of American Folk Art
900 East Princeton Street, Orlando 32803
Admission: Adults $4, seniors (60+) $3, students $1, children under 12 free.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday noon to 4:30 p.m.
Location: In Loch Haven Park, near I-4 Exit 85
Art collectors Marilyn and Michael Mennello fell in love with the work of “naïve” artist Earl Cunningham and purchased virtually his entire life’s output. The City of Orlando, meanwhile, had been collecting Florida and southern folk art as part of its Public Art Collection. Now these two visionary endeavors have been brought together in a small gem of a museum located in a renovated private residence overlooking picturesque Lake Formosa in Loch Haven Park.
Cunningham was a Maine sea captain who gradually worked his way south, all the while painting imaginative and idealized coastal landscapes with a Caribbean sense of color. His works form the backbone of the Mennello Museum’s collection. They are displayed using a clever halogen lighting system, designed by the museum’s director, that heightens the colors in the paintings to almost neon intensity. Other rooms in the museum showcase items from the Orlando city collection and traveling exhibits of other folk artists.
Nearby: Leu Gardens, Orlando Fire Museum, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando Rep, Orlando Science Center, Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival.
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