Second contemporary art museum in the country officially launches a year-long campaign celebrating its past, present and future
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – January 23, 2024 – The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville, a Cultural Institute of the University of North Florida, announces its 100th anniversary and year-long campaign celebrating the institution's past, present and future through groundbreaking exhibitions, events, programs and more. Since its founding in 1924 as the first contemporary art museum in the American South and the second in the nation, the museum has remained focused on the art, artists and ideas of our time, with a vision that unites education, creativity and community-building in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville.
Founded in 1924, MOCA Jacksonville was the first visual arts organization in Jacksonville, and one of the first art museums in the state of Florida. A pioneering institution, it was the second contemporary art museum to be founded in the United States, behind only the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. The museum grew out of the work of the Women’s Club of Jacksonville, which regularly hosted art exhibitions for the public with the purpose of fundraising for the city’s public schools. The civically minded women of the Club were some of the most influential changemakers in Jacksonville during the early 20th century. Four visionary members held the belief that the exciting art of the moment should be accessible for all in the community to enjoy, and it was that idea that drove the founding of the museum.
“The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville looks forward to celebrating our centennial year by reflecting on our evolution and imagining our future as a destination for contemporary art in the American South. We are proud to play a part of the city’s deep history, which was made possible through a group of forward-thinking local women artists who founded our organization,” said Caitlín Doherty, Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville Executive Director. “Their mission was to aid in the creation of a dynamic city where art, culture and education served as integral parts of the community – and we strive every day to continue that vision. We encourage and invite everyone in the community to celebrate with us throughout the exciting year that lies ahead.”
MOCA Jacksonville is the only museum in Northeast Florida dedicated to contemporary art – meaning art made and produced by artists between the 1960s and the present day. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a Cultural Institute of the University of North Florida, the museum serves the community and its visitors through exhibitions, collections, educational programs and publications designed to enhance an understanding and appreciation of contemporary art.
MOCA Jacksonville’s 100th Anniversary kickoff launched on Thursday, January 18 with a packed museum opening celebrating the feature exhibition, A Walk on the Wild Side: ‘70s New York in the Norman E. Fisher Collection at MOCA Jacksonville. The exhibition showcases a special collection within the museum’s permanent collection paired with loans from around the country by artists like Andy Warhol, Philip Glass, David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Robert Mapplethorpe and others.
The year-long centennial celebration will continue throughout 2024. In honor of this exceptional milestone, the museum will host a series of events and programs exploring the institution’s evolution, recognizing the legacy of the visionary leaders and important achievements that brought the museum to this historic moment. In addition, the museum will feature Project Atrium installations from renowned artists like Frank Stella and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, and exhibitions sourced from the collections of Norman E. Fisher and Gordon W. Bailey — meant to not only elevate the museum, but serve as a stimulus and create an energized destination for its founding city to build upon. Highlights of the 100th anniversary campaign include the following experiences, and more:
Here Comes Tomorrow: Cinema of the Last Century | January 17 through December 18
As MOCA Jacksonville celebrates its 100th anniversary, look back at the last century of artistic expression in film. With a particular focus on films that imagined the future, this year-long series explores decade-by-decade, the hopes, anxieties and dreams of filmmakers and audiences from the 1920s to the present day. This event takes place during Museum Nights at MOCA and is free with admission. To learn more about shows, dates and admission, visit eventbrite.com/e/here-comes-tomorrow-cinema-of-the-last-century-tickets.
Hyperlocal Art History with UNF Professor P. Scott Brown, Ph.D. | January 17 through March 6
MOCA Jacksonville will host a series of talks by UNF Professor of Art History, Dr. P. Scott Brown. The first event rethinks the history of art from a standpoint here in North Florida: the site of both ancient Indigenous cultures and of the oldest European settlements in continental North America, Fort Caroline and St. Augustine. Fort Caroline was briefly home to Jacques LeMoyne de Morgue, perhaps the first “American” artist, whose paintings of the First Coast, engraved by Theodor de Bry in the 1580s are among the earliest works of “American” art. To learn more, visit eventbrite.com/e/moca-jacksonville-hyperlocal-art-history-tickets.
Project Atrium: Frank Stella – Jacksonville Stacked Stars | February 29 through July 21
Frank Stella (b. 1936; Malden, MA) returns to MOCA Jacksonville following his successful print exhibition in 2018, Frank Stella Unbound, this time for an installation in the Atrium to celebrate the museum’s 100th anniversary with a brand new sculptural work. Project Atrium is a bold series of site-specific and site-sensitive art installations created by artists and commissioned by MOCA Jacksonville. To learn more about Project Atrium, visit mocajacksonville.unf.edu/exhibitions/project-atrium.
A Night in ‘70s New York, Presented by MOCA’s Teen Art Council | Saturday, March 2, 6-9 p.m.
This teens-only event is an immersive night at MOCA Jacksonville inspired by A Walk on the Wild Side, MOCA's title exhibition celebrating its 100th anniversary. The event includes a teen artist market, live music, pop-up exhibition, art making, food and more. To learn more, visit eventbrite.com/e/a-night-in-70s-new-york.
Centennial Gala: A Walk on the Wild Side | Saturday, April 6 – Doors open at 6 p.m. for VIP Ticket Holders | General Admission begins at 7 p.m.
A nod to MOCA Jacksonville’s title exhibition, this New York in the '70s themed bash celebrates MOCA's 100th anniversary. Get out your boogie shoes for an extraordinary evening that brings together art, music, dancing and spectacle with artful moments and delicious displays of food and beverages. Sponsors will receive VIP tickets, access to an exclusive VIP cocktail hour and more, while supporting the museum's 100th anniversary initiatives. To learn more, visit mocajacksonville.unf.edu/gala/.
MOCA Jacksonville: Family Day Block Party | Saturday, November 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Celebrate with MOCA Jacksonville and its community partners for a day of family fun. All exhibitions will be open for guests to enjoy, in addition to a line-up of kid-friendly activities, art making, and live performances. This event is free and open to all. To learn more, visit eventbrite.com/e/moca-jacksonville-family-day.
Support for MOCA Jacksonville’s 100th anniversary years has been generously provided by Lauren and Ted Baker, the City of Jacksonville, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Florida Blue, the Florida Division of Arts & Culture, Joan and Preston Haskell, the MOCA Jacksonville Board of Trustees, the Tourist Development Council, the University of North Florida and Visit Jacksonville.
For more information on MOCA Jacksonville, and to learn more about its 100th anniversary campaign in 2024, visit mocajacksonville.unf.edu/100. Visual assets can also be found here.
ABOUT MOCA JACKSONVILLE
The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2024, as the oldest art museum in the region and the second contemporary art museum to be established in the United States. This celebration year is an opportunity for MOCA to give back to the community that has been its home for a century by presenting groundbreaking exhibitions and programs that will engage the community and elevate Jacksonville as a regional destination for arts and culture.