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Day Trip: Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

Located in “The Cube” along the Tampa Riverwalk, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts occupies the 2nd and 3rd floors and presents collections from the cutting edge to the vintage.

Quick Info:
Location: 400 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
Admission: Adult $10.00 | Students/Military/Seniors $8.00
Hours: Mon – Thurs 11:00am – 6:00pm | Fri 11:00am – 7:00pm | Sat – Sun 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Phone: 813-221-2222
Website: http://fmopa.org/

Quick Tips:

  • The best way to do the photograph museum on the cheap is to take advantage of Tampa’s 4th Friday celebration.
  • If you are really into photography art and live in the area you should consider becoming a member, as the exhibits rotate often and there seems to be a successful community of photographers that surround this museum.
  • The museum is located within walking distance of other points of interest, such as Glazer’s Children Museum, the Tampa Museum of Art, and the Henry B. Plant Museum.
  • I like to think that the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and the Tampa Museum of Art are friends, as they are practically neighbors.

The Cube itself is pretty fun. The lobby atrium soars six stories tall and has a ton of natural light. It’s located in an area called Tampa’s Waterfront Arts District, due to the vibrant art scene.

Cube-Florida-Photography

Once inside, take the elevator to the 2nd floor to enter the museum. The exhibits are located along the edges of the museum. My favorite exhibit had to do with old, panoramic photos ranging from the early 1900s to the 1930s.

Here’s an idea of what the exhibits look like:

I loved the historic photos the best. Below is Bayshore Blvd  from back in the day. Notice there are no rows of mansions along the road like there are today.

tampa-photo-museum

Last, but not least. Here is a picture of Ms. Florida representing the state at the 1949 Miss America pageant. I tried to look up who she was/is, but I wasn’t able to find out. Ms. Arizona won the competition that year.

Looking at all the old photos from 100 or so years ago, I kept wondering what it was like to be an actual subject in the photos. Did they wonder “perhaps a 100 years or so from now this photo of me will be hanging up in a museum?” Makes you think.

I wanted to like the other exhibits, but I didn’t. The main exhibit is the She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not exhibit, which is about female photographers’ take on males and masculinity. Some of the photos were kinda interesting, but the further I went the weirder they got. One of the speakers there during my visit, talking about the She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not exhibit, used the phrase “stylized male genitalia.” So that kinda gives you an idea of what some of the photos looked like.

So overall, the museum was somewhat interesting but other nearby museums are better. If you are a local you can definitely check it out. The best way to do it is via 4th Friday which is pay-as-you-will. If you are an Average Joe like me I wouldn’t recommend spending the $10.00 to get in. If you are a photographer or a big fan of the arts you would probably get your money’s worth. My only other complaint was that the museum felt a bit cramped, as the galleries were very small and tight, but overall I’m glad I went.

I’ve been following the museum’s exhibits as they move in and out and a few of them sound really cool, such as a collection about Havana, Cuba and an upcoming series on WWII and Florida.

Photo Credit: FMoPa at night by FMoPa | Rest of the photos are by me (Austin Scheeringa)

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