From Inmates to Artists: Pensacola Museum of Art

From Inmates to Artists

Date Posted: Oct 02, 2015

PENSACOLA, Fla., October 2, 2015 – What started as a facility for inmates, Pensacola’s first permanent jail has since housed over 60 years of visual arts in the Pensacola historic downtown community.

Early in the history of the Pensacola Museum of Art, there were up to 25 criminals detained in the building at any given time. In 1908, the city of Pensacola finally built their first permanent jail where criminals stayed until the 1940s. Then, the city’s growing population forced them to move to a larger facility.

The Spanish-style building remained vacant until 1954, when the American Association of University Women began renting it and transformed it into an art center. It was this transition that changed this former jailhouse into a center for artists’ creative expression.

The art center was run by the Pensacola Art Association, who purchased the building in 1988 and changed its name to the Pensacola Museum of Art (PMA). Today, the PMA regularly houses the works of famous artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Leonard Baskin, Salvador Dali, Thomas Hart Benton and Louis Comfort Tiffany, among many others. PMA continues to culture and entertain the local arts community through its exhibits and educational programs.

Don’t miss your chance to see the work of world-renowned Alphonse Mucha, a master of the Art Nouveau style, at the Pensacola Museum of Art from November 5-7 and 10-14. Click here for more information.


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