WQCS Header Background Image
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

FINE PRINT - A Special Exhibition at the Backus Museum in Fort Pierce - March 3 through April 30

A.E. Backus (1906-1990). Casual Worker - Nassau, c. 1950. Oil on canvas, 24 x 20 in. Collection of A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery, 2001.B.2.OC.6..jpg
Backus Museum Fort Pierce
Casual Worker - Nassau, c. 1950. Oil on canvas.

Fort Pierce - Thursday March 2, 2023: Rediscover the Backus Portfolio on Paper and Canvas at the Backus Museum in Fort Pierce.

'FINE PRINT' is a special exhibit that focuses on a very prominent limited-edition print portfolio titled “Florida and the West Indies – Sketches by A.E. Backus.” It will be on view from March 3 through April 30.

The exhibit provides a unique view of A.E. Backus’s work. What makes it so special is that the original sketches have been paired with paintings from public and private collections that connect with the portfolio images.

'FINE PRINT revisits the prized limited-edition print portfolio “Florida and the West Indies – Sketches by A.E. Backus” on the 50th anniversary of its publication.

“Fifty years ago, there were originally 999 portfolio sets that were offered for $20 as an early fundraiser for the forerunner of today’s Backus Museum,” explains J. Marshall Adams, Executive Director. “Because the portfolio’s images were loose, people separated them over the years to frame individually or give as gifts. Today many people love the prints, routinely mistaking them for original sketches because of their high-quality production. But the memory of the original portfolio has dimmed a bit. It felt like it was time to bring them together once more and discover new and forgotten insights into the artist’s extraordinary and beloved work.”

These exceptional images were drawn from and inspired by the artist’s travels over nearly twenty years and gathered in 1972 as a high-quality portfolio. This assembly reveals Backus’ deep connection to the places and people he encountered. 16 of the original drawings are part of the Museum’s permanent collection, and are presented together for the first time since the limited-edition folio was published.

These singular drawings from the Backus Portfolio are displayed in conversation with colorful, rarely seen oil paintings that showcase the artist’s inspiration and creative process. The 40 works in the exhibition are grouped into the geographical subject categories of the original portfolio, with contextual information provided for each. Those categories include Florida; the Everglades; the Bahamas; Hispaniola, Haiti and the Dominican Republic; and Jamaica. The collection of drawings and paintings breathe new life into the classic 18 prints known and cherished for generations.

A.E. Backus (1906-1990). Street in Cap-Hatien, Haiti, c.1952. Oil on canvas, 25 x 30 in. Private Collection..jpg
Backus Museum Fort Pierce
Street in Cap-Hatien, Haiti, c.1952. Oil on canvas
A.E. Backus (1906-1990). Rue des Religieus, Cap Haitian Haiti, 1956. Print on paper, 11 x 14 in. Backus Print Portfolio, 1972..jpg
The Backus Museum Fort Pierce
Cap Haitian Haiti, 1956. Print on paper.

The Members Opening Reception for FINE PRINT: Rediscovering the Backus Portfolio on Paper and Canvas is scheduled for Friday, March 17 from 6:00-8:00 pm, free of charge to Museum Members, not-yet members $20 (or join at the door and enjoy free access to all exhibitions and receptions for the year).

The A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery is a community-based, 501(c)3 not-for-profit arts institution that relies on your support. Contributions during these challenging times will lessen the financial impact on the Museum, and can be made securely online at www.BackusMuseum.org/donate. Gifts can also be made as an ongoing monthly donation, as a way to extend contributions and provide steady support through uncertainties. For more information, please visit www.BackusMuseum.org.

The A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery is located at 500 North Indian River Drive in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce.

The Museum houses the nation’s largest public presentation of artwork by Florida’s preeminent painter, A.E. “Bean” Backus (1906-1990), and is home to the state’s only permanent multimedia exhibition on the Florida Highwaymen.

The Backus Museum was recognized as the 2022 Best of the Best Community Choice Award for Best Art Gallery; and the 2021 Best Tourist Attraction – 2018 Best Museum / Best of the Treasure Coast by the readers of Indian River Magazine.