In the 1900s the firmly packed sand of Daytona Beach made it a popular site for high-speed automotive testing. Since then, cars have remained on the beach, open to the public who wish to cruise along one of the last remaining drive-on beaches. If you find yourself making tracks in the sand, keep going and drive on over to the artsy side of Daytona Beach to visit the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art.
This Daytona Beach museum, dedicated to telling the history of Florida through art, is now open at the Museum of Arts & Sciences. The Brown collection is made up of more than 2,600 paintings—and it’s the most impressive compilation of Florida-themed art in the world. Many of the paintings were done in oil and watercolor, and date to the early 1800s. The magnitude of this impressive collection is the perfect canvas for painting a clear picture detailing the geography and natural history of the Sunshine State. In additional to highlighting Florida’s weather along with its flora and fauna, the artwork is a great topic for discussion and interpretation among visitors.
The most powerful paintings in the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art collection are housed in the Permanent Gallery. This collection can be viewed from installations on the main floor as well as the upstairs mezzanine. The significance of this artwork is that it’s both emotional and technical, with qualities that incorporate the styles of regional and general American artists.
Florida Weather Gallery
There’s one immutable truth about Florida’s weather: it can change dramatically in in hours. And inside this Daytona Beach museum, the sun, wind, rain, wind, clouds, storms and fog play major roles in the art on display. From the color and texture to the technique and rhythms of the brush strokes, these elements in these paintings evoke a sense of what it’s like to be in the heart of varied environmental conditions in Florida.
Naive Florida Gallery
Everyday life should be represented in the most simplistic of terms. And that’s exactly what naive art portrays. The paintings from this period include prehistoric cave art paintings, regional and tribal works plus early religious artifacts. Art from the “naivism” period is generally produced without any formal training and devoid of any formal techniques or principles.
Lost Colony Gallery
“The Lost Colony” artists painted in St. Augustine and produced work during the mid-20th century. Now on display at the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art, the work is part of a collection belonging to a group that became the biggest art colony in the South. Their art contributions are considered to be among the most important in American regional art. One of the featured paintings found at this Daytona Beach museum gallery includes Pier and Bathers at St. Augustine Beach by Carl Austen, 1943.
Florida Communities Gallery
Communities are much more than geographical locations made of villages, cities and towns. At the core of their existence are people, with distinct characteristics and similarities. The paintings displayed in the Florida Communities Gallery showcase people living and working in typical Florida communities. All of the original art was produced in the mid-19th century to the late 20th century.
Volusia County Gallery
As the name suggests, the gallery is home to paintings of things associated with Daytona Beach. All the paintings on the display are the works of well-known and up-and-coming artists who were commissioned to depict the people living in Volusia County in the latter part of the 19th century and beyond.
In addition to the signature pieces at the gallery, the Daytona Beach museum will also include six changing galleries from 900 to 2,000 square feet along with conference space, education rooms, a café with outdoor seating, and a gift shop.