Appleton Museum of Art

The Appleton Museum of Art is an art museum located in Ocala, Florida. It is affiliated with and governed by the College of Central Florida and has been since 2004.


The museum is also building a collection of works of Florida artists which relate directly to the history and cultural heritage of the Central Florida community.


Housed in the museum is a permanent collection of more than 24,000 works, including art and artifacts representative of European, American, Asian, African, Contemporary, and pre-Columbian styles. It also displays special exhibits temporarily throughout the year.


Collecting and supporting Florida’s artists is essential to the Appleton Museum of Art’s mission. It gets generous support from sponsors like the Ina Gotler-Colen and Gladys Shafran Kashdin Endowed Acquisitions Fund for Florida Artists. And also the David and Lisa Midgett Foundation. Florida artists are represented in the collection, including James Rosenquist, Christopher Still, and Ralph.


The museum has a rich history. Appleton’s equine art collection spans over 3,000 years of history worldwide, and Ocala is the Horse Capital of the World.


Mr. Appleton and his wife, the former Martha O’Driscoll, bought their Ocala property during the mid-1970s and established Bridlewood Farm, a training and thoroughbred breeding facility.


From Eurasian Steppe Bronze Age horse-bridle bits to contemporary works, the equine art collection is particularly notable for riding, hunting, racing, and farming.


Artistic movements such as Romanticism, Post-Romanticism, Orientalism, Realism, and the pre-Raphaelites are here.


The museum’s outstanding collection of pre-Columbian objects from throughout Mexico, Central, and South America has attracted the attention of noted researchers. The collection includes artworks from cultures such as the Wari, Maya, Veracruz, Moche, and Chimú and contains various ceramics, gold, bowls, and precious jade items.


Much of the African collection was from the late Dr. Victor David DuBois collection. DuBois spent his career working for the United States government in Africa and built the group over many years of service. After DuBois died at 51, Mr. Appleton purchased much of his collection.


One of the largest collections at Appleton is the Asian art holdings. It includes religious and secular works from China, India, Japan, Tibet, and Southeast Asia.


Additionally, Buddhist art incorporates Indian, Thai, Tibetan, and Burmese sculptures and textiles. At the same time, the Chinese works feature several important ceramic pieces, including Tang Dynasty horses and guardian figures.


The Modern and Contemporary collection includes paintings, sculptures, photography, and drawings from around the world and spans from the 1950s to the present day.