Turpin Bannister, Dean of the University of Florida College of Architecture and Fine Arts in the 1960s, wrote, “The inauguration of the University Gallery on March 1st 1965, marks the realization of a dream held over many years for a facility that will promote among all Floridians and our University community a livelier awareness, a more intimate concern, and a deeper appreciation of the world of the creative visual arts.”

Acting gallery director Roy Craven saw the inaugural exhibition, “Artists of the Florida Tropics,” as appropriate since the works of art represented scenes and subjects of Florida created by four major nineteenth century American artists: James Audubon, George Catlin, Winslow Homer, and George Inness. This exhibit was the first of many exhibitions presenting the best of faculty work, art from the gallery’s permanent collection, traveling exhibitions from major museums, and exhibits from private collections. 

The University Gallery’s permanent collection, assembled by Roy Craven, focused on South American and Asian artworks, modern painting, photographs, and prints. In 1988, this collection was transferred to the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art allowing the University Gallery to become a contemporary art gallery with changing exhibitions and opportunities for project-based educational experimentation and interdisciplinary shows. The catalogs in this collection represent many of the exhibitions from 1965 through 2015.





The University Archives holdings include materials from the UF Art Galleries: 

  • The Grinter Gallery
  • The Focus Gallery