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Behold, A New Eden: Laura Woodward and the Creation of Palm Beach

Saturday, February 10, 2018 - Sunday, May 06, 2018

February 10 – May 6, 2018
Laura Woodward (1834-1926) was Florida’s most important female artist of the 19th century, one of its greatest publicists, and integral to the development of Palm Beach County. Born in up-state New York, and very accomplished as one of the Hudson River School painters, by the late 1880s Woodward had joined others of that group for their winter sojourn at Henry Morrison Flagler’s famous Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, Florida. She tired of the landscape and ventured farther south in search of the more lush, tropical “jungles” of which she had heard intriguing reports. By 1893, she had convinced Flagler to extend his East Coast Railroad and build the Royal Poinciana Hotel which both enabled and attracted tourism to Palm Beach and all around the Lake Worth Lagoon, as it was called. This exhibition will bring together numerous of the extant oil paintings and watercolors of sites from Jupiter to Miami which Woodward used to entice Henry Flagler to look southward—to Palm Beach and Boca Raton—in search of the “New Eden” of oceanside tourism.

woodward royal poinciana wc high res

Royal Poinciana, Palm Beach, ca. 1893
Collection of Edward and Deborah Pollack

 Exhibition Host Committee

Lourdes and Jose P. Fanjul, Jr. Exhibition Chairmen
Natalie M. Alvarez
Peggy Dean
Annie and Michael Falk
Frances and Jeff Fisher
Christina and Benjamin Macfarland
Harvey E. Oyer, III
Sally and Bill Soter


Lenders and Contributors
The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens gratefully acknowledges the cooperation of the following friends and colleagues who have generously loaned artworks or contributed their expertise to ensure the success of this exhibition:

Cici and J. Hyatt Brown, Daytona Beach
Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach
David C. Swoyer, Curator, The Brown Collection
Sam and Robbie Vickers, Jacksonville
Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Palm Beach
              Erin Manning, Executive Director
              Tracy Kamerer, Chief Curator
              Rachel Bradshaw, Registrar
 Edward and Deborah Pollack, Palm Beach
 Robert and Alice Harper, Saint Augustine
 Historical Society of Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach
               Jeremy W. Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer
               Debi Murray, Chief Curator
               Nick Golubov, Research Director


“A wonderful treasure”

Photos cannot do this garden justice.

The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens is listed on the National Register of Historic Places


The Gardens Conservancy is Dedicated to Preserving the Historic Beauty of The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens

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