Things to do in Tampa: The James Museum

Recently I got the chance to go to the James Museum in St. Pete. I had never heard of it before I started interning at McKay Advertising + Activation. The James Museum is one of our clients, and I have been learning a lot about it from my internship. It seemed really interesting and unique, so I wanted to check it out for myself.

Photo courtesy of Leticia Ribiero 

First of all, the outside and inside of the museum is beautiful! The architecture is so cool, I had no idea it was so picturesque. The contrast of modern and historical was probably my favorite part. The whole building was new, modern, and minimalistic (my favorite). However, the art dates to the American West. It was fascinating. As you walk in, you see this beautiful waterfall on a giant black marble wall with a sculpture in front of it. A warrior and potentially his wife, riding in the rain, titled “Honeymoon at Crow Fair” by John Coleman.

Photo courtesy of @thejamesmuseum via Instagram

From the very beginning, I was pleasantly surprised. I did not know what to excepect because when I looked at the website, it seemed a little old school as far as the art goes, but it still caught my attention. All the art in the museum (besides special exhibitions) is a personal collection of Tom and Mary James. They had a passion for art and culture and decided to open this incredible museum.

As I walked through the modern entrance way I was instantly immersed in the culture. I could not help but feel transported back to the western world that America used to be. It was so eye- opening to see all the amazing stories captured through paintings and sculptures. I truly felt like I traveled back in time.

Photo courtesy of Leticia Ribiero 

I did not expect to be so amazed by the art. I knew there was a lot to be told from that time in history, I just did not know how much and how intense the emotions were. The pieces all told a specific story. Sometimes it was a painful story like the hunting of a bison or the sadness in the Native American’s eyes as they watch their land be taken over. Some revealed excitement and pride as they performed a ritual or sewed beautiful blankets.

Photo courtesy of Leticia Ribiero 

I learned so much more than I thought I would by going to The James Museum. I learned to appreciate the culture that was here before us. It made me thankful for places like this that preserve the irreplaceable stories of the Native Americans.

I highly recommend visiting if you love going to museums, if you love art, if you love learning, or if you just want to try something different. You will not be disappointed.

Photo courtesy of Leticia Ribiero