Collections of original paintings of Old Florida and Key Largo will be on display at the Keys History & Discovery Center in Islamorada. The exhibit features two significant collections, The Art of the Florida Highwaymen and Harry Sonntag, Key Largo’s Hermit Artist. These original paintings have never before been on display collectively.

Harry Sonntag
Harry Sonntag

The Highwaymen were a cohort of 25 African-American men and one woman who painted landscapes throughout Florida starting in the 1950s, selling the paintings for $15-30 allowing many to get out of the laborious field work. Sonntag was a nomad artist originally from New York who found his way to the Upper Keys in the late 50s, built a shack in the Mandalay Bay area and opened a studio in an vacant key lime packing house.

The exhibit runs Thursday, April 3 through Sunday, June 1, 2014, at the Discovery Center in Islamorada, MM 82, located at the Islander Resort. The exhibit is open Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission is $12. Admission for seniors is $10 and children 13-under are free. The exhibit is sponsored by the Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation, a not-for-profit organization formed to develop and operate the Florida Keys History & Discovery Center.

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