Ex-Cummer Art Director Dodge Dies

Article excerpt

Joseph Jeffers "Jerry" Dodge, a noted painter and arts leader,

died yesterday after a years-long battle with cancer. He was 79.

Mr. Dodge, who was born in Detroit in 1917, came to

Jacksonville in 1962 to serve as the director of the Cummer

Gallery of Art.

During his 10-year tenure, he tripled the museum's holdings,

making an estimated 1,200 acquisitions. They included the Wark

Meissen Collection, considered by art historians as one of the

most important porcelain collections in the world, and a William

Bouguereau painting that is often reproduced on art calendars.

"He brought culture and class to our town and nurtured the

Cummer Gallery through its first 10 years," said Taylor

Hardwick, a close friend. "In addition to being a superlative

and prolific painter, this erudite man was a connoisseur of all

the arts and supported them with his patronage."

Mr. Dodge left the museum in 1972 to paint full-time. His works

have been widely shown and collected.

"As a painter, he had a highly skilled craft sensibility, with

images connected to a broad history of Western art," said Steve

Lotz, art gallery director at the University of Central Florida,

who curated a show in the fall that featured Mr. Dodge's work.

Mr. Dodge's biographer, Debra Murphy-Livingston, has described

his art as "much more than photographic realism."

"It's informed by years of studying art and its masters. He

really is heir to a great and distinguished classical tradition

in the manner of the French painters Poussin and Corot,"

Murphy-Livingston said in a profile of the artist. …