The FLORIDA MUSEUM of PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS is a museum dedicated to exhibiting important photographic art as central to contemporary life and culture. FMoPA collects, preserves, and exhibits historic and contemporary works by nationally and internationally known photographic artists. FMoPA also enriches the community by operating outreach programs to educate children and adults.
History of FMoPA
In the spring of 2001, Cynthia L. Flowers put forward the idea of starting a photography museum in Tampa. Shortly thereafter, Charles J. Levin (an attorney), Vincent Sorrentino (an art dealer) and Cynthia L. Flowers (a business owner) established the Tampa Gallery of Photographic Arts, a museum dedicated to photography. Working in close cooperation with Madison Marquette, the owner of Hyde Park Village, exhibition space for the museum was secured. “Masters of Black & White,” the first show, consisted of 50 iconic black and white images borrowed from private collections. With many of the early shows curated by Vincent Sorrentino, critical acclaim followed. Since its inception, the museum has qualified as a not-for-profit entity under the provisions of s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
In the fall of 2001, Cynthia L. Flowers began the museum’s first children’s outreach program. It involved under-served children at the USF/Patel Partnership Elementary School located at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
From this first program, the museum developed many ongoing community programs such as the free Children’s Literacy Through Photography Program for at-risk children, and fee-based adult photography classes, workshops, and children’s summer camps. In the Children’s Literacy Through Photography Program, children are inspired through hands-on workshops and field trips where photographs are taken, printed, and written about by the participants. An annual reception for the children is also held at the museum.
In the summer of 2006, the museum was renamed the FLORIDA MUSEUM of PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS and relocated to downtown Tampa. It then moved to the Waterfront Arts District in Rivergate Plaza’s architecturally significant Cube.
In an exciting development in 2023, FMoPA embarked on its latest relocation to the historic Kress Building in Ybor City. Situated next to other vibrant art communities, this move has placed FMoPA at the heart of this artistic hub, fostering collaborations with neighboring art communities, galleries, and cultural organizations.
FMoPA has remained committed to its mission to inspire and educate through photography throughout its relocations. The museum continues to offer compelling exhibitions, educational programs, and community-focused programs to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the art form.