by Max Marbut
The Times-Union Center’s loss is the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art’s gain.
On Jan. 27 the City declared four paintings which were on display at the T-U Center surplus property and has conveyed them to JMOMA to be added to the museum’s permanent collection. City Council and the mayor’s office both sponsored the bill, which includes a reverter clause which would return ownership of the paintings to the City if JMOMA ever decides to relinquish its ownership interest in the artwork.
JMOMA Director George Kinghorn said the museum has a long-standing relationship with the performing arts center.
“The museum has always loaned works to the Times-Union Center,” said Kinghorn. “The majority of works at the Times-Union Center are owned by the museum. They are part of our permanent collection.
“We put them on display there for the public good. It’s a great way for us to support the Center and the City.”
Kinghorn also pointed out that the museum is a better permanent location for the artworks. The lighting and atmosphere at JMOMA are both better-suited to the longterm preservation of the paintings. Kinghorn said the permanent collection at JMOMA is stored in a vault that requires two sets of codes to access.
“We can surely take better care of them here. We can insure better conservation. The Times-Union Center is not a museum setting. They are just ‘out there’ and they are susceptible to a lot of light,” he said.
Kinghorn said that for the museum’s current photography exhibit the intensity of the lighting in the galleries had to be adjusted before the photographs were installed.
“We had to lower the light levels to be in compliance with conservation,” he said. “Photographs shouldn’t be exhibited at light levels above 10 foot-candles and paintings shouldn’t be above 40 foot-candles. It is important for the longevity of the work and we have the capability and equipment to make sure that conservation standards are being met.”
Preston Haskell has agreed to loan the City several pieces of art from his personal collection, which is considered one of the finest collections of modern art in the country. Haskell’s pieces will hang in the T-U Center in place of the paintings which have been transferred to JMOMA. The reverter clause also allows the City to reclaim the art from JMOMA if an agreement can’t be reached with Haskell for the exhibition of his artwork in the T-U Center.