Blame it on Robert |
KWAHS receives 3 grants | Lighthouse Day in
Florida | Antique Show & Sale |
Martha dePoo's exhibition
Robert the Doll moved to the Customs House |
Jean Porter and Richard Peter Matson exhibits
BLAME IT ON ROBERT -
A NIGHT OF 101 HAUNTINGS
An eerie, straw-stuffed
doll that has mystified Key Westers for a century, as well as visitors
form all around the world, will, for the brave of heart, preside over
Fantasy Fest 2006’s “Blame it on Robert - A Night of 101 Hauntings.”
The alleged powers of Robert the haunted doll will take center stage
during “A Night of 101 Hauntings,” 7:30-11 p.m., on Sunday, Oct. 22,
in the gardens of Robert’s home – Fort East Martello Gardens on South
Roosevelt Boulevard. This October marks Robert’s second century and he
is being thrown a deserving party.
A new and special
exhibit for the night of hauntings will be the unveiling of Count Von
Cossel’s beloved Elena. The ghoulish Original Ghost Tours staff will
host Tours of the fort during the mystical evening and explain the
frightening tale of the count and his fascination with Elena in both
life and death.
The Key West
Firefighter’s Local 1424, masters of smoke and heat, will spend the
day at East Martello roasting several pigs in the traditional Cuban
method, in a Chinese box.
“The pigs go on the
rack, then are covered with the metal box and then the hot coals are
placed on top,” said Union President Arnold Cabellero.
On the milder side,
Antonia’s Catering will be serving up accompanying dishes of black
beans, rice, and rum-glazed sweet plantains.
“We’ve planned a
haunting evening that will included frenzied island dancing, frozen
tropical drinks and a Fantasy Fest costume contest,” said Claudia
Pennington, CEO of the Key West Arts and Historical Society.
“This is an early
Fantasy Fest event,” Pennington said, “and locals usually take
advantage of the evening with Robert. If you have a costume, it’s a
great time to give it a test drive and celebrate with friends before
our guests from the mainland arrive.”
Key West Mayor Morgan
McPherson is slated to proclaim Oct. 22 as “Robert the Enchanted Doll
Day,” celebrating Robert’s 101 birthday.
Century 21 Prestige
Realty Group sponsors the event, and it benefits both Easter Seals
Keys Region and the Key West Arts and Historical Society, so prices
continue to be reasonable.
General admission, in
advance, is $35 and $40 at the door.
VIP tickets are $75 in
advance and $100 at the door. VIP ticket holders will be treated to a
hosted bar all evening.
Tickets are on sale on the Society’s website at:
at East Martello. For more information, call Jake Stanton at Century
21 Prestige Realty Group, 294-6637.
Doll, often remembered for more than 100-years of mischievousness, is
back at his home at the Fort East Martello Gardens just in time to
celebrate his 101 birthday at a FantasyFest fundraiser for the Easter
Seals and Key West Art and Historical Society. Recently meeting with
Robert, to plan the gala event, were Rob Porcaro, Easter Seals; Gerri
Sidoti, KWA&HS; Jake Stanton, Century 21; Claudia Pennington, KWA&HS;
Allan Lee, Century 21, and Tracy Leslie, Easter Seals. The fundraiser
is one of the first FantasyFest events and a local’s favorite.
Key West Art & Historical Society receives three
The Key West Art and
Historical Society recently received three grants totaling more than
$100,000 from the State of Florida to help continue its funding of
educational programs in the Keys and art exhibitions.
Claudia Pennington, CEO of the society, said the grants would go
toward existing educational programs and to help bring a larger
variety of art exhibitions to the Custom House gallery.
The Florida Division of Historical Resources gave two grants to the
“We were given a $44,447 grant for general program support,”
The general program grant will help support the society’s ongoing
educational programs, conservation for the society’s unique collection
of art and historical items and community events.
The second grant for $35,000 is being used for new exhibits at the Key
West Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters. The new exhibit opened on Sept.
