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Medici exhibition unveiled at Rollins Museum of Art

Photo by Jack Kelly

The Rollins Museum of Art is currently featuring a new exhibition entitled Beyond the Medici: The Haukohl Family Collection. A private collection from Houston, Texas that was previously touring in Europe, the Haukohl Family Collection has been lent to Rollins from Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl, cofounder of the Medici Archives, who wishes to aid the education of students through art.  

The Haukohl Family Collection consists of works ranging from the 16th to 18th century such as Florentine Baroque works that incorporate a merging of different stylistic influences. From artists such as Giovanni Domenico Ferretti, Pietro (Pier) Dandini, and Alessandro Gherardini, the collection features a panoply of works.  

The Haukohl Family collection is sorted by theme, with a focus on religious narratives, portraiture, mythological figures, allegorical figures, and portraits of historical individuals. Along with paintings, the exhibition holds sculptures, as well as a textile that demonstrates multiple facets of Florentine Baroque art.  

“This group of exhibitions, all four of them together, show that we’re trying to mix different periods and styles and say there’s common ground. There are red threads that go through the history of art and if you learn about this it’s going to help you to learn.” said Dr. Ena Heller, Bruce A. Beal Director at the museum.   

Another unique component of the exhibit is the frames paired with the paintings. The extravagance of the frames in the exhibit is a deliberate choice, as Dr. Heller states, “The frame continues the story told by the painting.”  

“The Harlequin and His Lady” is one such example of the beauty of the frames incorporated into the display of the paintings. The incorporation of Putti, winged infants, holding the masks of comedy and tragedy gives weight to the theme of the comical and tragic nature of the Commedia dell’arte. The combination of the unique extravagance of the frames combined with the art itself makes touring the exhibition a distinctive experience. 

The Haukohl Family collection boasts a variety of styles and artistic approaches that can be appreciated before it continues its tour into other college museums. The collection is a unique opportunity presented at the Rollins Museum of Art; admission is free to all students and members of the Winter Park community, allowing visitors to experience the many influences of Florentine Baroque art.  

 “You don’t have to be a student of art history to come to this museum and learn something,” said Dr. Heller. “Art is this window into society and into political, social, and other cultural things, but it always gives you insight into what happened at the time and how people perceived it, how people perceived themselves, how people perceived their gods, and so forth.” 

The Beyond the Medici: The Haukohl Family Collection will be at the museum now through Jan. 7, 2024. The Rollins Museum of Art offers a special deal in which Rollins students who sign up for free museum membership can receive a free catalog of the exhibit. Admission to the museum is free for all. Those interested in visiting the new exhibition should take note that the Rollins Museum of Art is closed on Mondays and major holidays.  

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