Florida Art History

with an emphasis on representational art



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Florida Art History." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays.

Following the links to Resource Library articles and essays are a listing of museums in the state which have provided materials to Resource Library for this or any other topic.

Listed after Resource Library articles, essays and museums are links to online resources outside the TFAO website. Following these resources is information about offline resources including DVDs, paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.

We recommend that researchers always search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information.

TFAO welcomes volunteers to further the broadening of knowledge related to this topic. To learn more about TFAO's many volunteer opportunities please click here. Volunteers are welcome to contribute suggestions for additional content in this catalogue. Please see Catalogue and database management for details.


Texts contained in Resource Library by named authors listed by author name in alphabetical order:

Chapter 5: After the Civil War, from the book Art in Florida: 1564-1945 by Maybelle Mann

Lost Colony: The Artists of St. Augustine, 1930-1950, by Robert W. Torchia


Articles contained in Resource Library without named authors listed by article name in alphabetical order:

Florida Illustrators, Art From Children 's Books

"The Highwaymen" and "Highwaymen Paintings"

The Highwaymen: Florida Dreamscapes

Juicy Fruit: Contemporary Citrus Imagery by Florida Artists

Picturing Change: The Impact of Ledger Drawings on Native American Art

Tropical Terrain: South Florida Landscapes


Museums and other non-profit sources of Resource Library articles and essays:

Please click on the name of each source to view articles and essays related to that source:

Appleton Museum of Art
Art Museum at Florida International University
Boca Raton Museum of Art
Brevard Art Museum
Center for the Arts
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Cornell Fine Arts Museum
Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
Flagler Museum
Florida Illustrators, Art From Children 's Books
Frost (Patricia and Phillip) Art Museum, Florida International University
Gulf Coast Museum of Art
Harn Museum of Art
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art
LeMoyne Art Foundation
Lightner Museum
Lowe Art Museum at University of Miami
Maitland Art Center
Miami Art Museum
Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale
Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg
Naples Museum of Art
Norton Museum of Art
Orlando Museum of Art
Pensacola Museum of Art
Polk Museum of Art
Stetson University, Duncan Gallery of Art
Tampa Museum of Art
Vero Beach Museum of Art

(above, Fort Marion Monument St Augustine Florida, poster, Work Projects Administration)


Other online information:

Artists from Florida from Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.

Florida Art History from Florida Art Galleries. Accessed August, 2015.

Artists of Old Florida is a website that includes biographies of artists and a download of a book by Alfred Frankel, who says: "I've been studying the history of art in Florida for over thirty years. My research has taken me to every major library in the state and resulted in two as yet unpublished books, The Artists of Old Florida, 1840-1960, and A Dictionary of Florida Artists, 1840-1960. This website will bring my books before the public, and attempt to revive the memory of the thousands of Florida artists, many academically trained, who spent their lives working here." Accessed 10/16

Carlton Ward: Florida Wild is a 2017 exhibit at the Polk Museum of Art which says: "Captured through compelling imagery and visual design, photographs featured in the exhibition will provide viewers with a rare opportunity to experience some of Florida's most captivating wildlife and native habitats." Accessed 5/18

Con-Text: The Word Based Images of Tyrus Clutter is a 2017 exhibit at the Appleton Museum of Art which says: "Marked by exuberant color combinations and embossed textural variations, the images of College of Central Florida Associate Professor Tyrus Clutter have relied increasingly on text over the past few years. These recent printmaking ventures explore the ways humans interpret both words and images -- how both can be "read" and reexamined when paired within the same space. Some images are literally drawn with words." Also see artist's website and a 6/15/17 article in the Ocala StarBanner. To read more after exhibit closes, go to "Past Exhibitions" section of museum website. Accessed 8/17

Daniel Faust: Florida Photos from the 1980s is a 2018 exhibit at the Boca Raton Museum of Art which says: "These 658 Florida photographs are just a few of the 25,000 slide and film images that Faust has taken in a variety of museums and excursions across the United States, Europe, Asia, South Africa, the Middle East, Brazil, India, and New Zealand."  Accessed 12/18

Enduring Beauty: Seminole Art and Culture is a 2018 exhibit at the Orlando Museum of Art which says: "Enduring Beauty celebrates Seminole culture with works of art, adornment and domestic crafts dating from the early 19th century to the mid-20th century. These objects are not only beautiful and significant, they are expressions of the Seminole's extraordinary history as the Native American people of Florida." Accessed 5/18

Florida (sampling of artists and works connected to state) from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.

