Explore the world of internationally acclaimed Czech sculptor Albin Polasek. Tour his home, galleries and sculpture gardens located in the heart of Winter Park on Lake Osceola.
Founded in 1961, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens holds an art collection focusing primarily on American representational sculpture, with over 200 works by Czech-born American sculptor Albin Polasek. Polasek retired to Winter Park, Florida in 1950 after nearly thirty years as the head of the Department of Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Albin Polasek designed his home with a functioning studio at its heart, surrounded by picturesque gardens. In 1961, The Albin Polasek Foundation was formed at the sculptor’s request, and his gallery was opened to the public as a museum.
The museum offers guided tours of the historic Polasek residence and chapel, an outdoor sculpture garden, a gallery with rotating exhibits and a gift shop. The museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Born in the province of Moravia (now Czech Republic), Albin Polasek immigrated to this country as a young woodcarver in 1901. He later attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and the American Academy of Art in Rome. During his influential artistic and educational career, Polasek won many awards for his works and was commissioned to create numerous public sculptures now found throughout Europe and America. Polasek dedicated his life to encouraging the study, appreciation and furtherance of representational art.
Also on the grounds is the Capen-Showalter House, which was moved here in 2014. The house was cut into two halves — nicknamed Fred and Ginger — and floated across Lake Osceola. The renovation process included reattaching the two halves of the house and restoring the original 1885 pine floors. The project won the 2014 Organizational Achievement Award from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation in recognition of this remarkable achievement.