MFA Winter/Spring Program Guide

Join us for educational programs featuring a stellar lineup of engaging, inspiring, and entertaining speakers. Each of our programs is designed to allow our audiences to delve deeper into the MFA Collection, garner different perspectives from experts, and reflect on current issues that impact the art museum space, and each of our lives.


This series will focus on the story of art history, one that is continually being retold as we discover new things and look afresh at the familiar. The series will kick off on February 16 as we examine some of the earliest known examples of art in the MFA Collection. Join MFA curators on a journey to learn more about our collection, contextualized with other objects from around the world, as we take a grand tour through the story of art.

The Grand Narrative
Interim Executive Director Anne-Marie Russell
Thursday, February 16, 2023, 6–7 pm

Art Until Rome: 2700 B.C.-A.D. 300
Senior Curator of Ancient Art Dr. Michael Bennett
Thursday, February 23, 2023, 6–7 pm

Searching for the Middle Ages: 1000–1500
Senior Curator of Collections & Exhibitions Dr. Stanton Thomas
Thursday, March 9, 2023, 6–7 pm

Crossing Boundaries: 1500–1850
Associate Curator Erin Wilson
Thursday, April 6, 2023, 6–7 pm

When Modern Got Real: 1850–1950
Senior Curator of Collections & Exhibitions Dr. Stanton Thomas
Thursday, April 13, 2023, 6–7 pm

Fixing an Image: Photography
Senior Curator of Photography Dr. Jane Aspinwall
Thursday, April 20, 2023, 6–7 pm

Art Now: 1950–Today
Curator of Contemporary Art Katherine Pill
Thursday, May 4, 2023, 6–7 pm



The Museum Studies Institute is the MFA St. Pete’s internal “think tank” that encompasses all of the intellectual and creative imaginings generated from, and orbiting around, an encyclopedic art museum.  Art museums preserve things—art objects that represent the highest aspirations of humankind—in perpetuity. Yet we do so amid the reality of a complex and ever-changing world. Lectures by renowned experts on the history of art museums, conversations on engaging topics, and symposia examining current challenges—from climate change to inclusivity to new media—allow us to open up our internal discussions to engage our community in the conversation.

The Encyclopedic Museum
Lowery Stokes Sims
Thursday, March 2, 2023, 6–7 pm

Women Build Museums
Dr. Paul Ivey
Sunday, April 16, 2023, 11 am–12 pm



These programs feature a wide range of people who comprise the ecosystem of the global contemporary art world—artists, thinkers, curators, writers, critics, collectors, visionaries—to inspire audiences and to connect our local community to the world, and to expose global luminaries to the cultural riches and local talents of the Tampa Bay area.

Artist Talk: Christian Sampson
Saturday, March 18, 2023, 11 am–12 pm

Art is Life: Jerry Saltz
Saturday, April 1, 2023, 11 am–12 pm

Artist Talk: Odili Donald Odita
Saturday, April 22, 2023, 11 am–12 pm



This animated series will showcase various artists, thinkers, and creatives in conversation with each other, often around the debut of a new book or project. These casual conversations will surprise and delight the community, and offer an opportunity to delve into current issues, best-selling books, and other topics of interest.

Maira Kalman & Bob Morris
In Conversation
Thursday, February 9, 6–7 pm

Billy Collins & Bob Morris
In Conversation
Thursday, March 23, 2023, 6–7 pm



Picture of Health is a multifaceted program examining integrated concepts of various concepts of health across space and time, using our collection as a point of departure. The program cultivates an integrated exploration of health—cognitive, physical, physiological, emotional, civic, intellectual and spiritual with the goal of fostering wellbeing in our community.

Why We Sing
Bob Morris & Jon Atterton
Saturday, March 25, 2023, 1–2 pm 

Creativity & Aging: Still Striking
Doug Dreishpoon
Saturday, April 29, 2023, 11 am–12 pm


By Design

We sometimes take for granted that everything around us, if not part of nature, has been “designed”, from the phone in your hand to the road you drive on to the workspace you may spend a third of your life in. The By Design series will look at the world around us and the impact design has on the way live.

Office Space
Florian Idenburg & Aaron Betsky
Sunday, March 26, 2023, 2–3 pm


Programs subject to change. Check our Calendar of Events for the latest programs and events happening at the MFA.


Images (From left to right, top to bottom): Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims (Photo © Grace Roselli); Dr. Paul Eli Ivey (Photo © Dr. Paul Eli Ivey); Odili Donald Odita (Photo © Jide Alakija); Billy Collins (Photo © Bill Hayes); Doug Dreishpoon (Photo © Dr. Doug Dreishpoon); Aaron Betsky (Photo © Aaron Betsky); Florian Idenburg (Photo © Lelanie Foster); Jerry Saltz (Photo © Celeste Sloman); Maira Kalman (Photo © Jeffrey MacMillan); Bob Morris (Photo © Bob Morris)

Sketching in the Galleries

Enjoy our free open sketching sessions at the MFA where sketch boards and paper, pencils, and gallery stools are available for small groups and individuals.

Public Docent Tours

Docent-led tours take place select Thursdays at 6:00 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Docents are also available in the galleries most weekend mornings and weekday afternoons. Check with a member of our Visitor Experience team to see if a docent is available during your visit. Docent tours are free with museum admission.

MFA adult programs are made possible in part by Art Bridges, Smith & Associates Real Estate Foundation, Community Foundation Tampa Bay, Focardi-Great Bay Foundation, Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, J. Crayton Pruitt Foundation, The Margaret Acheson Stuart Society, and support through MFA memberships and donations to the MFA Fund.