Florida's Art in State Buildings Program from Museum of Fine Arts, The College of Visual Arts, Theatre & Dance, Florida State University. Accessed August, 2015.

Florida Department of State Art Collection - from Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. Accessed August, 2015.

A History of Florida Art from 1564 to the Present from oldfloridapaintings.com. Accessed August, 2015.

Imagining Florida: History and Myth in the Sunshine State is a 2018 exhibit at the Boca Raton Museum of Art which says: "The most comprehensive and all-embracing Florida themed show of its kind, Imagining Florida: History and Myth in the Sunshine State presents a remarkable assemblage of 200+ works of art that celebrate how the Sunshine State has inspired artists across three centuries."   Also see press release. Accessed 12/18

Ponce de Leon Artist Colony including several artist biographies from Dr. Bronson Tours. Accessed August, 2015.

Preserving Eden: Clyde Butcher's Florida Photographs is a 2014 exhibit at the Coral Springs Museum of Art which says: "For more than 50 years, Clyde Butcher has been preserving on black and white film the quiet beauty of Florida's most undisturbed landscapes, including the Everglades."  Also see artist's website. Accessed 10/18 

Re-Riding History: From the Southern Plains to the Matanzas Bay is a multi-venue exhibit held from 2015 through 2018. The extensive site for the exhibit says: "The curators asked seventy-two artists to respond to the experience of imprisonment by creating an individual work on paper in the same dimensions as the historic ledger drawings made at Fort Marion from 1875-1878. The exhibition is a contemporary response to a historical experience held intact within American Indian communities through oral history and art." Accessed 4/18

The Vero Beach Art Club of Vero Beach, FL website says that it "... was formed in 1936 by six dedicated artists who called their group the "Vero Beach Sketch Club" incorporating as the Vero Beach Art Club in 1954." Accessed April, 2016.


TFAO's Distinguished Artists catalogue provides online access to biographical information for artists associated with this state. Also, Search Resource Library for online articles and essays concerning both individual artists associated with this state's history and the history of art centers and museums in this state. Resource Library articles and essays devoted to individual artists and institutions are not listed on this page.


Books, listed by year of publication, with most recently published book listed first:

Patchwork: Seminole And Miccosukee Art And Activities, by Dorothy Downs. 55 pages. Pineapple Pr (September 15, 2005). ISBN-10: 1561643327. ISBN-13: 978-1561643325. Product Description: "A hands-on way to learn about Florida's Seminoles and Miccosukees, who have been making and wearing patchwork clothing since the early 1900s. Learn how to make patchwork designs and a doll using colored paper and glue instead of fabric and a sewing machine." text courtesy of Amazon.com

Art in Florida: 1564-1945, By Maybelle Mann. Published by Pineapple Press, 1999. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Nov 8, 2007. ISBN 1561641715, 9781561641710. 191 pages. floridaplants.com says: "This authoritative and wide-ranging book presents for the first time the history of art in Florida from the first European artist, Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, who arrived in 1564, until the end of the Second World War, when art in Florida exploded into the modern forms and styles. The early chapters document the artistic offerings of early explorers and naturalists like Mark Catesby and John James Audubon, as well as the Seminole Indians and those who painted them, including George Catlin and Charles Bird King. St. Augustine, the first permanent settlement, also came to be the first center of art in Florida. After the Civil War, when Northerners began to flock to Florida for health and pleasure, art found a place in the thriving business of travel literature. This drew artists like brothers Edward and Thomas Moran, who began to paint the beauty of Florida. In the 1880s, St. Augustine, through the efforts of Henry Morrison Flagler, again became the center of artistic endeavor, attracting artists like Martin Johnson Heade. At the end of the century many prominent American artists arrived and painted the Florida they found. This included Frederic Remington, George Inness, Hermann Herzog, and Winslow Homer. In the first half of the twentieth century, Florida paintings were created by such notables as John Singer Sargent, Jane Peterson, Martha Walter, Milton Avery, William Glackens, Ernest Lawson, Harold Betts, Frank Weston Benson, Ralston Crawford, Andrew Wyeth, and Milton Avery. The final chapter covers government-sponsored art in the 1930s, including murals in public buildings and the Index of American Design."

