Robust Programming Reaffirms The Palm Beaches’ Status As A Top Global Cultural Destination

Cultural organizations throughout The Palm Beaches are offering visitors a series of exhibitions this summer that further solidify the area’s reputation as a hot spot for arts and culture. Exhibitions include art reflecting New York, ancient European, Roman and Japanese influences, along with Florida itself.

A sampling of exhibitions includes:

Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, FL

Free Admission on Founder’s Day (June 5): Every year the renowned Flagler Museum celebrates its anniversary by opening to the public free of charge in honor of the Museum’s founder and Henry Flagler’s granddaughter, Jean Flagler Matthews. Visitors may take a self-guided tour of Whitehall’s first floor, view the permanent collection of art and objects related to the Gilded Age, and climb aboard Henry Flagler’s private railcar in the Flagler Kenan Pavilion.

Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL

William Henry Fox Talbot and the Birth of Photography (Through July 15): The exhibition “William Henry Fox Talbot and the Birth of Photography” celebrates the Norton’s recent acquisition of one of Talbot’s “photogenic drawing negatives” made some time before 1845. The exhibition examines Talbot’s process, his rivalry with Parisian Jacques-Louis Mandé Daguerre (whose own “invention” of photography was celebrated by the French) and Talbot’s concerted effort to explain to a Victorian public why the invention mattered.

Unexpected Narratives: Videos by Chris Doyle and Muntean/Rosenblum (Through July 15): “Unexpected Narratives” showcases three videos from the early 2000s, featuring works by American Chris Doyle and the artist collaborative of Muntean/Rosenblum (Austrian Markus Muntean and Israeli Adi Rosenblum). Doyle’s “Hotel Bernini I” and “Hotel Bernini II” from 2004 are part of a larger series of stop-motion animation films that bring vacant hotel bedrooms to life. The 2005 video, “Disco,” by Muntean/Rosenblum is a modern-day tableau vivant that opens in a deserted discotheque that transforms into a reinterpretation of the Romantic masterpiece painting, “The Raft of the Medusa,” 1818-1819, by French artist Théodore Géricault. Together, the three works use video to create compelling narratives in unexpected places.

Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL

Nick Carone: Shadow Dance (Through July 29): Nick Carone is considered one of the founding fathers of abstract painting. He was part of an elite group of artists labeled the “Abstract Expressionists” that included Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner and Franz Kline. Much of his work is influenced by the cultures of New York City and Rome. The exhibition includes rare enigmatic sculpture heads carved from Roman fieldstone, as well as some of his most iconic paintings.

Nomadic Murals: Contemporary Tapestries And Carpets (Through October 21): This exhibition highlights the ancient art of tapestries and carpets, one of the most coveted artworks of the 14th century. Kings and nobles alike collected these works to decorate wall space, absorb sound in cavernous castles, and showcase one’s wealth and power. In fact, society deemed tapestries more valuable than paintings and sculptures. Guests can observe tapestry designs from contemporary artists such as Aziz & Cucker, Kiki Smith, Nancy Spero, William Kentridge, Fred Tomaselli and Kehinde Wiley.

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach, FL

Unexpected Smiles: Seven Types of Humor in Japanese Paintings (Through August 10): Japanese culture has always valued humor as a powerful form of artistic expression. This exhibition focuses on seven specific categories of humor that includes parody, satire, personification, wordplay, fantasy, exaggeration and playfulness through the expression of painting.

Edo-goma: Japanese Spinning Tops (Through August 10): The Edo period (1600 – 1868) was characterized by live theatrical performances that were based around spinning tops. These tops, known as “Edo-goma,” were balanced on intriguing items such as the blade of a sword or a fan as performers would simultaneously dance. Unfortunately, the novelty became so prominent the government censored purchases of these tops. Regardless, visual artists found a way to construct, buy and perform with these iconic but infamous tops. The exhibition displays work from the collection of Janell Landis.

Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, Lake Worth, FL

Educators and Artists (Through August 18): As part of the Cultural Council’s 40th anniversary, this special exhibition features work in various mediums by 40 past and present faculty of the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach. The founder of the Council, Dreyfoos made the largest-ever private contribution to a public school in Florida when he pledged $1 million to support Palm Beach County School of the Arts, which was subsequently renamed in his honor. A majority of the work on view is new, made exclusively for this exhibition, which is a testament to the dedication of the teaching artists themselves and their passion to create. Work ranges from ceramics to paintings to fabric pieces and more.

Cornell Art Museum at Old School Square, Delray Beach, FL

Flora (Through September 23): “Flora” is an exhibition dedicated entirely to the beauty of springtime, flowers and new beginnings from 30 artists around the world. Highlights include an immersive, hanging-thread garden that guests can walk through, a larger-than-life dandelion atrium and a collaborative “enchanting garden” installation that includes a variety of sculptures.


Matt Sessions / Harrison Duhr
Lou Hammond & Associates

Jennifer Sullivan
Cultural Council of Palm Beach County