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Ocala's Appleton could receive Foosaner Art Museum's collection after it closes July 1

The Foosaner Art Museum in Melbourne will close July 1. Photo: Google Maps
The Foosaner Art Museum in Melbourne will close July 1. Photo: Google Maps

The permanent collection at the Foosaner Art Museum in Melbourne could be destined for a museum in Ocala.

A spokesman for Florida Tech, which owns the Foosaner, says the college is, “finalizing transfer agreements” with the Appleton Museum of Art and the College of Central Florida.

The collection at Florida Tech's Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts could be going, as well.

The Appleton confirmed the negotiations.

The Foosaner's 5,000 works include Asian ceramics and metalwork along with pieces by Central Florida artists, Impressionist Ernst Oppler and nature photographer Clyde Butcher.

The Foosaner will close on July 1.

It was established in 1978 as the Brevard Art Center and Museum. Florida Tech took it over in 2011 after a $1 million gift.

It was renamed the Foosaner Art Museum, and the college made a 10-year commitment. But it proved too costly, and Florida Tech sold the property last year to a developer planning a hotel.

Its final exhibit -- abstract art by Rene Griffith and Steve Seinberg -- ends June 30.

Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.