Terrific Twosome In Pom Beach--Henry Flagler Mixed Art With History (Not Herstory

GILDED AGE TRAPPINGS claim every available inch in The Grand Hall of the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum in Palm Beach.

A bust of Caesar Augustus atop a massive, deep-green marble table; paintings on the ceiling that depict the Oracle of Delphi offering the Greek god Apollo's message of divine inspiration through arts and literature; a 19th century rococo-style clock that still chimes on the quarter hour.

Flagler's moniker is seen everywhere streets have been given his name from South Florida to St. Augustine. A founding partner of Standard Oil Co., Flagler became one of the state's industrial pioneers. Building his Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway in the early 20th century, a line that stretched from Jacksonville to Key West by 1912, was just for starters.

He built luxury hotels along the way and turned Palm Beach into one of the world's finest winter resorts. Tourists can experience his elegant designing talents at stops like the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, housed in what was once Flagler's Spanish Renaissance-style Hotel Alcazar.

South Floridians remember well the tale of Miami's Julia Tuttle sending a branch of orange blossoms in full bloom to Henry Flagler in Palm Beach where fruit trees glistened with icicles from the most recent (rare)
cold spell. That was part one of her persuasion plan to extend his FEC RR tracks to Miami.

Just over the bridge in West Palm Beach, the Norton Museum of Art (norton.org) features an impressive collection of artworks by Picasso, Edward Hopper, Renoir, Jackson Pollack and others. Through June 9, the museum is hosting an exhibit of Annie Liebowitz portraits, ranging from actor Tom Cruise to playwright Tennessee Williams.