16, Florida Lighthouse Day, and included two rooms dedicated to
children and another exhibit that features the women of Key West who
ran the lighthouse in the mid 1800s and early 1900s.
The Florida Division of
Cultural Affairs gave the society a grant for $28,728 to support its
exhibits and associated program, such as lectures.
“While we pride
ourselves on shows featuring local artists, this grant allows us to
bring in the works of artists our residents would have to travel
outside of the Keys to view,” Pennington said. “ A good example is our
November exhibition of Bill Welch’s work entitled “Here, There and
Pennington added that while the society has benefited from the three
grants, it is the residents and visitors to the Keys who will have an
opportunity to enjoy the new exhibits and educational programs.
“The grants come at a time when art and historical societies
nationally are looking for ways to operate with less,” Pennington
said. “This money will go a long way in helping us continue our
programs into 2007.”
The Key West Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters
“Lighthouse Day in Florida” with special exhibits and pricing
Jeb Bush has proclaimed Sept. 16 as official “Lighthouse Day in
Florida.” The Key West Lighthouse Museum and Keepers Quarters Museum
will celebrate the proclamation by giving a fifty-percent discount on
the $8 admission to Florida residents with identification. The museum
is located at 938 Whitehead St.
Visitors to the many exhibits at the Custom House, 281 Front St., on
Sept. 16, will receive a free pass to the Lighthouse Museum, a short
walk down Whitehead Street. Residents and visitors alike can take
advantage of this special offer and enjoy two of Key West’s most
popular historic museums.
Special activities at the Key West Lighthouse are set from 2-4 p.m. on
Sept. 16. Monroe County Mayor Charles “Sonny” McCoy will preside at
the ribbon-cutting opening of a new exhibit dedicated to Barbara
Mabrity and Mary Bethel, two women who continued as lighthouse keepers
after their husbands died.
In August of 1861, all the lighthouses along the coast of Florida were
dark expect the Key West lighthouse, under the control of Barbara
Mabrity, a quiet supporter of the Confederacy. In 1864, the
82-year-old lighthouse keeper faced accusations of Confederate
sympathies and was asked to retire. Mabrity refused and was removed
from her position.
William Bethel, a grandchild of Mabrity, was named lighthouse keeper
in 1889 and his wife, Mary, served as assistant keeper from 1891-1908,
when her husband died. She became the lighthouse keeper and remained
on the job until she retired in 1913.
more about the history of the Key West Lighthouse and these two
extraordinary women with audio tours of the property.
The children’s activity room at the lighthouse will exhibit pinhole
photography from a children’s summer class sponsored by the Key West
Art and Historical Society. The well-manicured lawns and grounds of
the lighthouse are active with summer classes for school aged children
and are available for rental for meetings and parties.
The Key West Lighthouse is 86-feet tall and was built 1894, as an
extension to the 46-foot lighthouse built in 1847. Eighty-eight iron
steps take visitors to the observation deck and a spectacular view of
Key West neighborhoods.
Also on display is the multifaceted “first-order” Fresnel lens large
enough to walk into. More than 15 oil lamps with 15-inch reflectors
were original used for illumination. Electricity came to the
lighthouse in 1927.
In 1998, the lighthouse was nominated for inclusion on the National
Register of Historic Places as a National Landmark, which puts it in
the same category as the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial
in Washington, D.C.
Support of the East Hill Foundation, Key Energy Systems, and Florida
Department of State, Division of Historical Resources helped make the
new exhibition focusing on the Mabrity and Bethel possible.
Key West Art &
Historical Society brings popular television appraiser to
Antique Show and Sale
Carolyn Remmey will be coming to Key West to participate in the Key
West Art & Historical Society’s second annual Key West Antique Show
and Sale, Feb. 23-25, at the East Martello Museum.
