Florida Guide > Places to Visit
The Mennello Museum of Modern Art is situated in Orlando in a truly stunning location 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 and working on his canvases. He had no training at all as a painter and this probably accounts for his unique style.
His next career change came during the war when he became a chicken farmer. Rather surprisingly this was his most fertile period and a vast body of his work was painted during this time and reflect his life at this time.
When he was 56, he settled in the charming 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 a reclusive cove.
His style of work is best described as naive and his work explodes with colour and is full of 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 all the major galleries and museums all over America. These include such places as The Smithsonian and The Metropolitan Museum.
Marilyn and Michael Mennello collected his work avidly and when the museum was first mooted they generously donated their collection to the gallery. The museum has duly been named in their honour.
During the year this museum holds regular exhibitions and events. These can be the work of a particlar artist or an eventstaged by the lake. This could include crafts people demonstating 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 so check before you leave.
The Mennello Museum of American Art
900 East Princeton Street
Telephone 407 246 4278
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