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May 5, 2011

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Harn Museum of Art to Celebrate the Importance of Museums during Museum Nights on May 12


GAINESVILLE, Fla. —The Harn Museum of Art will offer special Museum Nights activities on May 12 from 6 – 9 p.m. as part of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) International Museum Day and Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) Art Museum Day. Participation by AAMD member museums emphasizes the lasting impact art museums have on their communities, highlights the value of the visual arts in society, and provides new opportunities for audiences to participate in the wide-ranging programs that art museums offer. In 2010, the Harn Museum of Art, along with 90 other AAMD member museums across North America, participated in International Museum Day.

Several fun, family-friendly activities have been planned to celebrate the theme of “museums and memory.” Susan Cooksey, Harn curator of African art, will present a gallery talk focused on how objects preserve memory and Harn Registrar Laura Nemmers will discuss her role in protecting collections at the Museum. Other activities will include a performance by the Gainesville International Folk Dancers, games focused on memory and tips on how to protect keepsakes at home. Visitors will also have the opportunity to leave their creative marks on a memory wall, created especially for the celebration. Additionally, the opening reception for the Alachua County Public Schools' Student Art Exhibition will be held this evening and visitors will have the opportunity to view the students’ work in the auditorium from 7 – 9 p.m.

AAMD member museums—located across the United States, Canada, and Mexico—include smaller regional museums as well as large international institutions. International Museum Day is organized annually around the world by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). AAMD’s celebration is an opportunity to focus attention on the role of art museums in North America, as part of ICOM’s global celebration of museums.

“Art Museum Day is an opportunity to celebrate the collective memory of human creativity, both past and present, that art museums hold in the public trust,” said Kaywin Feldman, President of AAMD and Director and President of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. “AAMD believes that art should be accessible and relevant to all, and we are so pleased that the Harn Museum of Art is joining with us and the global community of museums to create new opportunities for audiences to engage with museum collections and programs.”

A comprehensive list of participating AAMD member art museums will be available in the newsroom of the AAMD website ( Note that while AAMD’s Art Museum Day and ICOM’s International Museum Day is formally held each year on May 18, some institutions shift their celebrations to adjacent dates.

Schedule of Activities

Ongoing: Games focusing on memory
Art making that will leave your mark on the memory wall
Bishop Study Center display about protecting collections at the Harn Museum
Booths with information about other organizations such as the Matheson Museum and The University Galleries
Refreshments will be served
Performance by the Gainesville International Folk Dancers

7 – 9 p.m. View student works in the Alachua County Public Schools' Student Art Exhibition in the auditorium

7:45 – 8:30 p.m.: Gallery talk by Susan Cooksey, Harn Curator of African Art in A Sense of Place: African Interiors and gallery talk about protecting collections at the Harn by Registrar Laura Nemmers


Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
Founded in 1990, the Harn Museum of Art is an integral part of the University of Florida. The Harn contributes to an interconnected, international community by integrating the arts and culture into curricula throughout the university’s system of colleges and centers. Its holdings include more than 8,000 works in five main collecting areas: Asian art, African art, photography, modern art of the Americas and Europe, and international contemporary art. In addition to rotating installations drawn from its permanent collection, the Harn organizes traveling exhibitions, public lectures, panel discussions, academic symposia and educational programs for adults, students and children. In 2012, the Harn will open the 26,000-square-foot David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing, which will feature three levels, including new galleries, storage and conservation spaces, as well as outdoor gardens.

The Harn Museum, at Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road in Gainesville, Fla., is part of the University of Florida’s Cultural Plaza, which is also home to the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is open until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of every month for Museum Nights. The Camellia Court Café is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 352-392-9826 or visit

Media contact :
Tami Wroath
Harn Museum of Art
(352) 392-9826 x2116

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