Remmey is president of Remmey Antiques and Fine Art Appraisers and
Consultants in the New York Metro area. She has appeared as a guest
appraiser on PBS’s popular “Antiques Roadshow” and produced her own
local N.J. cable appraisal show. She is also a contributing writer for
the Antiques Guide, Antique Trader, Arts and Antiques, 50 Plus, and
Garden State Woman.
Appraisal reservations are recommended and may be made by calling
Gerri Sidoti, 305-295-6616, ext. 12. Those wishing to have items
appraised by Remmey may bring them to the Antique Show and Sale from
10 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday, and 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. on Saturday.
A nominal fee of $20 will be charged for the appraisal and Remmey will
donate the money generated by the appraisals to the Key West Art &
Historical Society. Last year Remmey appraised jewelry, stamps, coins,
paintings, prints, porcelain, glass, furniture, and textiles during
the three-day show.
Those attending the Key West Antique Show and Sale’s special early
preview buying reception, 6-9 p.m. on Thursday Feb. 23, will be the
first to view and have the opportunity to buy antiques from the more
than 30 dealers from around the United States. Last year more than
2,000 people viewed the three-day show.
Tickets for the preview are $75 in advance and $100 at the door.
Ticket prices include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and entertainment.
Friday, Feb. 24, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m.-5
p.m., tickets are $6.
The Key West Arts & Historical Society is a 501 © nonprofit
organization dedicated to preserving, presenting, and ensuring the
future of art and history of the Florida Keys. The society manages
Fort East Martello Museum and Gardens, the Key West Lighthouse and
Keeper’s Quarters Museum, and the Key West Museum of Art and History
at the Custom House.
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The Key West Art & Historical Society
will host an exhibition of Key West Artist Martha dePoo’s watercolors,
Jan 12 – April 1
“Traditions Key West and Stock Island” features many of the
artist’s watercolors reflecting the two islands and captures the
unique and fast disappearing flavor of Old Key West and the
The grand opening is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 12, at
the Custom House, 281 Front St.
Martha dePoo has been a self-employed, award-winning artist for more
than 20 years and has twice received first place in the Florida
Watercolor Society’s annual show.
Artist Suzie dePoo, Martha’s mother, taught her daughter to love art.
Martha considers herself a lifelong student of art. She has studied
fine art locally with Malcolm Ross and Sanford Birdsey and attended
workshops with Charles Sovek, Frank Webb Jeanne Dobie, and Tom Lynch.
For more information on Martha dePoo, go to
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Robert the Doll Moved to Custom House
Robert the Doll, known for 100 years of mischievous antics around
the island of Key West, has been temporarily relocated from the East
Martello Museum to the Custom House.
Museum Director Claudia Pennington and Museum Curator Norman Aberle
moved Robert the Doll, often considered to be a haunted sprit, to
avoid any impish pranks Robert is known for during the Key West Art
and Historical Society’s second annul Key West Antique Show and Sale.
The three-day Antique Show and Sale will be held at the East
Martello Museum on Feb. 23-25. The show features 30 antique dealers
from Florida to Maine and special guest Carolyn Remmey, an appraiser
on a popular TV show on antiques. Remmey, author of many popular books
and articles on antiques, will be appraising antiques for a nominal
cost and will donate the fee back to the society.
Pennington and Aberle feared that Robert the Doll would begin his
paranormal folly during the society’s preview party on Feb. 23, 6-9
p.m. To keep Robert the Doll from disturbing partygoers during
cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and possible tinker with the band,
museum staff decided to move him.
“We never know what to expect from Robert the Doll,” Pennington
said. “He will return to the fort after the antique show.”
For more information, go to
call 295-6616, ext. 16.
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Porter and Richard Peter Matson exhibits open Nov. 3 at the Custom
Due to the arrival of Hurricane Wilma, Key West artists Jean
Porter’s and Richard Peter Matson’s artwork exhibition at the Custom
House has been rescheduled. Both artists show unique visions of Key
West in their works. The Key West Art and Historical Society will host
the rescheduled grand opening reception for the two shows at 5:30
p.m., on Nov.3.
“Seascapes and Abstracts.”
