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University of West Florida officials announced on Wednesday that the university had entered into a gift agreement with the Pensacola Museum of Art, bringing the museum under the university’s wing as of July 1.

Officials said that the agreement would complement art education at UWF, as the university assumes responsibility for nurturing an endowment and maintaining the museum’s art collection, which includes several hundred pieces of 20th and 21st century art on paper, as well as three-dimensional works.

“The Pensacola Museum of Art is an excellent addition to the university and enhances the impact that we are able to make in downtown Pensacola,” said Dr. Brendan Kelly, vice president for university advancement and president of the UWF Foundation, Inc. “UWF is the perfect home for the museum, which will play an even greater role as Pensacola continues to evolve as a dynamic cultural hub in Northwest Florida.” Kelly also serves as the CEO of the UWF Historic Trust.

Community engagement and partnerships are essential to UWF’s efforts to advance the quality of life in Northwest Florida, officials said.

“We’re excited to partner with the University of West Florida,” said Edward Tisdale, president of the museum’s board of directors. “The board feels that this partnership will place the museum on a trajectory for a sustainable and incredibly successful future.”

The museum’s historic building at 407 South Jefferson Street was built in Spanish Revival style and is a former jail, the first permanent structure to house prisoners in the community. When the jail outgrew the space in 1954, the city agreed to lease the facility to create exhibition space for an arts center, officially named the Pensacola Museum of Art in 1982.

Over the past 62 years, the Pensacola Museum of Art has presented hundreds of exhibitions and thousands of educational opportunities, becoming the foundation for the visual arts in the Pensacola community. The museum serves nearly 100,000 patrons annually.

In addition to its permanent collection and exhibits, the museum offers a wide range of educational and cultural programs year-round, including artist talks and lectures, adult art workshops, summer art camps for kids, Art in the Park, Suite Soiree, and more.

For more information about the Pensacola Museum of Art, visit pensacolamuseum.org.

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