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February 5, 2020 – (Key West, FL). Art of Sandford Birdsey to be presented by Key West Art & Historical Society at Custom House Museum

Key West Art & Historical Society invites the community to a special reception on Friday, February 21, 2020 from 6:00pm -7:30pm to celebrate the opening of a retrospective featuring Sandford Birdsey’s artwork in the Bryan Gallery at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front Street. The exhibit showcases many watercolors, oils, acrylics, and textiles created during the course of her career.

“Sandford’s artwork and textiles are quintessential Key West.  She harnessed the beauty that surrounded her and skillfully recreated it in various forms,” say Cori Convertito, curator for the Key West Art & Historical Society.  “The museum is delighted to host this influential retrospective, particularly since we are lauding her not only as an artist, but also a teacher.”

A Key West resident from 1980 until her death in 2010, much of Birdsey’s art depicts the essence of Key West: boats, water, tropical foliage, Victorian gingerbread, pets, and free roaming chickens with lively color, bold strokes, and unique humor. The accomplished artist, silk screener, and mosaic and mural designer exhibited widely and was also a well-regarded teacher who impacted many of today’s successful island artists.

“The biggest thing she taught me was that skies can be any color you want,” says Key West Art Center & Gallery Director Deborah Moore, who began her studies with Birdsey in the mid-90s. “I admired her daily dedication to painting.  She taught me that, as well.”

Born in Macon, Georgia in 1925, Birdsey attended the Wesleyan Conservatory and the Parsons School of Design and studied in France and Italy.  She was a founding member of the American Society of Marine Artists, a member of the Florida Watercolor Society, and exhibited widely from Florida to New York City, including the Whitney Museum.  Her paintings are in several private collections including the late President John F. Kennedy and the Phillip Morris collection.

“Sandford Birdsey: A Retrospective” runs until April 11, 2020. For more information call Cori Convertito, Ph.D., at 305-295-6616 x112, email her at, or visit  Your Museums.  Your Community.  It Takes an Island.

IMAGE: An exhibit of art by Sandford Birdsey launches with a special reception on February 21, 2020 at the Custom House Museum.