Artist Jean Porter, who died in April 2004, traveled the world and
her art of large seascapes and abstracts, as well as ceramics and
jewelry, reflects her exceptional life. Porter attended Stetson
University in Florida, the University of California at Berkley and the
College of Arts and Crafts in California.
In 1982, Porter returned to Key West and became active in the
island’s civic life, and continued her artistic pursuits. She held
many lofty cultural ideals and believed that artistic expression
should serve a higher purpose. Porter had the old-fashioned notion
that art could be more than a means of personal gratification; it
should serve the greater good.
Porter believed that art, opportunity, and freedom of expression,
in all its forms, are essential to a rich and meaningful life and the
health of society as a whole.
This offering of Porter’s art is made in that spirit of celebration
and service she so valued. The rich artistic sense she possessed, her
open and curious spirit shine through the selections of her artwork
included in the show
Much of Porter’s time and energy in her later years were devoted to
fostering Key West’s rich historical and cultural heritage. These
efforts culminated in 1992 in her founding of the Heritage House
Museum in her former family home at 410 Caroline St.
Sales of Porter’s artwork will benefit the non-profit Heritage
House Museum, as a way for her life and art to serve a greater good
and to help promote the life and culture of Key West, her home and
island she loved. The mission of the museum is to continue Porter’s
efforts to celebrate Key West’s fascinating history and, by presenting
the past, to educate and help preserve Key West as a cultural and
Porter was the driving force behind the annual Robert Front Poetry
Festival and the festival has grown in popularity since its first
event in 1994. Also an avid writer, her book “Key West: Conch Smiles”
contains many interesting tails of the Key West of her youth.
Intermingled with Porter’s art will be quotes from her writing.
“A town or a city must know and preserve it’s past so that it can
understand its present and visualize its future.”
Richard Peter Matson
“Key West: Elements of Paradise, The Sea, The Sky and the City” is a
new show of some of Richard Peter Matson’s best work.
Considered one of Key West’s most prominent and prodigious artists,
Richard Peter Matson has been capturing the intense tropical light,
brilliant colors and mysterious shadows of Key West since his arrival
here in 1975.
The Brooklyn native attended private schools on Long Island and
later attended The Cooper Union Art School in New York City and the
Yale University School of Art. After a successful career in
advertising and design, he moved to Key West and had his first show at
the prestigious Gingerbread Square Gallery two years later.
Guided by his meticulous precision, Matson draws the viewers of his
work beyond their obvious representations. A subtle play between the
literal and the unknown behind it, invites us to glimpse beyond the
decorative doors, ornamental gingerbread, palm trees and the blazing
bougainvillea to the real, quintessential Key West.
Original training in classical oil techniques lent itself to
acrylics, and his work shows the engaging effect of thin transparent
glazes of color over color. The NY Times has written: “His fascination
with the brilliant tropical sunlight, its interplay with the local
flora, has led to an extraordinary handling of paint, color and
imagery. The Key West Citizen has said: “To look at a Matson is to see
a canvas awash in color…it breathes vitality and celebrates life. His
view of Nature is a lush green cathedral.” The Miami Herald has
proclaimed him “…the artist that paints with colors that ‘snap’.”
Matson’s work has garnered many awards too numerous to mention, and
one of his paintings was given the honor of appearing on the Conch
Republic Phone Book. More recently, two of his works depicting Key
West homes were chosen for the permanent collection of the American
Ambassador to Serbia, in Belgrade, through the ART in Embassies
Program. In the words of the Ambassador, Michael Polt, “Richard Peter
Matson’s two Key West houses are personally evocative for us. Their
tropical warmth and unique architectural character make us relive our
frequent visits to Florida.”
Recently, the State Department requested two more of his works for
the music room of the US Embassy in Madrid.
This successful artist makes his home in a charming white Bahamian
style house in the peaceful Key West area of The Meadows, and
continues to practice his art every single day.
For more information, contact The Custom House at 295-6616, ext 12.