By Jayden Mohacsi
Edited by Linda Ruble
The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art is located at Tarpon Springs campus of St. Petersburg College, and is something that every SPC student should be familiar with. This museum of art is appropriately named after Abraham Rattner and Allen Leepa. Allen Leepa, a Michigan State University art professor, inherited his step father, Abraham Rattner’s, estate which included Abraham’s paintings and sculptures, as well as those of other contemporaries such as Pablo Picasso. Allen donated his inherited art collection to St. Petersburg College and it grew into what it is today. If students of SPC have not been to this underrated museum, they should visit.
The collection at this 20th-century museum of art contains mostly paintings, sculptures, clay works, tapestries, stained glass, and lithographs by Abraham Rattner. In addition to Rattner’s works, the collection includes art work from Pablo Picasso, the Spanish painter and sculptor. Also showcased are works from Henry Moore, an English sculptor and artist; Marc Chagall, a Russian-French artist; Max Ernst, a German painter and graphic artist; and a few other artist of their time.
Despite the museum’s small appearance, most of its treasures are hidden away and initially unseen in a huge area comprised of three different buildings that are joined together. Each room is something different and is filled with artwork.
The museum exterior represents the bow of a ship, hovering over water. This design was inspired by, and is a homage to, Tarpon Springs’ sponging and fishing industries. However impressive the exterior is, it is the Leepa-Rattner collection that makes the museum. With more than 6,000 works rotated on display every month, there is a lot to see on each visit. There are, however, some pieces that definitely stand out from the crowd. A Rattner painting entitled Artistic Journeys is over 7 feet tall. Included in its massive size is a truly chaotic subject. At least 10 minutes is needed just to grasp some forms of the images seen throughout its full spectrum of colors. It is truly a marvel.
Museum admission is free to all SPC students with their college I.D. The Leepa-Rattner Museum is a tremendous venue that every SPC student should visit at least once to truly appreciate what it has to offer.