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SEWARD JOHNSON’S ’ICONS‘ SHOWCASED AT KEY WEST MUSEUM OF ART & HISTORY

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Visitors to the Key West Museum of Art & History at the Custom House, 281 Front St., can interact with life-size and larger sculptures depicting some of America’s iconic moments in art, film and history. The museum is exhibiting selections from the “Icons” series by contemporary master J. Seward Johnson.

Highlights include two pieces far larger than life. Johnson’s 25-foot-tall “God Bless America,” paying homage to painter Grant Wood’s “American Gothic,” is to stand in front of the museum inviting visitors inside. The sculpture garden behind the Custom House is to feature Johnson’s multifigure “Daydream,” inspired by “The Dance” by Henri Matisse.

Inside the museum, visitors can interact with pieces including “Forever Marilyn,” a sculptural interpretation of the famous photograph of Marilyn Monroe in a white dress with a flirtatiously blowing skirt.

A part-time Key West resident, the internationally acclaimed Johnson is best known for his life-size cast bronzes of ordinary people engaged in day-to-day activities. His work can be seen in public settings throughout the world and at Grounds for Sculpture, a 35-acre public sculpture garden and museum he established in New Jersey to feature the work of leading American and international sculptors.

The Custom House debut of “Icons” follows the museum’s popular exhibition of Johnson’s “Beyond the Frame,” sculptural depictions of 19th-century impressionistic paintings designed so viewers can actually step into the scenes.

Johnson’s “Icons” exhibition is to remain on display through June 2008.

The Key West Museum of Art & History is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 per person for adults, $5 for children and students, $9 for seniors age 62-plus and AAA travelers, and free for children under age 6.

For more information about the Key West Museum of Art & History exhibition, call (305) 295-6616 or visit www.kwahs.com.

For lodging information in Key West, contact the Key West Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-LAST-KEY (800-527-8539) or explore this Web site.

"God Bless America," a 25-foot-tall sculpture by J. Seward Johnson, was installed outside the Key West Museum of Art & History at the Custom House. The massive sculpture is a highlight of Johnson's "Icons," which opened Jan. 20 at the museum depicting some of America's iconic moments in art, film and history.

"God Bless America," a 25-foot-tall sculpture by J. Seward Johnson, was installed outside the Key West Museum of Art & History at the Custom House. The massive sculpture is a highlight of Johnson's "Icons," which opened Jan. 20 at the museum depicting some of America's iconic moments in art, film and history.

Doug Roberts of Mercerville, N.J., maneuvers the head of the male figure into place during the installation of "God Bless America."

Doug Roberts of Mercerville, N.J., maneuvers the head of the male figure into place during the installation of "God Bless America."

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