Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art Rising
By Eileen Zaffiro-Kean email@example.com
The Daytona Beach News Journal
The museum will salute the Florida cracker architectural style and include a 50-foot peak in the main gallery, as well as meticulous landscaping around the building and retention ponds that will be dominated by plants indigenous to Florida.
The grand opening will cap a 20-year journey for Cici and Hyatt Brown, who donated the paintings along with $13 million for construction and another $2 million for what’s hoped to become an $8 million operations and maintenance endowment.
Hyatt Brown is board chairman of Daytona Beach-based Brown & Brown insurance agencies and an honorary trustee for the museum. Cici Brown is a member of the museum’s Board of Trustees and a past volunteer there.
The Browns started in the mid-1990s with the purchase of an 1839 painting of the gates of St. Augustine with no plan to amass so many other works – some of which are the only visual records of things in Florida that disappeared before photography was developed.
They decided several years ago to donate the multi-million-dollar collection, but found themselves on another winding road as they tried to find the right property for a new museum. Eventually, they settled on the site that’s just north of the Museum of Arts & Sciences.
“It is exciting to see the walls going up,” said Cici Brown. “It feels really good, but I’m not jumping up and down because I know we’ve got a long way to go.”
Brown said she’s very happy with the way things are going, and her main concern is that everything is done well, not quickly.
“It’s fun. We’re having a good time,” she said. “We’ll be patient.”
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