Through the Lens of Clyde Butcher

Through the Lens of Clyde Butcher


On February 2, 2019, a new exhibit opened at the Appleton Museum of Art. The Appleton Museum hosted the debut opening of a new traveling museum exhibit. It features the work of famous wilderness photographer and conservationist, Clyde Butcher.

The exhibit, America’s Everglades: Through the Lens of Clyde Butcher, features black and white photography of the Everglades.

It takes up three rooms at the Appleton. There is also a space that shows a nine-minute video of Butcher talking about the exhibit, his photography, and the environment in which he captures his photos.

Some of the featured photographs date back three decades ago. The photos in the exhibit are all large format black and white photos that showcase the beauty of the Everglades.

Maureen Peterson, a guest at the exhibit, thought that the fact that the photos were in black and white added a lot to the overall viewing experience.

“I love the drama of them and the black and white. It makes you look at them differently when they’re black and white,” said Peterson.

The photographs are of an array of different subjects in the Everglades. They range from cypress swamps to rare species to alligators to coastal estuaries to the oldest mahogany tree in Florida. Each picture is unique and complex in their own way.

With each picture is accompanied by a description. The descriptions all vary. Some focus on how Butcher shot the photo and how long it took for him to capture the image. Other descriptions focus more on the story behind the photos.

Another guest, who would like to remain anonymous, said that the descriptions of each piece from the perspective of Butcher were their favorite part.

“Reading the description before viewing each piece gives it more dimension,” the guest said.

Another guest by the name of Dorothy also loved the descriptions.

Dorothy and her sister moved to Ocala seven months ago and had never heard of Butcher before. She heard about the exhibit opening in the newspaper and decided to go and check it out.

Her father was a photographer and she used to help him develop photos. From doing this she knew a lot of the work that went into each photo that was on display.

“I love reading his words about what he has taken the time to photograph,” said Dorothy.

To promote the opening of the exhibit, there was a very special guest of honor.

Clyde Butcher himself was in the auditorium of the Appleton. Guests were able to purchase his photography books and get them signed by Butcher.

Some guests had no idea he would be there and were shocked by quite the happy surprise.

“I just didn’t expect it. I came to see his exhibit and found out he was here. It was very nice,” said Peterson.

The exhibit is open now until May 26th at the Appleton Museum of Art.

They are open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 A.M-5 P.M, and Sunday, 12 P.M.-5 P.M with being closed on Mondays.

You can check out all the other events the Appleton Museum has to offer by going on their website, stop by the museum located at 4333 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala, FL 34470 or give them a call at (352) 291-4455.

Story & photos by: Taylor Roberts