“The Artists of Old Florida is the indispensable resource. It is the cornerstone of Florida Art History.”
The list of major American artists who have lived and worked in Florida is long indeed from Windslow Homer to Robert Rauschenberg, yet few are ever thought of as Florida artists, and the state’s own homegrown artists have drawn little attention from scholars of American art, in spite of Florida’s historic and still-evolving impact on the nation’s style and self-image.
The art history of Florida is today one of the least well understood topics of real importance to American art. For artists, dealers, collectors, and historians of Florida art, Fred Frankel’s The Artists of Old Florida is the indispensable resource. It is the cornerstone of Florida art history. It lays a historical foundation that painstakingly gathers from the existing primary and archival sources the names, dates, details of the artistic activities in Florida of artists both of the greatest national fame and of others, often equally fascinating, whose names may be remembered today only in Frankel’s study, including pioneering women and minority artists.
The Artists of Old Florida is a labor of love, a remarkable achievement, and a gift to future scholars and historians. It is the most useful and necessary kind of scholarly book: one that makes it possible for others to take up and advance the study of Florida art history.
P. Scott Brown, Ph.D.
Professor of Art History
Department of Art, Art History & Design
University of North Florida