Lawton M. Chiles Jr. Center for Florida History to Display Highwayman Artist Robert Butler’s “Florida Landscapes” Exhibition

The Lawton M. Chiles Jr. Center for Florida History at Florida Southern College will be the home of an exhibition by Robert Butler, accomplished artist of the Florida Highwayman School. Butler’s exhibition, “Florida Landscapes,” will be displayed in the first-floor gallery of the McKay Archives Center at Florida Southern College through the 2011-2012 academic school year.

The Lawton M. Chiles Jr. Center for Florida History will host a reception for Butler at the McKay Archives Center on September 8 at 7:00 P M. at which the artist will discuss his work. The event is free and open to the public.

Born in Baxley, Georgia, in 1943, Robert Butler moved to Okeechobee, Florida, at the age of six. At a young age Butler began a lifetime of familiarity with the woods and waters of the Florida Everglades. Self-taught, Butler honed his skills as a painter, selling his first painting in 1968. Butler eventually became associated with a group of black artists, “the Highwaymen,” who traveled Florida’s highways trying to sell their paintings of Florida Landscapes. The artist developed his own style, now known worldwide as the “Butler Style,” exemplified by a dramatically lit and romanticized portrayal of the landscape. Butler’s paintings have graced private homes and public buildings in Florida, the nation, and throughout the world. His art has brought Butler countless awards and recognitions. Robert and his wife, Dorothy, have been married forty-eight years and are the proud parents of nine children. They live in Lakeland, Florida.

“We are extremely delighted to welcome Robert Butler to our gallery here at the McKay Archives,” said James M. Denham, Director of the Lawton M. Chiles Jr. Center for Florida History. “His beautiful depictions of Florida landscapes have enriched our state and introduced the nation to Florida’s vast physical beauty.”