The Mennello Museum of American Art enriches the public through exhibitions, education, programs, and publications that celebrate the diversity of American Art.
The vision of the Mennello Museum of American Art is to be a distinguished and thriving institution that will build on its City of Orlando base of support through strong board and community relationships resulting in an improved operating environment and a reputation for being a local and national treasure.
Quality. We believe the City of Orlando deserves only the best; we aim to excel at everything we do.
Accessibility. We believe in creating a welcoming space and experience for all; we are friendly, welcome diversity, and are inclusive of all.
Curiosity. We never stop learning or thinking; we continually push boundaries and explore new ideas and strive to remain relevant and provide meaningful experiences.
Collaboration. We believe community partners are essential to mutual success; we work to build relationships and co-create with individuals and organizations.
Stewardship. The Museum will serve in perpetuity; to ensure this, we build and care for our collections, make smart use of our financial resources, and continually invest in our future.
Accountability. We exist to benefit the community with our commitment to the legacy of our founders; we demonstrate our success and value to the residents of Orlando and our visitors.
The Mennello Museum of American Art endeavors to preserve, exhibit, and interpret our outstanding permanent collection of paintings by Earl Cunningham. The Mennello Museum of American Art also seeks to enrich the public through temporary exhibitions, programs, educational initiatives, and publications that celebrate other outstanding traditional and contemporary American art and artists across a broad range of disciplines to reflect the rich diversity of American art, while making it accessible to all. The Museum shares extraordinary works of American art donated by our founders, the Honorable Marilyn Logsdon Mennello and Michael A. Mennello.
Statement from Shannon Fitzgerald, Executive Director
The Mennello Museum of American Art has broadened its focus to consider, more in-depth, the richness and diversity of American art. As we prepare for our expansion, we continue the evolving work in defining what an American Art Museum can be in the 21st Century. That journey began in 2017, as the museum once again updated its mission to celebrate outstanding traditional and contemporary American art and artists across a broad range of disciplines to reflect the rich diversity of American art while making it accessible to all.
In addition to honoring our roots in Folk Art, recent exhibitions reflecting such broad diversity include contemporary and mid-century exhibitions considering the legacy of American Realism, American Gothic, Abstract Expressionism, Folk Modernism, the introduction of photography, and work by artists of color: Korean American, Vietnamese American, Native American, African American, Afro-Caribbean, and Puerto Rican artists. Expanded exhibitions in American art include Bo Bartlett: American Artist; Alice Aycock: Waltzing Matilda & Twin Vortexes; The Beautiful Mysterious: The Extraordinary Gaze of William Eggleston; Grace Hartigan 1960-1965, The Perry Collection; Jiha Moon: Double Welcome, Most Everyone’s Mad Here; Our Orlando & American Youth; Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of the Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art; The Unbridled Paintings of Lawrence Lebduska; Our Orlando; Immersion into Compounded Time and the Paintings of Firelei Báez; Edward Steichen: In Exaltation of Flowers; and Mira Lehr: High Water Mark, among others.
From our ambitious beginnings to our current expansive programming, the museum has always had a vision and is now poised to expand and realize that full vision in our new mission-driven, awarding-winning, architecturally significant home that will best serve all our Central Florida community and visitors.
Our future plan is inclusive, welcoming, and sustainable. With the open expansion, we will serve more in our community with a mission-driven building designed to seamlessly merge art, education, nature, dwell, respite, function, and form. We started with visionary ideas on how to make the museum more cohesive and increase public access and with Brooks + Scarpa and KMF Architects’ brilliant partnership, the visionary has been put into action—a very exciting moment for us all!
— Shannon Fitzgerald, 8.9.2022
The Mennello Museum of American Art was established in November 1998 to preserve, exhibit and interpret the permanent collection of Earl Cunningham paintings. The museum also offers special exhibitions, publications and programs celebrating traditional and contemporary American artists.
Owned and operated by the City of Orlando, the museum is housed in what was once the private home of Howard Phillips, son of local philanthropist Dr. Philip Phillips. It uses its multiple gallery spaces and four intimate rooms to showcase changing exhibitions featuring American art of all genres and time periods, including original and traveling shows.
The Marilyn L. Mennello Sculpture Garden is always open to the public and is most recognized for the 350-year-plus sprawling live oak tree draped with Spanish moss called “The Mayor.” Numerous sculptures can be found in the surrounding Old Florida landscape along with walking paths, which merge into the larger Orlando Urban Trail with over 4000 acres of art and nature.
For 24 years, The Mennello Museum of American Art has provided Orlando and Central Florida―residents and visitors alike― opportunities for all to understand and value creativity through innovative experiences with art located on beautiful Lake Formosa that further connects nature, art and communal gathering. Our goal is to encourage creative experiences with art that nurtures across generations and demographics while also reflecting the dynamic relationship between art and society with sensitivity and impact. We present our permanent collection alongside a series of rotating, temporary exhibitions indoors, and an outdoor exhibition series Grounds For Exhibitions annually in our Marilyn L. Mennello Sculpture Garden.
The Mennello Museum of American Art originates internally curated exhibitions that most recently include: Contemporary Expressions: Prints from Flying Horse Editions 1996-2021 (2022); The Grand Portraits of Mr. Eddy Mumma (2021); American Artists in the Southwest: Gifts from the Melanson Holt Collection (2021); American Paintings and Drawings from the Melanson Holt Collection (2021); Edward Steichen: In Exaltation of Flowers (2019); Immersion into Compounded Time and the Paintings of Firelei Báez” (2019); The Unbridled Paintings of Lawrence H. Lebduska (2019); and Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of the Black and Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art (2019).
The Mennello Museum is also a Smithsonian American Art Museum Affiliate and has presented outstanding and resonant exhibitions organized by The Smithsonian: Pop Art Prints (2016); George Catlin’s American Buffalo (2014); African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, (2013); and 1934: A New Deal for Artists (2011). Each of these exhibitions present important considerations into art and cultural at distinct moments in American history and reflect a range of artistic expression within both thematic group exhibitions alongside a singular vision in a solo presentation. The Mennello Museum of American Art is proud of its strong Affiliation with The Smithsonian and for the opportunity to share such diverse exhibitions and scholarship with our community.
As part of the City of Orlando’s Public Art program, The Mennello Museum draws from the City’s Permanent Collection, the largest public art collection in the state of Florida. The Public Art Collection includes Florida artists Michael Messersmith, Nancy Jay, Grady Kimsley and Barbara Sorensen. Public Art also includes a comprehensive collection of prints from the University of Central Florida’s Flying Horse Editions program along with a strong collection of Southern Folk Art.
Loch Haven Cultural Park
Tucked away on the shore of Lake Formosa in Loch Haven Cultural Park, the Mennello Museum has undeniable charm. Part of the Orlando Urban Trail, the museum’s outside space offers walking paths, green space and generous views of the lake and surrounding nature.
The museum is within walking distance of the Florida Hospital Health Village SunRail station. Other notable arts and cultural organization located with Loch Haven Cultural Park are the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Orlando Museum of Art, the Orlando Repertory Theatre, and the Orlando Science Center.