Museums in Orlando, FL |

in Orlando, FL

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Did you know that there are approximately 850 million visits to museums every year in America? They contribute $50 billion to the U.S. economy each year. If you think about how marvelous museums are, these numbers make sense. Museums can transport you to old worlds, future worlds, worlds you never thought you could be a part of.

If you’re looking to add some of those unknown worlds to your day, check out our list of museums in the area. They are all within driving distance and offer a variety of topics that will enchant every member of the family.
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens

(407) 647-6294

633 Osceola Ave
Winter Park, FL 32789   Directions Website

Discover the renown Czech-born American sculptor Albin Polasek, whose works are on display inside and among the gardens of his former retirement home. Now a living museum, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens pays homage to this influential artist and educator.

The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens is the preeminent authority on renown Czech-born American sculptor Albin Polasek.

Originally the retirement home of Polasek, the museum and sculpture gardens is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It features more than 200 works by the artist, along with a chapel, an outdoor sculpture garden and a gift shop.

Polasek immigrated to the U.S. as a young woodcarver in 1901, then honed his art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the American Academy of Art in Rome.

He was an influential artist and educator, and was commissioned to create numerous public sculptures both in Europe and America. He also served as the head of the Department of Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago for 30 years.

The Polasek is considered a living museum, and its outdoor gardens date to 1949. In fact, many of the original plantings were cultivated by Polasek and his family.

Other special areas to explore include the butterfly garden, two water gardens and the cycad collection along the museum's main entrance.

Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida
Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida

(407) 628-0555

851 N Maitland Ave
Maitland, FL 32751   Directions Website

An educational series on the Holocaust between Valencia Community College and the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando was so beneficial to the community, that leaders coordinated their efforts to create the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida. This triumph of the human spirit serves to prevent these atrocities from ever being repeated.

Mennello Museum of American Art
Mennello Museum of American Art

(407) 246-4278

900 E Princeton St
Orlando, FL 32803   Directions Website

At the Mennello Museum of American Art, view the most extensive collection of paintings by notable 20th century folk artist Earl Cunningham. His whimsical paintings include Viking ships, pink flamingos and other incongruous curiosities in small-town settings.

The Mennello Museum of American Art is a folk-art lover's dream, showcasing an extensive permanent collection of paintings by noted folk artist Earl Cunningham.

In addition, the museum helps to educate and enlighten the community through special exhibitions, publications and programs celebrating the outsider art and artists that have created the American folk art movement.

In his lifetime, Earl Cunningham painted more than 400 landscapes, of which a large number reside at the Mennello Museum.

Cunningham was noted for his flat perspective, vivid colors and incongruous additions to the landscape, such as flamingos in Maine and Viking ships in Florida.

Orange County Regional History Center
Orange County Regional History Center

(407) 836-8500

65 E Central Blvd
Orlando, FL 32801   Directions Website

Discover the rich history of Central Florida at the Orange County Regional History Center. This fascinating museum takes visitors back 12,000 years and up to the present. Learn about the natural environment, the first people, cattle and citrus, aviation and the road to modern Orlando.

The Orange County Regional History Center explores 12,000 years of Central Florida history, all housed in three floors of fun and dynamic displays that investigate the many facets of life throughout the years.

The smart and funny displays began as a pioneer kitchen exhibit for the Central Florida Centennial Celebration. The exhibit remained opened after the celebration, and artifacts from public donations soon filled the old Orange County Courthouse where it was on display.

Eventually, the museum reopened in 1963 before finally getting a permanent home of its own in 2000.

The current Orange County Regional History Center showcases the vast collections of the Historical Society of Central Florida. In 2006, the museum was accepted as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and was accredited by the American Association of Museums, the highest honor a museum can receive.

Orlando Museum of Art
Orlando Museum of Art

(407) 896-4231

2416 N Mills Ave
Orlando, FL 32803   Directions Website

View the extensive collection of American art, African art and art of the Ancient Americas at the Orlando Museum of Art. The private, non-profit museum also hosts new exhibits like "Common Ground: Art of the American Landscape."

