Major Exhibition Includes Works that Explore the African-American Experience in Florida

Jules André Smith, Untitled (Street Scene Eatonville), 1940, oil on Masonite.  Collection of the Maitland Art Center, ©Maitland Art Center.
Jules André Smith, Untitled (Street Scene Eatonville), 1940, oil on Masonite. Collection of the Maitland Art Center, ©Maitland Art Center.
  • Jules André Smith, Citrus Pickers, c.  1940, oil on Masonite.  Collection of the Maitland Art Center, ©Maitland Art Center.

    Jules André Smith, Citrus Pickers, c. 1940, oil on Masonite. Collection of the Maitland Art Center, ©Maitland Art Center.

A sweeping survey of Florida-themed art, Imagining Florida: History and Myth in the Sunshine State, will offer a historic exploration with 200+ works of art that celebrate how the Sunshine State has inspired artists across three centuries. At Boca Raton Museum of Art, the exhibition is on view from Nov. 13, 2018, through March 24, 2019.

Among the wide selection of artworks in this show are loans representing the African American experience in Florida.

The artist and architect Jules André Smith, founder of the Maitland Art Center in 1937, brought numerous artists to Florida, especially the modernists. Near Orlando, the Maitland Art Center is now a National Historic Landmark. It also preserves many of Smith’s paintings and works on paper, in addition to his murals and sculptures found throughout the buildings and in the open air. 

A neighboring town to Maitland, Eatonville was one of the earliest black communities to be incorporated in the United States in 1885, founded by freed slaves in the 1860s.

Smith’s Eatonville paintings have a singular role among Florida’s imagery, and many of his paintings depict life in Eatonville. 

This stunning exhibition will be enhanced with an outstanding array of educational programs for K-12 schools, students, and adults. 

Programs include lectures, school tours, panel discussions, musical performances, film screenings, and workshops, and touch on topics such as art of the Seminoles, history, civil rights, and the African American experience in Florida. 

 

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