History of Fort Lauderdale: Speaker Series In The Gardens

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LectureBonnet House has been a fundamental part of Fort Lauderdale’s unique history since 1920. In the last century, Bonnet House and the Fort Lauderdale community have seen tremendous cultural and environmental change. As we celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2020, we want to provide the South Florida community with opportunities to learn about our fascinating history. Starting in January, Bonnet House will be hosting a monthly lecture series featuring expert historians including Susan Gillis, Cynthia Strachan, Denyse Cunningham and Patrick Scott.

Susan Gillis is a local historian and has written several books on Fort Lauderdale’s history featuring collections of old photographs and postcards, as well as information on Fort Lauderdale during the prohibition era. She will be speaking about the Fort Lauderdale Boom & Bust on Monday, January 13th, 2020.

On February 10th, 2020, historian and entertainer Cynthia Strachan and Bonnet House Curator Denyse Cunningham will give a presentation honoring Black History Month. Cynthia Strachan is a talented vocalist, songwriter, actress and author. She currently owns and maintains the first Broward County Designated Historical Site, her family home of Bowles-Strachan House, and she even operates the associated museum on site. Her lecture with our curator will highlight 100 years of Black History in Fort Lauderdale, and will surely be fascinating for all in attendance.

Our lecture series continues on March 9th, 2020 with local historian Patrick Scott as he describes ‘A Walk Through Fort Lauderdale.’ Patrick Scott was born and raised right here in Fort Lauderdale, and his Cuban grandmother moved to the community as a newlywed in 1927. He is now a lawyer, and has studied, written and lectured on local history history for nearly 30 years. His specific specialty covers early settlements in the South Florida region.

Each lecture is free for members and $5 for nonmembers and will last from 10:00am-11:30am. We hope you’ll join us for these unique opportunities to learn more about Fort Lauderdale’s unique history. If you have any questions, or would like to register in advance for any or all of these events, visit our events calendar.

Fort Lauderdale Adult Art Classes In The Gardens

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When Evelyn Bartlett occupied the Bonnet House historic estate, she made it a priority to ensure that her home was always filled with beautiful artwork and decorative elements. She saw the importance of celebrating local and international artists, and featuring their work in her home for her many guests to enjoy. Today, we continue to celebrate Evelyn’s legacy by featuring a variety of artwork throughout the museum and hosting artistic workshops for all skill levels. To kick off 2020, Bonnet House will be hosting calligraphy, watercolor, acrylic and basket weaving classes for all skill levels.

We will be starting our beginner level calligraphy workshops on January 7th. They will continue weekly on Tuesdays through February 4th from 9:30-11:30am. These courses are meant to show how the art of calligraphy, or “beautiful writing,” can be learned and enjoyed by almost anyone. For those who are a bit more advanced in skill, our intermediate calligraphy classes will begin on February 11th, and continue on Tuesdays through March 10th from 9:30-11:30am.

These hands-on learning opportunities will teach participants about the history of pen lettering, and the importance of the hand-copying of great works of antiquity, including the Bible. Our watercolor workshops will begin on Wednesday, January 8th and will be taught weekly by fine artist and watercolorist Karen Eskesen in the historic Bonnet House gardens. These sessions will be held each Wednesday from January 8th – February 12th, 2020 from 9:30am-12:30pm. Each class will include lessons about traditional techniques of realism in watercolor, as well as line drawing. If the weather permits, each class will also include time to paint in our beautiful gardens at our art tables located in shaded areas.

On January 9th, 2020 we will begin hosting our acrylic workshops with Jane Riles. These classes will explore a variety of methods to achieve personal expression with acrylic painting, and are great for students of any skill level. Each class will include time to paint in our beautiful gardens, and will teach the basic principles of acrylic painting. Classes are held weekly on Thursdays from January 9th through February 13th.

Bonnet House is also proud to announce that we will be hosting two basket weaving classes in 2020. The first will occur on Wednesday, January 29th from 10:00am-2:00pm, and the second will take place on Saturday, March 7th from 10:00am-2:00pm. These classes will give guests the opportunity to create an artistic basket from locally-found, natural materials. These days will include an introduction to basketry as well as a walk throughout the property to identify the materials used.

We hope to see you at one or several of our workshops next year! We couldn’t be more excited to offer these exciting learning opportunities for our guests. For more information on any or all of these events, visit our class list.