Take a break from touristy Orlando kitsch. Sample a taste of Old World Florida and get up close and personal with a great work of art. This small-scale teaching museum at Rollins College in Winter Park is free and open to the public and packed with rotating exhibitions, ongoing programs, and an extensive permanent collection intended to inspire while impressing upon the visitor and student alike the purpose of art in daily life.
In 1981, the museum became Florida’s first college museum to be accredited by the American Association of Museums and shares this status today as one of only four AMM-accredited museums in Orlando. Its permanent collections include the only European Old Master paintings in the Orlando area.
The museum also places a special focus on works by minority artists in its rotating exhibits and has recently shown artwork from Mexican Latino, Indigenous peoples, and African-American artists.
Collections are on view both at the museum and the nearby Alfond Inn. In this boutique hotel, you'll find many contemporary pieces. Some of the proceeds from the hotel go to fund art scholarships for current students. This upscale hotel not only lavishes its guests but also educates and encourages them to engage and appreciate great contemporary works of art.
You don't have to be a hotel guest to enjoy the ambiance of this award-winning hotel. For a lively experience of the galleries in the lobby and the museum, take part in a free, docent-led 45-minute happy hour tour that begins in the conservatory at 5:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. Amble about the exhibits in the lobby of the inn, where you will find gleaming marble floors and archways adorned with Old World ironwork. Cornell Museum hours are Tues., 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wed–Fri., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and weekends from noon to 5 p.m.
Cover Photo Credit: VisitOrlando.com