topic of federal art stimulus spending puts the issue into plain English, or rather, simple math. The writer helpfully reduces the sometimes overwhelming verbiage of federal funding grants into a simple numbers game, with an easy-to-follow "chunky text" format.

Art:21 followed up the next day with a more word-centric, lengthy posting of an interview with House Arts Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Rep. Todd Russell Platts (R-PA),  that helps to flesh out the issues and put matters into a broader perspective.

This is great reading for artists, art supporters and those who work in the visual arts field. After looking at the numbers, do you think the arts are getting a fair shake? Too much? Too little?


A view from the 58th Annual All Florida Competition and Exhibition, an exhibition that fosters up-and-coming artists.



Posted by: Tricia Woolfenden @ 10:18:31 am  Comments (0)
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
End of Kodachrome: Reminder of connection between "The Afghan Girl" and the Museum

Eastman Kodak Co. has announced it will put Kodachrome into the discontinued bin, where it joins Polaroid in the retirement community for storied, but outdated, film formats.

A recent Palm Beach Post article about the demise of the beloved, if increasingly obsolete, film stock sparked some discussion at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. The story was accompanied by an image of Steve McCurry's iconic Afghan Girl, a compelling portrait originally photographed on Kodachrome and reproduced on a 1985 cover of National Geographic.

This turned a few heads at the Museum, as we are fortunate enough to own a large print of Afghan Girl in our Permanent Collection. Our piece - which was a gift of the artist in 2008 - is a stunning Fuji Crystal Archive print. The Museum originally displayed a version of Afghan Girl in the summer 2004 exhibition Steve McCurry: Photographs of Asia, which was made possible by McCurry and Richard Coplan.

McCurry's image made for one of the most stirring covers in National Geographic's history, but a glossy magazine reprint can hardly do justice to the piece. The Museum's 21 ¼  x 14 1/8 inch print reveals the depth captured by McCurry's lens, including the detail of the girl's frayed garment and the stark intensity of her pale, piercing eyes.

Incidentally, if you're unfamiliar with the story of how McCurry originally met the "Girl" - the then, 12-year-old Sharbat Gula - and his long awaited and fought-for reunion with her nearly two decades later, NPR did a wonderful piece on the subject in 2002. The provided link includes an audio recording of the report.

Afghan Girl can currently be seen in Camera Work: Photography from the Permanent Collection, on display in the Museum's second floor photo gallery.   


Posted by: Tricia Woolfenden @ 3:08:44 pm  Comments (4)
Monday, June 29, 2009
Where are all of the women artists?

Intrigued by New York Magazine art critic Jerry Salz's investigation and public condemnation of the percentage of women artists found in the Museum of Modern Art's Permanent Collection, I decided to look to my own backyard and see what I could find. 

At the Boca Raton Museum of Art - according to my own quick and dirty survey - we have 16% women artists represented in our Permanent Collection galleries' Modern Art areas. That equals around 29 women artists to 175 men.  I am somewhat happy that we have "out-suffraged" the MOMA, (4 percent or 19 out of 383) but 16 percent is still relatively low. 

I will concede right at the outset that we grow our collection through donations and we do not actively buy at auction on a regular basis by any means.  Further, when speaking only of permanent collection exhibits, we have dedicated an exhibition to women (The Other Half: Women Artists in the Collection 2005) and recently acquired on loan a very large Nancy Graves wall sculpture that passionately announces its femininity in our Abstract Art gallery. If you have not yet seen Canoptic Legerdemain please visit our East Wing gallery on the second floor.  The vast difference between it and the work by the male abstract artists on display is amazing. 

Still, more must be done to promote women in the artsMr. Salz puts it quite succinctly when he says in his letter to Ann Temkin, Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the MOMA:

To those who have complained that installing the work of women will mean too much so-called  "lesser" work will be on view. You can't develop what Oscar Wilde called "the critical spirit" if you're mainly seeing the story as it has always been told. Seeing only what's already been seen doesn't tell you how good or bad this work may be. As André Malraux wrote, 'We can feel only by comparison. The Greek genius is better understood by comparing a Greek statue to an Egyptian or Asiatic one than by acquaintance with a hundred Greek statues'...The point is, when it comes to being artists, women can be as bad as men. The problem is that even now, decades after the onset of women's liberation, women aren't being allowed to demonstrate this. I doubt that there's a conscious effort to keep women from showing, yet the percentage of women exhibiting in museum PERMANENT COLLECTIONS is grievously low.

