Monday, December 23, 2013

Mennello Museum

I have been returning periodically to the Mennello Museum (900 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL) to do sketches of the exterior. This is my favorite sketch so far. I had to eliminate a tree to help streamline the composition. Trees have been disappearing at an alarming rate at the museum recently. The property is owned by the City of Orlando and they maintain the landscape. A large hole that looked like a grave marked the spot where one tree once stood. A wedding was happening that day and I imagine the happy couple posing for photos in front of the open grave where the huge root system had been dug up.

Another day I came to draw, bright yellow caution tape marked off a large area behind the museum.  A tree branch had fallen and the yellow tape was meant to protect an unsuspecting public. I hope the tree isn't cut down to spite its branches. There is a huge Live Oak in front of the museum with sweeping long branches that swoop down and touch the ground. It must be hundreds of years old. It is a gorgeous tree. Spanish moss hangs lazily from many of the trees as a reminder that we are in the deep south.

Now on display in the Museum you can discover the Everglades through art. In 1935 American artist Eugene Francis Savage made the first of many journeys into the Florida Everglades to study the Seminoles. Inspired by his observations over two decades, he created perhaps the most extensive painted record of the Florida Seminoles from the early 20th century. These works reflect Savage’s concern for the plight of native culture as tourism, land development and environmentalist debates threatened their traditional way of life. Capturing the natural rhythms of the Everglades, these works present a vision of Seminole life and seek to awaken the imagination and inspire the spirit. This is a great series of paintings. Be sure to see this rare collection before it leaves on January 5th. Its a great place to bring family over the holiday. 

Admission for adults is $5. Members get in free. Get a loved one a museum membership this holiday season. It makes a great stocking stuffer and is a gift that keeps giving all year long. I have two free tickets to the museum for the first person who can name the artist whose pen and ink drawings with watercolor were published in 2000 as the book “Crackers in the Glade.” His work is now on display in the Mennello through January 5th. Just post your answer in the comments section to win, or e-mail the answer to

The museum will be closed December 23-25 and December 30-January 1st.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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