LAKELAND (October 29, 2019) – The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is pleased to announce the opening of its unique Global Art of the 1970s: From the SC Johnson Collection exhibition on Saturday, November 9. Admission to the show is free and it will be on view in the Museum’s Dorothy Jenkins Gallery until February 2, 2020.   

This exclusive exhibition features works selected from the private collection of the SC Johnson Company, most of which have not traveled previously outside of the company’s international conference center, The Council House, in Racine, Wisconsin. Throughout the 1970s, Karen Johnson Boyd, daughter of H. F. Johnson, Jr., and company curator Lee Nordness traveled the world, researching the latest examples of global contemporary art and visiting the forty-five countries whose art would be represented in the collection. Together, Lee and Nordness sought to shape a diverse body of work that echoed The Council’s international mission and that would give visitors to it a glimpse at the most cutting-edge art of the time from around the globe.    

“We are honored to have had the opportunity to work with the SC Johnson Company to select pieces from this extraordinary collection and curate them thematically around global art of the 1970s,” noted Dr. Alex Rich, executive director and chief curator of the Museum. “This exclusive Polk Museum of Art original show will offer audiences a deep dive into rarely seen art from one of the most consequential decades in art history.”

The principal goal in selecting the artwork was to reach broadly across all media, cultures, and continents to demonstrate the breadth of Western and non-Western approaches to contemporary art. Thus, a piece on rice paper by Korean artist Young-Woo Kwon shares gallery space with a woodblock/serigraph work by Puerto Rican artist Antonio Martorell and an Op-Art painting by British art-world star Bridget Riley.

Importantly, many artists represented in and selected for the show are not the most recognizable art-world names. Instead, striving to foster a more inclusive approach to art history, it is the Museum’s intentional inclusion of works by under-represented artists from around the world that promises to introduce audiences to significant — but overlooked — artists, engaging visitors in the unique cross-cultural and cross-continental experiences of the dynamic 1970s.    

To learn more about this exhibition, visit  For questions regarding exhibition-related programs, contact Taylor Holycross at 863-688-7743 ext. 249 or

About the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College

The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, is a not-for-profit academic fine art museum dedicated to enhancing lives through inspirational and engaging art experiences for all. It is the only Smithsonian Affiliate fine art museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in Central Florida and serves 148,000 visitors yearly. Museum hours are Tuesdays–Saturdays 10 am to 5 pm and Sundays (except June 1 to Labor Day) 1 pm to 5 pm. It is closed to the public on Mondays and major holidays. The facility is handicapped accessible and special needs assistance is available. Admission is free, thanks to our strategic partners the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation, Share Foundation, and Southern Homes (Amy & Ed Laderer).


Media Contact
Taylor Holycross

Membership Manager/Communications
Work: 863.688.7743 x249
Cell: 217.918.0721