We, of course, - just as with the majority of Museums - seem to reflect this stagnant attitude towards re-writing women into the history of art. As part of the Curatorial department, all that I can say is that in my experience thus far (starting October 2009) when installing new work into the permanent collection galleries, there is very often discussion of actively searching out women artists to be displayed.

It makes me proud to know that this is a subject that is considered more often than not.  Of course, we cannot simply take down all the eminent male artists on display and replace them with lesser-known women artists. Instead, we use the gradual build approach. We actively insert more and more women artists into our galleries in order to familiarize and teach the public about their role in history while still supplying the community with the recognizable male artists that they have come to appreciate over the years.

The conversation about the male to female ratio of artists exhibited in museums has been taking place for a long time. I hope it will continue to be a topic of conversation and shape our understanding of the "canon" of art history for years to come. This fluidity and opportunity for growth and changes in understanding is what truly excites me about the study of art. 


Posted by: Kelli Bodle @ 3:45:13 pm  Comments (6)
Friday, June 19, 2009
Is there a place for art in kids' lives?

As an art institution, we're probably a bit biased in gravitating towards news coverage and educational studies that validate our stance that the visual arts - an important aspect of society that often goes underfunded and underappreciated - are nationally experiencing troubled times. 

Multiple surveys this month indicate a steady decline in the role of the arts in children's lives. And it isn't just about the economy. The New York Times released a story on June 15, 2009 reporting that the U.S. Department of Education has determined "music and art education in American eighth-grade classes" has stagnated in the last decade. One official went so far as to call the student's achievements in those areas "mediocre."

Remember all those school field trips to museums and institutions that you took as a kid? Less kids are experiencing that type of an out-of-the-box educational adventure, according to a story in the Washington Post which reports a drop in youth attendance at art institutions:

"The percentage of eighth-graders who reported that they visited an art museum or gallery with their classes dropped from 22 percent in 1997 to 16 percent in 2008."


You could perhaps, draw a parallel to a study also released this week by the National Endowment for the Arts. It found that adult interest in the visual arts seems to be falling off. According to the Washington Post, "fewer adults (are) choosing an art museum or visual arts festival as a leisure-time destination."

Key findings in the study:

  • From 1992-2001, 26 percent of adults visited visual arts attractions
  • In 2008, 23 percent of adults visited visual arts attractions

Though it is a rather small decline, institutions are expressing concern that it could be indicative of a coming trend "as the most loyal part of the museum audience ages." While it is easy to blame the dip in attendance on economic pressures and a cut-back on entertainment spending, it is a bit more worrisome when stacked with the statistics on kids and the arts.

It is not uncommon for art education to take a hit when underfunded schools tighten their belts, but it seems that we (as a society) owe children a venue in which to experience the visual arts at a young age, not only to enrich their minds, but also to give them a tangible opportunity to determine if the visual arts are something that they want to pursue into adulthood.

Museum education outreach programs give kids a chance to experiment with art in a fun, thoughtful manner. For its part to counter-balance the public cut-backs in art education, the BRMA reaches out to more than 10,000 students each year with:

  • Lesson plans for teachers
  • Field trip grants
  • Student discounts
  • Interactive programs like ARTful Adventure, Meet a Master, Create a Masterpiece and Family Day
  • Teacher In Service programs
  • Artist In Residency outreach programs

What are some other creative ways that public institutions can - and have been - reaching out to youth? We'd love to hear your ideas!


Posted by: Tricia Woolfenden @ 10:32:47 am  Comments (2)
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What is a CVV Code?

CVV2 is a security measure for credit cards. Since a CVV2 number is listed on your credit card, but is not stored anywhere, the only way to know the correct CVV2 number for your credit card is to physically have possession of the card itself. All VISA, Discover, MasterCard and American Express cards made in America in the past 5 years or so have a CVV2 number. However Diners Club does not use a security code.

How to find your CVV2 number:
On a VISA, Discover or MasterCard, please turn your card over and look in the signature strip. You will find (either the entire 16-digit string of your card number, OR just the last 4 digits), followed by a space, followed by a 3-digit number. That 3-digit number is your CVV2 number.(See below)

VISA, Discover & MasterCard

On American Express Cards, the CVV2 number is a 4-digit number that appears above the end of your card number. (See below)