Key West Museum of Art & History, Key West

Key West Museum of Art & History, Key West

The Key West Museum of Art & History, also known as the Custom House Museum, is an important part of Key West's historical scene and serves as a reminder of the city's rich architectural and cultural heritage.

The presented here exhibits include everything, from maritime artifacts to fine art, as well as items related to shipwreck salvaging, cigar manufacturing, and the island's famous literary personalities, such as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Frost, plus the works by long-ago local artists with many talents and backgrounds.

The building itself is also an important artifact and serves as an excellent example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture, much popular in the late 19th century. It was constructed in 1891 to a design by William Alfred Freret who used for its construction red bricks brought from New York, iron from Pennsylvania, and workers from all over the United States.

Over the years, the building has served various functions, including a courthouse and customhouse (responsible for collecting import duties and enforcing maritime laws), until 1932, and then as a post office, until 1972. In the late 1970s, it was slated for demolition, but a group of concerned citizens formed the Key West Art & Historical Society and worked to save the building and turn it into a museum. The latter officially opened to the public in 1991.

On off-weather days, this museum is a great place to visit for the terrific artwork on display, as well as for the wonderful educational boards and artifacts to delight both history buffs and a more general audience. An affordable, comprehensive, and air-conditioned experience.

Be sure to make time for the gift shop – a gold mine of top-quality items at reasonable prices; not exactly what one would expect in a beach town. Books by local authors, art, fun decor pieces, jewelry... So many pretty things!

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9:30am–4:30pm

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Key West. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Key West Museum of Art & History on Map

Sight Name: Key West Museum of Art & History
Sight Location: Key West, USA (See walking tours in Key West)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Key West, Florida

Create Your Own Walk in Key West

Create Your Own Walk in Key West

Creating your own self-guided walk in Key West is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Key West Introduction Walking Tour

Key West Introduction Walking Tour

For the historically curious as well as for party-goers or laid-back drifters, Key West is a small paradise at the end of U.S. Route 1, on the southernmost tip of the continental United States, in the Florida Keys archipelago. The installed here Southernmost Point landmark reminds of this fact and is a popular spot for photos and selfies.

Key West is blessed with beautiful nature, indeed. Here,...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Key West Bar Hopping

Key West Bar Hopping

Key West, Florida is often referred to as "an amusement park for adults fueled with alcohol" and is widely renowned for its diverse and vibrant bar scene. Blessed with a tropical climate and stunning ocean views, the city enjoys a relaxed, anything-goes attitude which after dusk transforms into lively nightlife centered around the many watering holes and clubs lining the streets of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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