In a fire at an Army Navy store in Lakeland, Florida, over 100 Robert Butler paintings were destroyed. The store’s owner was an avid collector of Butler’s work, and now decades of his artwork are lost. At tampabays10.com, Kathryn Bursch reports that for 40 years, Butler traveled Florida’s highways and byways documenting nature scenes; it is his way of sharing a disappearing world with others. “‘I wanted to have them experience the beauty, the pristine beauty of Florida,’ Butler told Bursch from his Lakeland home. “The loss is literally too much to comprehend. All the brush strokes, all of the heartfelt brush strokes, all of the thoughts, you can see yourself standing in front of a canvas doing… all of that’s gone.” Butler belongs to The Highwaymen, a group of African-American painters from Florida’s east coast. Read more.
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