The Harn’s collections consist of more than 13,300 works of art. They are displayed in exhibitions at the Harn and at other art institutions as a part of our traveling exhibitions and art-loaning programs. The Harn’s collections focus on African, Asian, modern and contemporary art, and photography with significant representation of Ancient American and Oceanic art, and a growing collection of prints and drawings before 1850.
Wood Sculptures, Textiles, Ceramics, Leatherwork, Beadwork, Metalwork and Paintings
Objects range from 5th century BCE to the 21st century.
The Harn Museum’s African Collection includes works that illuminate the diversity and historical depth of Sub-Saharan African art. The Harn collection is distinctive in the strength of its holdings that include a broad range of geographic regions, media and historical periods, ranging from the 5th century BCE to the 21st century.
Ceramics, Jades, Metalwork, Stone Sculptures, Paintings and Prints
Objects range from the Neolithic period to cutting-edge contemporary art.
With more than 3,500 works, the Harn’s Asian art collection covers a vast geographic distribution area, from central Asia in the west to Japan in the east, and from China in the north to the southernmost points of India and Southeast Asia.
Paintings, Sculpture, Prints and Drawings
Objects ranging from the mid-19th century to the first half of the 20th century.
The Modern Collection comprises nearly 1,000 works of art representing Europe and the Americas. A major strength of the modern collection is its representation of American art, especially landscapes, urban themes, social realist themes and WPA prints.
Multi-media, Painting, Photography, Installation and Film
Art ranging from 1945 to the present.
The Contemporary Collection encompasses nearly 1,500 objects of international art in all media. Exemplary works from major contemporary art movements are represented with works by emerging artists from around the world.
Daguerreotypes to Large-scale Color Prints
Photographs ranging from the 19th century to contemporary.
The Harn’s photography collection includes important works by noted photographers including Robert Frank, Irving Penn, Wynn Bullock and Minor White, as well as diverse influential contemporary artists such as Rineke Dijkstra, Cindy Sherman and Alan Sekula. A major strength of the collection is the in-depth representation of works by Jerry Uelsmann, the innovative experimenter who established the University of Florida as a center for photographic studies.
More collections to explore
Ancient American Collection
Ancient American objects in the collection are primarily from Mesoamerica, Central America and the Central Andes. There is a strong collection of West Mexican ceramic figures from Nayarit, Colima and Jalisco areas. Other Mesoamerican works include a small Olmec head, Mayan ceramic vessels and jade adornments, and a small collection of Maya stucco portrait heads. The Harn also has a small collection of Toltec and Zapotec ceramics and two Aztec stone feathered serpents. Central American objects, mainly from Costa Rica, include a collection of ceramic vessels, whistles, grinding stones and jade adornments.
The Oceanic Collection includes objects from Melanesia, primarily various regions of Papua New Guinea. Most are 20th century objects from the Sepik River region. Several ethnic groups are represented including Iatmul, Abelam and Sawos among others. Object types include masks, headdresses, figurative sculpture, canoe prows, costumes, vessels, shields, tools, stools, architectural elements, and objects for personal adornment. Two notable works from New Ireland include Malangan area objects, a boar mask and a tatanua mask.
Prints and Drawings Before 1850 Collection
The Prints and Drawings Collection includes more than 200 works dated from the late Middle Ages through the mid-19th century representing artists from England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. Special highlights include Michael Wolgemut’s woodcut from the illustrated world history, the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493), Theodor de Bry’s engravings for Brief Narration of Europeans in Florida (1591), and Henry Fuseli’s c. 1818 drawing based on Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. Additional prints of special importance include woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer; mythological subjects by Agostino Carracci and Salvator Rosa; subjects drawn from contemporary life by Jacques Callot and Anthony van Dyck; and satirical prints by Francisco Goya, William Hogarth and Honoré Daumier. The Prints and Drawings Collection also includes a strong representation of naturalist and botanical prints dated c. 1550-1850. These include important works by John James Audubon, Leonhart Fuchs, John Gould, Maria Sibylla Merian, and Pierre-Joseph Redouté, among other artists. Prints and drawings dated after 1850 are housed in the Modern, Contemporary and Asian collections.
In the interests of improving the collection and maintaining its high intellectual and aesthetic standards, the Museum periodically evaluates its collection to identify candidates for deaccessioning (e.g. sale, transfer, or exchange). Deaccessioning is guided by the Museum’s long-term policies and goals and should not reflect the popular trends of a given period or the personal tastes of the people involved. Proposals for deaccessioning objects from the Museum collection originate with the Director and curatorial staff and are reviewed and approved by the Provost-appointed Committee on the Collections.
The criteria applied to deaccessioning and disposal are as stringent as those applied to the Museum’s acquisition process, and reflect the professional standards and ethics as established by the Association of Art Museum Directors and the American Association of Museums. Criteria that justify deaccessioning an object include lack of art historical importance, low aesthetic quality, redundancy, lack of conformity to the Museum’s declared collecting interests, and poor physical condition. All income generated through the sale of deaccessioned works of art will be reapplied towards the purchase of new works of art.
These efforts will allow the Museum to exchange select objects for others believed by the Director and curatorial leadership to be better aligned with its mission.