Many years ago upon leaving a small art museum a friend commented that she loved small art museums because the size encouraged concentration on the exhibits and artwork rather than feeling a need to rush through to the next for fear of missing something. The Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala fits this perfectly. Just the right size, the well curated permanent collection and special exhibits pique interest and get the creative thoughts and ideas flowing without overwhelming.
The long driveway along with the large fountain and beautiful building start the visit. Inside the greeter takes your admission and provides a map. The galleries on the two floors wrap around a central garden area, which in the past featured exhibits of its own such as a bonsai exhibit many years ago. We headed immediately to Visions of Florida, which included photography, paintings, and mixed media including photography of Clyde Butcher (known as the Florida Ansel Adams). After that we strolled through two other special exhibits, both excellent, and parts of the permanent collection which we enjoyed on prior visits.
At one point we spoke to an employee who mentioned that a small special exhibit about the founder of the museum was located in the auditorium. We made our way there when we finished the galleries, and discovered that the founder of the museum also founded Appleton Electric, which we both knew from our early work in business. We never made the connection before.
This museum has become a favorite. We visit it whenever we take the RV to Ocala, and have scheduled trips around their special exhibits.