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Breckenridge Brown '24

Breck Brown: Curating an Artful Journey with His Hollingsworth Scholarship

Oct 30, 2023

Breckenridge Brown '24 has a go-getter spirit, exemplified by his passion for art, music, travel, and making the most of any and every opportunity presented to him.

Breck, as his friends call him, grew up in Milford, Ohio, a small town near Cincinnati. Born three and one-half months early, weighing only one pound fifteen ounces, his young life was defined by physical limitations. 

"While being different meant that I did not participate in certain activities ... I choose to embrace what was unique about me and make the most of it," he explains. 

Open to a world of possibilities that could coexist with his challenges, Breck explains: "I said 'yes' to a myriad of other outside-the-box opportunities ... with no regard to whether they were 'cool.'"

The Importance of Museums
Breck's passion for art was ignited at a young age, fostered by family travels that often revolved around exploring the world's museums. 

"It's funny," he says. "Since I was very young, my family would take my sister and me on vacation. When they asked what we wanted to do, we always suggested the same two things. She'd say, 'Let's go shopping.' I'd say, 'Let's go to the museum,' because I want to see all the museums I can. I absolutely love museums!"

Whether it's admiring pottery by local artisans at his hometown museum, the Cincinnati Art Museum, or examining memorabilia of the Swedish pop band ABBA at their museum in Stockholm, Breck believes museums are a treasure trove of stories waiting to be discovered. He explains that every piece of art has a unique story to share. 

"I love history and reading all kinds of different stories from the past. Art is unique because it focuses on one specific moment in time, providing a window into history."

Favorite Piece from the Spirits CollectionBreck points out one of his favorite pieces from the Polk Museum of Art's Spirits: African and Oceanic Art from the Dr. Alan and Linda Rich Collection.

What Could Be Better Than a Museum on Campus?
His decision to enroll at Florida Southern College was influenced by the College's unique Art History and Museum Studies program. Before coming to Florida Southern, Breck took a dual enrollment art history class through the University of Cincinnati and found it fascinating.

When it came time to look for a college, a family member suggested Florida Southern.

"A relative said the program 'seemed right up my alley,' so I looked into it. I learned about the College's connection with the Polk Museum of Art. I saw that it was incredibly unique nationally."

As a student at Florida Southern, Breck has taken an active role in the Museum Ambassador Program (MAP). Along with giving tours, which allow him to share the riches of the Polk Museum of Art with fellow students and visitors, Breck has made it his mission to make as many students as he can aware of the wealth of art and culture at their fingertips.

"Part of the reason that I joined MAP is so that I can tell more people about the museum and the work showcased there."

Dedicated to spreading the word, Breck has become a fixture at Southern Showcase, FSC's open house event, answering questions and sharing his passion for the Art History and Museum Studies program with prospective students and their families.

Mentorship from Dr. Rich
Breckenridge acknowledges the profound influence of Dr. H. Alexander Rich, who serves as his academic advisor, chairs the Art History-Museum Studies program, and leads as the Executive Director of the Polk Museum of Art. Dr. Rich's guidance, extensive knowledge, and readiness to support Breck have been instrumental in his academic journey.

“Dr. Rich invited me to participate in his Junior Journey to New York, where we had the privilege of exploring some of the world's most renowned art museums. With Dr. Rich being from New York and having worked at some of the museums, we got a very nice behind-the-scenes perspective."

Dr. Rich's mentorship has given Breck a unique perspective on the art world. His expertise in art history, coupled with his unique insights into museums and their intricate workings, has been “invaluable” says Breck.

Breck with his mentor, Dr. Alex RichBreck with his mentor, Dr. H. Alexander Rich, who serves as the Executive Director of Polk Museum of Art.

The Allure of International Travel
One of those "out-of-the-box" experiences Breck has immersed himself in is travel. Along with family trips to Mexico, Sweden, Iceland, and Russia, Breck sought out solo adventures. In 2019, he spent the summer in the Caribbean, learning how to sail. These journeys have not only broadened his horizons but have equipped him with the confidence to try new experiences. 

"Travel is so important because, like art, you get a perspective into a life that is not your own and places you are unfamiliar with. It helps promote a more cohesive society because it gives people a chance to see things differently."

Breck hopes to someday get to see the museums of Italy.

The Hollingsworth Scholarship: Supporting His Future
For Breck, receiving the Hollingsworth Scholarship was a life-changing moment. The scholarship has not only lightened the financial burden of pursuing his dreams but has also allowed him to curate a well-rounded set of experiences, laying a solid foundation for his future. He has utilized the scholarship to broaden his academic spheres, participating in the Honors Program, pursuing a wider array of classes, adding a double major in communications, serving as an SGA Senator, and, of course, volunteering at the Polk Museum of Art. 

Breck envisions a future in which he either takes on an administrative role in a museum or steps into academia as a professor. While he has yet to be part of formal research projects, he is excited about contributing to the expansion of the Polk Museum of Art.

Breck's journey at Florida Southern College, nurtured by the Hollingsworth Scholarship, reflects his dedication to absorbing knowledge, making connections, and helping others.

"I want to make the best of every opportunity given to me and look for every chance to experience, live, and share."

Learn more about Florida Southern’s Hollingsworth Scholarhip. Deadline to apply is January 3.


1200x800-Breckenridge-Brown-NY.jpgSnapshots of Breck's on his Junior Journey to New York City