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“Eatonville on a Beautiful (Sunny and Peaceful) Sunday Afternoon”

Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts
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Owner description: Named after the celebrated writer and anthropologist, Zora Neale Hurston, this museum features old photos of the town of Eatonville.
Reviewed 3 August 2015

The first time that I visited Eatonville. I was in Florida to conduct Hurston-related research in Gainesville, Florida, and, having flown into Orlando, I felt compelled to make the pilgrimage the nearby town that meant so much to Zora. Having read and taught Zora Neale Hurston's books for more than 20 years--and read and head so much about Eatonville's history as one of the first all-Black towns to be incorporated in America, I found that It was just as I thought it would be: small, clean, quiet, and historically linked to the life and legacy of of the brilliant writer who spent part of her childhood there.

Because I arrived late in the early evening on a Sunday, I missed the congregants who worshiped at the churches on Kennedy Boulevard, and both the Zora Neale Hurston branch of the public library and the Hurston Museum were closed. During most of the visit, I was the only person on the street, and, in my solitude, I enjoyed taking photos of everything around me. After the photo shoot, I drove up the road a piece, and had dinner in Winter Park, Florida. Like many small towns, Eatonville is quite charming. I didn't encounter the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan museum community, but that was not the reason for my visit. I found what I was looking for, and I was not disappointed.

My only regret is that I was not able to meet the Hurston Museum's staff members, since they were so polite when I spoke with them by telephone before my visit. No worries, however, since I am planning a return visit -- during their normal, weekday business hours -- in October of 2015.

PLEASE NOTE:
I visited Eatonville in June of 2013. I selected "June 2015" from the menu for this review, because I had to choose a date before moving on to the next section of this page, and I wanted readers to know that I visited during the off season, since the big Zora! festival is in January of each year.

2  Thank Regennia2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 8 of 9 reviews

Reviewed 13 April 2015

The museum is modest but the exhibit thought-provoking and original. Take the self-guided walking tour of this historic town, you will definitely gain a perspective that is unusual and interesting. Admission is free (donation requested).

5  Thank city-hiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2015

I have no idea why or how this got the name "national museum of fine arts" when there's no art. I visited the museum because I was in town for the Zora Neale Hurston Festival. I walked in and out in 60 seconds. The gallery space was slightly large than your average two car garage. The "art" on display was weird. Someone took a target that you would use at a gun range and painted or copied someone's face it. Museum staff weren't engaging at all; they didn't bother to welcome us or talk about the "artist" on display. The whole thing was just bazaar.

6  Thank FSU2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

It's not a museum about Zora but a gallery of art works. When we visited, it was showing beautiful posters for past Zora Hurston's festivals. It's also the office organizing the ZNH's yearly festival and the have all the information about it, as well as detailed info about the town and Zora's life. Very friendly and informative.

7  Thank DemainDeslAube
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 September 2012

The Eatonville Zora Neale Hurston experience can be a good one if you have background knowledge of Zora's early days prior to her many moves when she lived briefly in Eatonville. Seeing the town of Eatonville itself is a wonderful experience as it is one of the first all African American towns to be independently governed. Eatonville is in the process of alot of growth concerning their connections to Zora Neale Hurston, but I feel the town and museum is worth a quick stop. The primary place to be for Zora lovers would be a drive to Ft. Pierce, where Zora lived her final days. You can see her last home, the school she taught English at and her grave that was left unmarked due to her impoverished final days until famous author Alice Walker paid for a headstone. There are people there at a local restaurant that actually had Zora as their teacher. I will review the restaurant and reveal its location in another review.

16  Thank CULITEACH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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