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May 23, 2018 – (Key West, FL).  Free Admission allows Monroe County Students to Explore Art, Architecture, and History at Key West Art & Historical Society Museums

With school soon adjourning for the summer, it’s an ideal time for students to independently delve into explorations of our area art, architecture, and history—an opportunity Key West Art & Historical Society is supporting with free admission to its four museums for Monroe County students who show a student ID at the door and $5.00 admission for out-of-county student ID holders. Currently, museum-goers can anticipate the following exhibits:

Custom House Museum, 281 Front Street, the iconic four-story architectural “crown jewel” of Key West, and one of the finest examples of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture in the U.S.:

“From a Woman’s Hand,” Bumpus Gallery, through July 15: Drawn entirely from the Florida Keys community, the exhibit of 45 paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, prints, textiles, and ceramics illuminates the remarkable achievements of women artists, addressing the gender imbalance in the art world.

“That’s Outrageous,” Bryan Gallery, through June 24: Retrospective spanning nearly four decades of Captain Outrageous art.  The renowned Key West character imprinted his indelible mark on the island with both his colorful artwork and personality, making the world his canvas and painting thousands of items – bicycles, scooters, furniture, clothing, mannequins, cars, camper vans, sinks, musical instruments, telephones, and even toilet seats.

Guy Harvey’s “The Old Man and The Sea” sketches: 59 original pen-and-ink drawings inspired by Hemingway’s “The Old Man and The Sea,” created by internationally acclaimed artist and conservationist Guy Harvey, completed when he was a teenager.

“Overseas to the Keys: Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railway,” second floor:Celebrating an important part of Florida Keys history and the incredible engineering feat that joined mainland Florida to Key West, outstanding elements include a railroad car that transports visitors back to the early 1900s, an oversized map of the Florida Keys, home video shot from the railroad in the 1920s, and related objects and ephemera from The Society’s permanent collection. Supported by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, Thomas Kenan, the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, and Lamont Harris.

Fort East Martello Museum, 3501 South Roosevelt Blvd, constructed to provide protection for Key West against the possibility of an enemy sea assault and now one of the finest preserved examples of Martello style military architecture in the United States:

“Stanley Papio – Junkyard Rebel,” permanent exhibit: Namesake of the annual Key West Art & Historical Society Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade, Stanley Papio saw art where others saw junk. For more than three decades, the rebellious welder-turned-metal-artist transformed the “trash” in his Key Largo yard into extraordinary works of art, many of them comical and caustic commentary on neighbors and naysayers. Today, more than 100 sculptural objects and three-dimensional constructions are housed at the Fort.

“Ghosts of East Martello,” permanent exhibit: Pay your respects to Robert, the world’s most famous haunted doll, whose mesmerizing and eerie history began just after the turn of the 20th century when he was created by the Steiff Company and given to young Gene Otto, son of a prominent Key West doctor. Delve into the bizarre but true lore of Carl Tanzler, self-proclaimed Count von Cosel, and his passion for the beautiful, but unfortunately deceased, Elena Milagro Hoyos Mesa, with whom he lived until 1940, when he was arrested for grave robbery and possession of a dead body.

Key West Lighthouse & Keeper’s Quarters, 938 Whitehead Street, one of the most visited historic locations in Key West:

Explore the Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters, now a museum restored to an early 1900s appearance with historic furnishings, photos and original artifacts depicting the life and times of generations of lighthouse keepers and their families. Climb the 88-step, circular, iron stairway of the 170-year-old lighthouse, owned by Monroe County and operated by Key West Art & Historical Society. Once a beacon for the island with its Fresnel lens that shined 11 nautical miles out to sea, the 48-foot tower also served to guide those on land.  Ernest Hemingway, who once lived across the street from the structure, was known to use it as a North Star of sorts to find his way home after nights of heavy imbibing.

Tennessee Williams Museum, 513 Truman Ave, pays tribute to one of the greatest 20thcentury American playwrights:

A destination for Tennessee Williams enthusiasts and scholars, the exhibit showcases highlights from his life and work while living in Key West from 1949 until his death in 1983. The collection of historic, archival materials keeps alive the importance of his legacy and offers the largest collection of Williams’ memorabilia and literary artifacts available to the public. Displays include artist Jane Rohrschneider’s model of the playwright’s home at 1431 Duncan Street, first edition plays and books, images from the late local photographer Don Pinder, and original steps from the film adaptation of Williams’ play “The Rose Tattoo,” which was filmed entirely in Key West.

For more information on these and other Society exhibits – including WPA art and works of folk artist Mario Sanchez – along with hours of operation, membership and volunteer opportunities, visit kwahs.orgYour museums.  Your community.  It takes an island.

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Fort East Martello at 3501 South Roosevelt Blvd, one of four museums stewarded by Key West Art & Historical Society, offers a variety of exhibits spotlighting local arts and history, a sculpture garden, and a breathtaking view. The Society offers free admission to each of the four museums under its stewardship to Monroe County students who show a student ID at the door, and $5.00 admission for those with an out-of-county student ID.