The celebrations will include a year of special programming to mark the occasion including four exhibitions, the 13th annual Winter Park Paint Out plein air festival, special displays of items from the Polasek archives, and a 60th-anniversary gala celebration.
The founder, Albin Polasek (1879-1965) was born in Moravia, now part of the Czech Republic, and immigrated to the United States in 1901 to work as a woodcarver. In 1916, he became head of the Department of Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago, a position he held for 27 years before moving to Winter Park in 1950, where he suffered a stroke that permanently paralyzed the left side of his body – something that didn’t stop him from completing 18 additional works.
Polasek and his wife Emily established the Albin Polasek Foundation, now the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens, in 1961 to share Polasek’s life’s works with the public, including 200 pieces of art and his self-designed home, studio, and three-acre sculpture garden on Lake Osceola.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the museum is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios Program alongside the homes of Georgia O’Keefe, Jackson Pollock, and Winslow Homer, among others.
The Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens is located at 633 Osceola Avenue [GMap] in Winter Park.