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Garden 336, A. E. Backus

Posted By Fernandina Mendez, Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fernandina Mendez


Artistic Expression

Garden 336, A. E. Backus (1906-1990)

Nationally- known Floridian Artist, Albert E. Backus accomplished great works throughout his lifetime. Born in Fort Pierce, Fl in 1906 nicknamed “Bean” , Backus grew up to be a self- taught landscape artist. Backus studied at the Parsons School for Applied Art in New York and began his career as a theatrical poster painter during the Depression. He held his first art exhibition in 1931 in his home county, then five years later participated in another exhibition in Palm Beach county.

Backus finally received national recognition in 1939 after winning the national art exhibition sponsored by IBM in association with Golden Gate Exposition. Backus painted Floridian landscape along with paintings of the Everglades, most of which included tropical and native flowers, palm trees and beaches. When he finally decided to travel to Miami for an art exhibition Miamians fell in love with his work becoming an immediate success. 

Unfortunately after the passing of his wife just a few years after marriage, Backus turned to drinking. His friends encouraged him to travel and it was then when Backus visited Jamaica and painted even more, later on opening a studio. Once returning to Ft. Pierce his work was high in demand and he kept on painting until his death in 1991 with poor eye sight and the effects of drinking. 

Backus continues to be a legacy with work displayed in the A. E. Backus Museum and Gallery located in his hometown.

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