The Orlando Museum of Art has had one of the earliest head starts in collecting and presenting works of art to the Orlando area, since its inception in 1924.

Long considered to be a leading cultural institution in the region, the Orlando Museum of Art presents notable works, exhibits works of local, regional and international significance, and presents first-rate educational program.

In all, the museum presents 10 to 12 new exhibits each year and its members are more than 5,000 strong.

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

(407) 645-5311

445 N Park Ave
Winter Park, FL 32789   Directions Website

If you can't get enough of Tiffany glass and art, then The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is your home away from home. Featuring the most extensive collection of Tiffany pieces in the world, the museum features a spectacular chapel interior originally designed for the World's Fair in Chicago.

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is a fantastic study of the works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, in addition to 19th and 20th century American decorative arts.

Located in Winter Park, Florida, the museum houses the most extensive collection of Tiffany's works in the world. His pieces include samples of jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass windows and lamps. The museum also houses the spectacular chapel interior that the artist designed for the 1893 World's Colombian Exposition in Chicago.

The museum's current location includes galleries created in former bank and office buildings. The Tiffany Chapel exhibition debuted in the museum in 1999.

Now occupying more than 30,000 square feet of space, the Morse Museum of American Art is owned and operated by the Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation.

The Rollins Museum of Art
The Rollins Museum of Art

(407) 646-2526

1000 Holt Ave
Winter Park, FL 32789   Directions Website

Orlando boasts a specialty museum with one of the largest collections of Tiffany glass and Renaissance paintings in the states. At the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, you can explore more than 6,000 works of art, including paintings from Rembrandt and Cezanne.

The Cornell Fine Arts Museum houses more than 6,000 works of art, one of the largest collections of its kind in the state of Florida. The museum is a study in Renaissance paintings and Tiffany glass.

The museum's collection was started in 1927, when the Samuel H. Kress Foundation donated many Italian Renaissance paintings, which included "Madonna and Child Enthroned" by Cosimo Rosselli.

The Old Masters Collection was started by gifts from various alumni. A Chinese collection contains works that date back to 1959. Favorite pieces include paintings from Rembrandt and from Cezanne.

The Tiffany Glass collection is also one of the finest of its kind, showcasing hundreds of stunning pieces in the Morse Gallery.

Titanic The Experience
Titanic The Experience

(407) 248-1166

7324 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819   Directions Website

Take a trip back in time and experience the excitement, beauty and ultimate tragedy of the Titanic's maiden voyage at Titanic The Experience. The living museum recreates the Grand Staircase, First Class Parlor Suite, Boilers, and Promenade Deck. You'll follow tour guides who are dressed in period costume while viewing authentic artifacts.

Wells' Built Museum
Wells' Built Museum

(407) 245-7535

511 W South St
Orlando, FL 32805   Directions Website

Artifacts, photographs, multimedia presentations, slave records, books and more all serve to tell the story and history of African Americans in the Florida area. The items chronicle the civil rights era and events leading up to it, and all are on display at the Wells' Built Museum.

The Wells' Built Museum displays African-American memorabilia from Orlando's community and chronicles the civil rights movement in Orlando, in addition to displaying African American art on loan from area collectors.

Dr. William M. Wells was a well-regarded African-American physician in Orlando who created the South Street Casino to host touring black bands. Next to the casino, he opened the Wells' Built Hotel, where musical icons like Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway, Ivory Joe Hunter, and many other musical greats stayed.

The hotel was eventually converted into the Wells' Built Museum, to preserve an important era in Orlando's history. The home of Dr. Wells has been moved to the casino site, and has been restored and opened for tours.

The museum features more than 6,000 square feet of exhibit space that include artifacts, photographs, multimedia presentations, slave records, books and other intriguing pieces.

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