Gulf Coast Museum of Art Will Also Close
The St. Petersburg Times adds to museum closing story:
Struggling with low attendance in its out-of-the-way location, the Gulf Coast Museum of Art had been angling to move to a more visible spot in downtown Clearwater.
Instead, the 73-year-old museum abruptly closed its doors for good Monday — “a sad and disappointing end,” according to a statement sent to its members.
The museum says it’s out of money and options. Instead of putting its sculptures, jewelry and artwork into temporary storage, it’s preparing to donate them to other museums.
“There’s a lot of interest in the collection,” said museum spokeswoman Lisa Brock. [ . . . ]
The museum was founded in 1936 as the “Art Section” of the Clearwater Women’s Club. As it grew, it moved to Belleair in the 1940s and to its current site in the ’90s. The county wooed the museum to Pinewood Cultural Park, eager to have an arts presence alongside the historical and natural attractions there.
But the location proved too remote, and the museum lost money. Its $8 million endowment shrank to about $500,000.
Now the museum’s leaders must consider what to do with the sculpture garden and the permanent collection.
“It cannot be sold for profit,” said Brock, the museum’s spokeswoman. “Everything will be placed with accredited museums so the artwork can be enjoyed in perpetuity.”
Gulf Coast Museum of Art Closes; Collection to Be Dispersed (Tampabay.com)