Visitors to Tampa during the summer may find the midday heat difficult to take. One way to cool off is by visiting the popular and innovative Tampa Museum of Art, located in the heart of downtown. Fittingly for a city that is surrounded by water, the major exhibition this summer features Poseidon, Greek god of the sea.
Tampa Museum Director Todd Smith (left) and Chief Curator Seth Pevnick (right) examine part of the Poseidon exhibit — Photo courtesy of Tampa Museum of Art
Entitled Poseidon and the Sea: Myth, Cult and Daily Life, the exhibition features many impressive artifacts, not the least of which is from the museum’s own collection: a five-foot-tall naked and muscled statue of Poseidon himself. Touted as one of the largest and best preserved statues of Poseidon in the United States, the statue serves as the centerpiece of the exhibition that illustrates how important Poseidon was to the ancient seafaring peoples of the Mediterranean.
Also on display is another amazing relic, a 14-foot, 200-pound bronze trident, the mythic weapon of the great Poseidon. On loan from the Getty Museum, this trident is the largest in the world, and this is the first time the relic has been on display in 30 years. Many of the other items on display depict the role of Poseidon and the importance of the ocean in the daily life of ancient Greeks and Romans.
The Tampa Museum of Art is an air-conditioned oasis on a hot summer day — Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers
Altogether, there are 130 items in the exhibition. Twenty-five are from the museum’s own collection, which is considered one of the best collections of antiquities in the Southeast. Other items in the exhibition are on loan from the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
This exhibition is extra special because it is the first to be completely developed and toured by the Tampa museum. The Poseidon exhibition runs through November 30, 2014.
Also on display at the Tampa Museum of Art is a landmark exhibition entitled My Generation: Young Chinese Artists. This exhibition features paintings, photography, drawings and mixed-media works by Chinese artists aged 27 to 36. The exhibition has been divided into two parts: the Tampa Museum of Art features works with personal themes and the St. Petersburg Museum of Art features works with political and environmental themes. This exhibition runs through September 28.
The Tampa Museum of Art opens daily at 11 a.m. Adult admission is $10, and children under six are free. Every Saturday morning, the museum hosts Art Spot, a drop-in program for children to create an art piece. This program runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you're looking for a deal, visit on Fridays between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., when admission is "Pay as you wish."
For more information, visit TampaMuseum.org.