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Fans of the legendary Ernest Hemingway can look forward to an array of new cultural offerings presented by Key West Art & Historical Society at the Custom House Museum during the annual Hemingway Days celebration, taking place July 18- July 23. The Society presents several days of signings, readings, a classical music performance and film viewing, and a gala.

Tuesday, July 18 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front Street: “Hemingway & Harry’s Way” presented by author Ted Geltner.  Geltner’s “Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews,” was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of 2016. During his presentation, Geltner will delve into Harry Crews’ devotion to Hemingway, first as an aspiring writer, later as a teacher of the craft, and foremost as a risk-taking novelist. A champagne reception will follow. Tickets are $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers.

Thursday, July 20 from 12:00pm-4:00pm at the Custom House Museum: Hemingway Symposium with Hemingway historians and authors Brewster Chamberlin, Kirk Curnutt, and Robert Elder. Tickets are $5 for members and $10 for non-members per speaker.  Book signings will follow each presentation.

  • 12:00pm: Brewster Chamberlin will discuss “Fact and Fiction in the Hemingway Industry,” with an emphasis on separating truth from fiction in the abundance of biographical studies and memoirs about the great American author.
  • 1:30pm: Kirk Curnutt will offer a study of the only novel Ernest Hemingway set on American soil (in Key West) with his book “Reading Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not.”
  • 3:00pm: Robert K. Elder presents “Hidden Hemingway: Inside the Earnest Hemingway Archives of Oak Park,” a research book featuring more than 300 color images that is part time capsule, part biography illuminating objects, ephemera, and unpublished photos; love letters; bullfighting memorabilia; high school assignments; adolescent diaries; Hemingway’s earliest published work; and even a dental X-ray-that he kept and treasured. Book signings will follow each presenter.

Thursday, July 20, from 6:00-8:00pm at the Studios of Key West, 533 Eaton Street:  “The Hemingway Suite.” Local composer Bill Lorraine offers “The Hemingway Suite,” a short film premiere with a live performance of classical music. In 2007, Lorraine was inspired to begin work on an orchestral composition as a tribute to Hemingway. In 2014, the Key West-based artist and musician saw his musical and cross-cultural vision come to fruition when his work premiered at the 700-seat Teatro Marti Opera House in downtown Havana, Cuba. Prior to the film, which reveals the original performance of the suite as performed by the Havana Orchestra at Cuba’s Teatro Marti de La Habana, composer Lorraine and Cuban virtuoso pianist Lianne Vega will perform a few melodies from the suite, and world-renowned Cuban Conductor Zenaida Romeu will join the composer in presenting a discussion of its compositions, with filmmaker Oscar Ortega also in presence. Tickets are $5 for members and $10 for non-members, and include a champagne reception.

Sunday, July 23 from 7:30pm to 10:00pm at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum courtyard, 907 Whitehead Street: The Hemingway Gala.  Mixologist and author of “To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion” Philip Greene will offer a lively, informative, and entertaining presentation on the “life, times, and favorite drinks, of the man Greene calls the “original, most interesting man in the world.” Guests will receive cocktail samples of Hemingway’s favorite drinks, the folklore behind them, a recipe demo, and an opportunity for Q&A with Greene, who is also an attorney, writer, and co-founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail. After, guests can enjoy conversation, music, light edibles, and if thirsty for more, authentic Hemingway cocktails from the bar, all included with ticket purchase.  Greene will be on hand to sign books, which will be available for purchase at the event.  Tickets are $50 for members, $75 for nonmembers.

Register now at or for more information contact Adele Williams, Director of Education, at 305-295-6616, x115. Your Museums.  Your Community.  It takes an Island.


KWAHS Hem 2: Key West Art & Historical Society is to host several Hemingway Days events at the Custom House Museum and other locales, beginning July 18. In this photo taken in 1953, Ernest Hemingway writes at his safari camp desk in Africa. Photo Credit: Ernest Hemingway Photographs Collection; John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston