Florida Guide > Other Activities
The Mennello Museum of Modern Art
The Mennello Museum of Modern Art is situated in Orlando in a stunning location right on a lake in Lock Haven Park.
THe cornerstone of this museum is works by Earl Cunningham. Earl was born in 1893 in Booth Bay Harbour. At the pitifully age of 13 Earl left home and lived his life for a while as a tinker.
Later he became a sailor all the time painting his canvases. He had no training at all as a painter and this probably accounts for his unique extravagent style.
His next career change came during the war when he became a chicken farmer. He supplied the military with chickens for the troops. Rather surprisingly this was his most fertile period and a vast body of his work was painted during this time.
When he was 56, he settled in the charming historic old town of St Augustine and opened a shop. How he coped as a shopkeeper is hard to imagine as it is well reported that he was reclusive.
His style of work is best described as naive and his paintings explode with colour and life. Among the places he painted were Florida, New York, Maine, Georgia and Nova Scotia.
Earl died in 1977 at the age of 84 and like many artists it was not til after his death that his work became truly recognised. Today his work is represented in the major galleries and museums all over America. THese include The Smithsonian and The Metropolitan Museum which are prestigious places where most artist only aspire to be represented in.
Marilyn and Michael Mennello collected his work and when the museum was mooted they generously donated their collection to the gallery. The museum has duly been named in their honour. We are in debt to such people who generously give their collections so they may be enjoyed by us all.
During the year this museum holds regular exhibitions and events. These can be the work of a particlar artist or an event by the lake that includes crafts people demonstrating their skills, folk music and dancing.
Admission is a modest $4 per adult with concessions for O. A. P. s at $4 while children are free of charge.
The museum is open from 10. 30 a. m monday to saturday and from 12 noon to 4. 30 on sundays. On all major holidays it is closed
The Mennello Museum of American Art
900 East Princeton Street
Telephone 407 246 4278
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