DELRAY BEACH — In the 1920s, Delray Beach welcomed the people who would influence its character, design, development and future. Residents came from all walks of life and from areas around the country.
Today, descendants of some of these pioneers continue to call Delray Beach home.
In a new original exhibit, The Legacies of Delray Beach Families, the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum explores the stories of four such families, each of whom contributed special talents and gifts to the city. Local artist Michiko Kurisu photographed original images of the Quince, Spells, Mitchell and Edmonds families and curated the families’ artifacts for inclusion in the show.
The public is invited to the opening reception on Friday, May 17 at 5:30 p.m. of the exhibit scheduled to run through Aug. 30 at the museum, 170 N.W. Fifth Ave. in Delray Beach. Admission is $5; free for members. For information call 561-279-8883 or visit spadymuseum.org
“While most may be familiar with the contributions of Delray Beach’s architects, government officials, artists and developers, the public may not be as informed about the African-American farmers, church-builders, police officers, barbers and teachers who were the spine of the community. These are their tales,” said Spady Museum Director Charlene Jones.
“It is with great pride and promise that the Spady Museum shares the portraits, memories and achievements of these four families in an effort to educate, inspire and recognize how much ‘every man’ of this city has given to its growth and development. Without each one, there would be no one.”
The Edmonds, the Mitchells, the Spells and the Quinces were selected for the first show, thanks to the relationships formed between Spady Museum Founder Vera Farrington and the family members. Their patriarchs and matriarchs may no longer be here, but their descendants remember stories of how they came to be in Delray Beach and how their professions helped shape the city’s personality.
“The families and their stories represent the close-knit nature and oratory that can be found in the city’s intimate neighborhoods,” said Farrington. “In other words, everyone knows a little bit about everyone else. In some cases, as with the Quinces and the Spells, they may even be related.”
Exhibit sponsors and partners include Broward Attractions and Museums Month (BAMM). As a participant in BAMM, the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum welcomes other members of 16 other Broward and South Palm Beach County cultural institutions to enjoy its summer exhibit for free during the month of June. For a list of the participating cultural institutions of BAMM, visit BAMMinfo.org. Proof of membership is required for free admission.