April 24, 2019 – (Key West, FL).  Peek into the past at Key West Art & Historical Society’s upcoming vintage postcards exhibit at Custom House Museum

Tourists have been visiting Key West and the Florida Keys since the mid-1800s, and Key West Art & Historical Society has an extensive postcard collection which documents it.  On Friday, May 10, from 6:00pm – 7:00pm in the Bumpus Gallery at the Custom House Museum, a new exhibit titled “Wish You Were Here: Postcards From Paradise” will showcase more than 130years’ worth of vintage images taken from Key West Art & Historical Society’s archives, a repository that contains over 2,000 collected and digitized postcards.

The exhibit will feature aesthetically engaging cards in original, reproduction, and enlarged formats as well as information on the many facets of postcard collecting and their influence on social, economic, and architectural history.

“Postcards are like windows into the past, windows that convey glimpses of particular places, times, emotions, and sentiments,” says Society Curator Cori Convertito, Ph.D. “Postcards representing geographic locations, such as the Florida Keys, served as modestly-priced, mass-produced means of communication, and were particularly prominent during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”

While each card’s written and pictorial content is different, each is a portal to the cultural and social values of the time in which they were written and sent.

“They are an exceptional source of social history because they reveal what was popular or seen as important in the region where the postcard was sold,” says Convertito. “They can, in an ancestral sense, be thought of as the predecessor of today’s social media sites such as Instagram – a filtered/enhanced image alongside personal sentiments.”

“Wish You Were Here: Postcards from Paradise”will run through August 11. For more information call Cori Convertito, Ph.D., at 305-295-6616 x112, or email her at cconvertitofarrar@kwahs.org, or visit kwahs.org.  Your Museums.  Your Community.  It Takes an Island. 

IMAGE: 

The Key West Art & Historical Society exhibit “Wish You Were Here: Postcards from Paradise,” which showcases some of its 2000-plus vintage ephemeral cards from its archives, kicks off at the Custom House Museum on Friday, May 10, with an opening reception from 6:00-7:00pm, and runs through August 11, 2019.