St. Petersburg, Florida is known as The Sunshine City. However, what are some things to do when the weather is simply too hot? Or on the off chance that a rainstorm passes through? Thankfully, there is a city landmark that has been established for decades and is well worth a visit, no matter how much time you have. The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), located at 255 Beach Drive Northeast, 737-896-2667, is a world-renowned attraction and you do not have to be an art aficionado to enjoy the experience and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Margaret Acheson Stuart founded the elegant museum in 1965. It is a fantastic mirror of her concept to exemplify beautiful pieces of world art. The MFA’s website states:
“The Museum has an encyclopedic collection of art from around the globe and across the centuries, with almost 5,000 years of civilization represented by more than 20,000 objects extending from antiquity to the present. The collection includes works by Monet, Gauguin, Renoir, Morisot, Cezanne, Rodin, O’Keeffe and many others, as well as ancient Greek and Roman, Asian, African, pre-Columbian and Native American art. The collection is the only comprehensive art collection of its kind on Florida’s west coast.”
Despite the rarity of the collection that may seem intimidating to some, it is vital to mention that the MFA is incredibly inviting. The architect who designed the original wing, John Volk, set the bar high when creating the building. It is welcoming, but the floor plan is easily navigable so that the collection can be viewed leisurely or quickly if you are pressed for time.
In addition to the rare collection mentioned above, the MFA is also home to two enchanting gardens. One is focused on sculpture and the other is inspired by meditation and encourages reflection. With all of these components, no wonder why the MFA has been repeatedly named the best art museum in the Tampa Bay area. DTSP is thrilled that this noteworthy treasure is right here in our neighborhood!
You are welcome to wander about on your own or you have the option of a docent-led tour. These volunteers will guide you through a one-hour experience that may enhance your visit to the MFA. While you are at the Museum of Fine Arts, be sure to stop into the Museum Store. Here you will discover a delightful assortment of books, gifts, handmade crafts, and more – making it a lovely place to find a little memory to take home with you from your visit.
Hungry? The MFA Café is open for lunch Monday thru Friday and brunch Saturday and Sunday. With indoor seating inside of the glass Conservatory or outdoor seating where you can view the gorgeous St. Pete waterfront, the MFA Café is the perfect place to enjoy a gourmet salad, sandwich, soup or delicious liquid refreshment (mimosas anyone?). If you are seeking a place to eat, you are welcome to enjoy the cafe even without museum admission.
Other than the remarkable artwork, store and café, the Museum of Fine Arts in Downtown St. Pete offers a great range of events and programs inside and outdoors for all ages to take joy in. Plus, you can also host your special event at the MFA. If you fancy yourself a bit of an artist, you are welcome to sketch with dry media (pencil only) in the gallery. Why not allow the amazing pieces inspire you to get those creative wheels turning?
The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida is undoubtedly a must-see. It is more than an art collection – it is a memorable experience that can be shared with all ages alike. While you are at the museum, take a photo of your favorite piece and post it onto Downtown Now! As DTSP is evolving, so is DowntownStPete.com where you can find more 5-star places to go (just like the MFA), unique personalities to meet and the entertaining things to do right here in Downtown St. Pete. Create a profile now to interact with other people who work, live or play in the area. Enoy!