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seal of florida

Florida Department of State
Kurt S. Browning
Secretary of State

For Immediate Release
April 06, 2011

Contact:
Chris Cate
245.6522

Secretary Browning Announces New Exhibits at Museum of Florida History

Museum gallery to feature paintings by the Florida Highwaymen and photographs by Clyde Butcher

TALLAHASSEE – Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning today announced two new exhibits that will be sharing gallery space in the Department of State’s Museum of Florida History. Beginning May 13, 2011, the Museum of Florida History will feature The Road to Prosperity: Art of the Florida Highwaymen and Visions of Florida: The Photographic Art of Clyde Butcher.

“We are proud to display the work of these remarkably talented artists,” said Secretary Browning. “I encourage anyone who is a fan of Florida art to take advantage of this opportunity to see multiple perspectives of Florida landscapes in one gallery.”

The Road to Prosperity: Art of the Florida Highwaymen includes approximately 40 paintings by eight of the most prominent Highwaymen artists. Known for their paintings of beautiful Florida landscapes, the Highwaymen are a group of artists who painted in garages and backyards on Upson board, beginning in the 1950s. On the weekends, they traveled Florida highways to sell their paintings to hotels, offices, businesses and individuals. Painting provided them an alternative vocation at a time when galleries would not normally display the work of unknown and self-taught African Americans.

In the 1990s, interest in the Florida Highwaymen was renewed when articles and books were published about them. In 2004, the 26 original Florida Highwaymen were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. Today, they are still producing art, the value of which has risen considerably since their beginning.

Visions of Florida: The Photographic Art of Clyde Butcher showcases the work of a man who has been described as the Ansel Adams of Florida. Butcher’s photographs capture remote areas rarely seen by Florida tourists or residents. Known for his large format, black and white images, Butcher used a specially constructed tripod in environments that often had him waist deep in river mud, being attacked by swarms of mosquitoes, and standing stoically in swamps while alligators lurked nearby. As a result of his technique and choice of location, Butcher’s photographs beautifully document one of America’s most complex and unique ecosystems.

The Road to Prosperity: Art of the Florida Highwaymen was organized by the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University. Visions of Florida: The Photographic Art of Clyde Butcher is a traveling exhibit managed by the Museum of Florida History. Both exhibits will be on display in the Museum of Florida History through August, 7, 2011.

About the Museum of Florida History

The Museum of Florida History in the Division of Cultural Affairs is located inside the R. A. Gray Building, home of the Florida Department of State, at 500 South Bronough Street in Tallahassee, Florida. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday and holidays, noon to 4:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free. For more information, visit the museum’s website at www.museumoffloridahistory.com.