Apr 222016
 
Image from the Key West Art & Historical Society photograph collection: Miss Carib Gold women at the Carib Gold movie opening at the Strand theater on Duval Street in Key West on September 20, 1956.  (Photograph © Don Pinder)

Image from the Key West Art & Historical Society photograph collection: Miss Carib Gold women at the Carib Gold movie opening at the Strand theater on Duval Street in Key West on September 20, 1956. (Photograph © Don Pinder)

Key West Art & Historical Society’s exhibit In Focus: Photographs from the Permanent Collection opens Friday, April 29 in the Bumpus Gallery at the Custom House Museum located at 281 Front Street, offering visitors a peek into the island’s history via a wide assortment of images curated from the Society’s collection.

The Society has been collecting photographs since its establishment in 1949 and has recently begun digitizing its 5,000 image collection to better provide them as a public resource.

“Each of the images are being cataloged, scanned, housed in archival-grade boxes and uploaded to the website where they can be appreciated by those interested in Florida Keys life and history,” says Curator Cori Convertito, PhD.

The exhibit celebrates this momentous task with with an exhibition showcasing more than 60 photographs that reveal the transformation of Civil War-era Key West to the present day, ranging from nuns, conch houses, writers, railroad bridge, military personnel, artists, lighthouses, and movie stars.

Image from the Key West Art & Historical Society photograph collection: This blimp was constructed in 1915 at the Franklin Shiphouse at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard by a visiting German contracting firm.  (Photograph © Patch Collection at Strawbery Banke Museum)

Image from the Key West Art & Historical Society photograph collection: This blimp was constructed in 1915 at the Franklin Shiphouse at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard by a visiting German contracting firm. (Photograph © Patch Collection at Strawbery Banke Museum)

“The exhibit images were selected by myself and my photograph digitization volunteer, Dana Payne,” says Convertito. “We concentrated on selecting images that have not been seen before and/or images that have an outstanding narrative associated with the photograph’s subject matter.”

Reproduction images from the exhibit and the online collection are available for a small fee provided the image of interest is not restricted by copyright. All fees fold back into the digitization project, allowing for the purchase of additional archival storage material.

Image from the Key West Art & Historical Society photograph collection: Key West Streetcar Association carriage driven by Mr. Gallagher and two horses on the streets of Key West.  The cigar industry prompted the introduction of the streetcar system, paid for by cigar factory owner, Eduardo Hidalgo Gato.  The mule powered streetcar system connected 'Gatoville' to the downtown area from 1885 to 1926 when it ceased operation. (Photograph © KWAHS)

Image from the Key West Art & Historical Society photograph collection: Key West Streetcar Association carriage driven by Mr. Gallagher and two horses on the streets of Key West. The cigar industry prompted the introduction of the streetcar system, paid for by cigar factory owner, Eduardo Hidalgo Gato. The mule powered streetcar system connected ‘Gatoville’ to the downtown area from 1885 to 1926 when it ceased operation. (Photograph © KWAHS)

In Focus: Photographs from the Permanent Collection epitomizes the Society’s mission of preserving and promoting the Florida Keys’ culture. It also demonstrates the cumulative effect of donating historic Florida Keys photos.

“Key West Art & Historical Society has such a remarkable photograph collection due, in large part, to members of the community,” says Convertito. “Wanting to preserve the images for future generations, generous individuals and families opted to donate their pictorial treasures to the Society.”

In Focus: Photographs from the Permanent Collection will open with a special reception from 5:30pm-7:00pm on April 29 and runs through July 12. If you would like to donate photographs or contribute money to the photograph preservation fund, please contact Cori Convertito, curator at cconvertitofarrar@kwahs.org or 305.295.6616 x112. Sponsored in part by Key West Marriot Beachside Hotel. Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.

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 April 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:08 am Art, Issue #163, What To Do  Add comments

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