Last year we decided to intentionally spend time visiting and getting to know St. Augustine better. It was so much fun that we decided to do it again this year!
We kicked off the first visit of the year with a trip to an art exhibit at the Visitor's Center. This exhibit was titled The First City Through the Eyes of Masters and is part of the 450th Commemoration of St. Augustine. It featured works from Florida painters of the 19th and early 20th centuries who wintered at Henry Flagler's Ponce de Leon Hotel (now Flagler College). These artists painted landmarks in St. Augustine, from the Castillo de San Marcos, to the city gates, to the slave market, to various buildings around town and would sell them to tourists, much like the galleries around town do today.
|In the Visitor's Center|
The exhibit had several of Frank Henry Shapleigh's works as well as William Staples Drown, Anthony Thieme and George Seavey and Michael's favorite, Arthur Vidal Deihl. All were part of a single collection belonging to Cici and Hyatt Brown who began collecting Florida artwork in 1997. The neat thing about this exhibit is they had photographs next to some of the paintings that show what the scene looks like presently. Check out this link for a sampling of the artwork.
|The artwork was behind those walls. Photography was NOT allowed and being the rule follower that I am, I didn't take any pictures of the artwork. Unlike SOME people! *cough*|
The exhibit also offered a walking tour where you could follow that map around town and see the current version of the historical paintings. But alas, the weather was not conducive to walking around town and gawk at buildings. However, despite the dreary weather, we did manage to walk to the Barley Republic, a pub on Spanish Street where we had a beer and a snack. The weather was much more conducive to this kind of activity!
|Mine was a Kentucky Bourbon ale. Quite tasty! Michael had a cream ale that I didn't care for.|
After that respite, we headed back to the Castillo parking lot to retrieve our car.
|Wet, wet, WET!|
|But not terribly cold, thankfully!|
|We'll be Bahk!|