Works of “Key West Citizen” Photographer Don Pinder Next Exhibition Featured at the Key West Museum of Art & History
June 27, 2023 – (KEY WEST, FL). The Key West Art & Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of its forthcoming exhibition “Don Pinder: Eyes on the Island”. This is the first exhibition devoted exclusively to the work created by “Key West Citizen” photographer Don Pinder during his long career in Key West—including many works never before published or shown. More than 50 black-and-white and color photographs will be displayed taken on assignments documenting Key West history and culture for the newspaper. The Society welcomes the public to a special reception on July 14 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Key West Museum of Art & History, 281 Front Street, to mark the exhibit opening.
Born and raised during the Great Depression in a house on Petronia Street, Don Pinder joined the U.S. Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Suffering from a dislocated shoulder, he returned to Key West on the advice of Navy medical staff, only to quickly join the Marine Corps. It was during this latter service that he trained as an aerial photographer, capturing compelling images over Okinawa and Borneo during World War II. This experience led to a job at “The Miami Herald” shortly after the war’s end, but his hometown beckoned. In 1953, he took a position with the “Key West Citizen” as its staff photographer—a job he proudly held for 35 years.
Key West provided Pinder with a profusion of photograph opportunities—from notable celebrities to the destitute vagabonds—all skillfully captured with his camera. During his long career he recorded U.S. Presidents Harry S Truman and John F. Kennedy, British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan, theater director Philip Burton, and American playwright Tennessee Williams. He covered business openings, sports matches, military events, the bi-annual Island Roots Festival, shrimp industry workers, film premiers, and Bahama Village church choirs.
“Eyes on the Island tells Key West’s history on an intimate scale, highlighting stories we may have otherwise missed or people and places that we have forgotten. The exhibition allows us to reflect on over three decades of history told through the eyes of Don,” says Dr. Cori Convertito, curator and historian for the Key West Museum of Art & History. “His photographs are essential records of an island that has had an enormous influence on South Florida culture. His images provide an insider’s view of the community—its business owners, political activists, and creatives, as well as its mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters.”
“Don Pinder: Eyes on the Islands” runs until November 5, 2023, in the Bryan Gallery and is sponsored by the Florida Department of State, Division of Arts & Culture, with additional support provided by The Helmerich Trust. For more information, call Cori Convertito at 305-295-6616 x 507 or email@example.com. Your Museums. Your Community. It Takes an Island.
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