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

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

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.

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

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.

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