Celebrating Florida: Works of Art from the Vickers Collection (Florida Sesquicentennial), by GARY R. LIBBY. 144 pages. Publisher: University Press of Florida; 1st edition (October 11, 1996). ISBN-10: 0813014778. ISBN-13: 978-0813014777. Product Description: "Celebrating Florida presents for the first time a full-color collection of 66 important paintings, drawings, and prints of Florida-based art. Featuring such artists as Winslow Homer, Louis Comfort Tiffany, George Inness, William Glackens, Martin Johnson Heade, Frank Shapleigh, and Herman Herzog, the book highlights some of the world's most significant artists, who came to Florida from 1823 to 1950 to capture the Sunshine State. Essays by noted historians Wendell Garrett and Erik Robinson discuss the settlement of Florida and its birth as a state in 1845. Additional essays present an aesthetic, historical, social, and cultural overview of the significance of the art as well as biographical information about each artist. Celebrating Florida is a Sesquicentennial publication, part of the celebration of 150 years of Florida statehood." (Image and text courtesy of Amazon.com)

Views of Florida by American Masters: Exhibition Catalogue Palm Beach: March 8 - April 13, 1975; St. Petersburg: May 6 - June 2, L975, By Society of the Four Arts, Gorham Bert Munson, John Gordon, Museum of Fine Arts (Saint Petersburg, Fla.). Published by The Society [and] The Museum of Fine Arts of St. Petersburg, Florida, 1975. 18 pages

ARTISTS OF THE FLORIDA TROPICS., By Cummer Gallery of Art, Fla Museum of Fine Arts (St. Petersburg, University Gallery, University of Florida. Published by Florida. University. University Gallery, 1965. 56 pages; Google Books says: "Catalog of an exhibition held at the University Gallery at University of Florida from March 1st-March 31st, 1965 ; Cummer Gallery of Art, Arpil, 1965 ; Museum of Fine Arts (St. Petersburg, Fla.), May, 1965."



Maybelle Mann: "Art in Florida: 1564 - 1945" American Art Review January-February 2000 (Volume XII, Number 1)



Highwaymen: Florida's Outsider Artists, The is a 58 minute story of a group of young, untrained African-American landscape painters that emerged from the small central Florida town of Fort Pierce in the late 50s and early 60s. Segregation and racist attitudes of the time prevented them from working with traditional art galleries. Instead, they traveled throughout the state selling their paintings out of the trunks of their cars. The Highwaymen had no pretensions about their art. They saw themselves as craftsmen, painting pictures strictly to earn a living. They mainly painted Florida back-country scenes -- coastal savannahs, hardwood hammocks, lonely tannin-stained rivers... expansive skies, capacious clouds, using bold strokes of dramatic colors. Theirs is an inspirational story of ingenuity and entrepreneurship, and ultimately, of perseverance in the face of societal limitations.

Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in this catalogue. TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos.


Do you know of additional sources whether online or paper-printed? TFAO welcomes your suggestions. Please send them to:

TFAO wishes to express appreciation to Deborah C. Pollack for suggestions of information.

On 5/3/12 TFAO sent an inquiry letter to Robert Harper, Executive Director of the the Lightner Museum.

Return to Individual States Art History Project

TFAO catalogues:

This page is continuously amended as TFAO adds content, corrects errors and reorganizes sections for improved readability. Refreshing or reloading this page enables readers to view the latest updates.

Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.

Search Resource Library

Copyright 2018 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.