Just as World War II came to an end, one artist with a vision and the people of Ormond Beach worked together to create something magical.
Artist Malcolm Fraser offered a collection of his life's work to any town along the east coast of Florida that would create an art museum that paid tribute to veterans. Ormond Beach and her residents rose to the occasion and worked together to create a living monument to creative freedom and equality of all persons, and to commemorate the service of World War I & II veterans who fought valiantly for that ideal.
Citizens raised $10,000 to purchase building materials. The City of Ormond offered the location which housed a charming 1920s office building, and the vision began to take shape.
Returning servicemen from World War II volunteered their time to help build the museum galleries and clear the land for the spectacular Memorial Gardens which embrace the Museum.
Working together, the Ormond Memorial War Memorial Gallery opened its doors in 1946.
While the Museum strives to showcase a variety of original artwork, pieces from the Malcolm Fraser collection are always on display free of charge for visitors.
During the ensuing seven decades, the Museum and Gardens has been a part of literally thousands of lives!
In the Gardens alone, couples have started their married lives with weddings and taken prom, holiday card and baby pictures in our lush urban oasis. Just ask anyone who grew up here how much fun it is running up and down the garden paths.
Our partners at the Garden Club of the Halifax Country have partnered with us to relocate and renovate the 1885 historic Emmons Cottage from the west side of the Halifax River to our Garden and also to create the Janett VanWicklen Taylor greenhouse honoring our Garden artisan of more than 39 years.
The gazebo located in the center of the gardens houses a hand painted labyrinth designed by Joan Baliker and the late Carol Bertrand and refreshed by Mack Sutton.