The Florida Art Collection

Gift of Samuel H. & Roberta T. Vickers to the Harn Museum of Art

By Dulce Román

Stevan Dohanos (American, 1907-1994), “Briny Breezes Trailer Park, Delray Beach,” c. 1952, Oil on Masonite, 36 1/8 x 28 3/8 in., The Florida Art Collection, Gift of Samuel H. and Roberta T. Vickers.

The Gift  One of the most extensive Florida-themed art collections ever assembled was given to the Harn Museum of Art in December 2020. The Florida Art Collection, Gift of Samuel H. and Roberta T. Vickers includes more than 1,200 works of art that capture Florida’s landscape, history and people, and scenes of daily life. Among the gifts are works by celebrated artists such as John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Martin Johnson Heade, and Thomas Moran. Sam and Robbie Vickers, who have so graciously given this work to the Harn, began assembling their remarkable collection 40 years ago. Robbie has contributed her experience as an artist to building the collection, while Sam has traveled extensively to find art by world-renowned artists who came to Florida and captured its unique beauty in their paintings, watercolors, and drawings. Over the years, the Vickers have loaned art from their collection to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., and a number of Florida museums.

The collection’s artists traveled from across the United States and Europe to capture the state’s natural beauty and history. In addition to Sargent, Homer, Heade, and Moran, some of the other renowned American artists include Milton Avery, Ralston Crawford, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Marguerite Zorach. The works date from the early 1800s to mid-1900s.


Thomas Moran (American, 1837-1926), “Old Watchtower at St. Augustine,” 1881, Oil on canvas, 25 1/2 x 30 1/4 in., The Florida Art Collection, Gift of Samuel H. and Roberta T. Vickers.

The Vickers Collection is a transformational gift for the Harn Museum, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this past September. The scope and importance of the collection will add considerably to the museum’s strategic plan, which includes the construction of a new wing that will include galleries and a print study and conservation center for the display and study of the collection.

This gift of Florida art is impressive in size and scope. The Harn’s modern art collection will more than double in size and the museum will be able to develop amazing exhibitions from this stellar collection for years to come. In celebration of this collection’s new home, the Harn immediately placed a portion of the gift on display for the enjoyment of its visitors and for research and study by scholars and University of Florida faculty and students. 

Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910), “Foul Hooked Black Bass,” 1904, Watercolor on paper, 11 x 19 in., The Florida Art Collection, Gift of Samuel H. and Roberta T. Vickers.

The EXHIBITION   “A Florida Legacy: Gift of Samuel H. and Roberta T. Vickers” is currently on view at the Harn Museum of Art through August 1, 2021 and will feature more than 170 paintings, watercolors. and drawings representing 125 artists who drew inspiration from Florida’s history, landmarks, and natural attractions. “A Florida Legacy” is the inaugural exhibition celebrating the transformative gift from Sam and Robbie Vickers. The exhibition will include many of the most prominent American artists from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, including Milton Avery, Ralston Crawford, Winslow Homer, Martin Johnson Heade, Thomas Moran and John Singer Sargent, as well as lesser-known artists such as Earl Cunningham, Emmett Fritz, Jane Peterson, D.W. Stokes, and Martha Walter. The selected works on display will cover a broad range of themes such as lyrical views of scenic coastlines and natural waterways, depictions of well-known historic landmarks, and scenes capturing popular forms of entertainment enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. 

The Gift  One of the most extensive Florida-themed art collections ever assembled was given to the Harn Museum of Art in December 2020. The Florida Art Collection, Gift of Samuel H. and Roberta T. Vickers includes more than 1,200 works of art that capture Florida’s landscape, history and people, and scenes of daily life. Among the gifts are works by celebrated artists such as John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Martin Johnson Heade, and Thomas Moran. Sam and Robbie Vickers, who have so graciously given this work to the Harn, began assembling their remarkable collection 40 years ago. Robbie has contributed her experience as an artist to building the collection, while Sam has traveled extensively to find art by world-renowned artists who came to Florida and captured its unique beauty in their paintings, watercolors, and drawings. Over the years, the Vickers have loaned art from their collection to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., and a number of Florida museums.

The collection’s artists traveled from across the United States and Europe to capture the state’s natural beauty and history. In addition to Sargent, Homer, Heade, and Moran, some of the other renowned American artists include Milton Avery, Ralston Crawford, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Marguerite Zorach. The works date from the early 1800s to mid-1900s.

The Vickers Collection is a transformational gift for the Harn Museum, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this past September. The scope and importance of the collection will add considerably to the museum’s strategic plan, which includes the construction of a new wing that will include galleries and a print study and conservation center for the display and study of the collection.

This gift of Florida art is impressive in size and scope. The Harn’s modern art collection will more than double in size and the museum will be able to develop amazing exhibitions from this stellar collection for years to come. In celebration of this collection’s new home, the Harn immediately placed a portion of the gift on display for the enjoyment of its visitors and for research and study by scholars and University of Florida faculty and students. 

The Exhibition   “A Florida Legacy: Gift of Samuel H. and Roberta T. Vickers” is currently on view at the Harn Museum of Art through August 1, 2021 and will feature more than 170 paintings, watercolors. and drawings representing 125 artists who drew inspiration from Florida’s history, landmarks, and natural attractions. “A Florida Legacy” is the inaugural exhibition celebrating the transformative gift from Sam and Robbie Vickers. The exhibition will include many of the most prominent American artists from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, including Milton Avery, Ralston Crawford, Winslow Homer, Martin Johnson Heade, Thomas Moran and John Singer Sargent, as well as lesser-known artists such as Earl Cunningham, Emmett Fritz, Jane Peterson, D.W. Stokes, and Martha Walter. The selected works on display will cover a broad range of themes such as lyrical views of scenic coastlines and natural waterways, depictions of well-known historic landmarks, and scenes capturing popular forms of entertainment enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. 

A visual legacy will be organized along six thematic sections that address many prominent subjects represented in the Vickers Collection.

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Author: Arbus

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