Originally called the Naples Museum of Art when it opened in the year 2000 in North Naples, The Baker Museum was renamed for major benefactors Patty and Jay Baker, whose galleries you will find on the top floor of the three-story, 30,000-square-foot main conservatory building.
You'll also find there the Naples museum’s pride and joy: a stunning Persian Ceiling created by acclaimed glass art master Dale Chihuly. The 600-piece glass ceiling evokes the sea in colors and shapes that reflect on the blank walls of the narrow hallway it tops.
The Baker’s exclusive collection also includes the museum's entrance gates, which were crafted by renowned metal artist Albert Paley.
Albert Paley designed the museum's entrance gates — Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton
The museum, part of the Artis – Naples' art complex that holds a performance arts hall and black box theater – boasts two other Chihuly pieces: grand three-story chandeliers.
The Icicle Chandelier hangs in the glass domed conservatory stairway, while the Red Chandelier is the centerpiece of the John E. Kohan Gallery in the performance arts building, where a Florida contemporary artist exhibit runs until April 26, 2015.
Other current traveling exhibits include Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces from the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris through May 17, 2015, and Surrealism in Belgium: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie through May 3, 2015.
On May 2, 2015, a new exhibition opens: Weegee by Weegee: Photographs from the Jean Pigozzi Collection. It runs through July 26, 2015.
Exhibitions in the museum’s 15 galleries change regularly between traveling theme showings and rotating exhibits from the museum’s permanent collection, ensuring a new experience with each visit.
The permanent collection focuses on American modern and contemporary art, and it's used for exhibitions throughout the year. This collection also goes on tour as part of traveling shows.
From May 17 to July 26, 2015, the museum will show a retrospective of its permanent collection titled 15 Years of Collecting at The Baker Museum.
The last Wednesday of each month, The Baker hosts its Art After Hours event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission to the museum is free that evening, and a local band performs.
Docents lead tours and interpret exhibits.They also do daily group tours at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
During winter season, the museum hosts a lecture series that further explores the museum’s art exhibitions. On May 18, 2015, for example, the lecture “Artist as an Undercover Hero” examines the life and work of Belgian-American artist Jan Yoors.
Every day the museum is open, friendly, knowledgeable ushers circulate regularly around the galleries to give advice and answer your questions about the artwork you're viewing.