On January 19, 2019, the new Edison’s Jungle invitational art exhibit opened in the historic Edison Caretakers House. Artists from the region were asked to interpret the Edison and Ford families’ love of the natural environment of Florida. Thomas Edison called his lush estate here in Fort Myers his “jungle” because of the diversity of plant life that thrived. Henry Ford was an avid bird watcher and enjoyed camping, boating and fishing throughout his life. Both Edison and Ford loved the rich and varied flora and fauna that grew around them at their homes along the Caloosahatchee River. This river, part of the Everglades watershed, is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, home to unique orchids, trees, and bromeliads.
The exhibit may surprise visitors, as it focuses not on Edison and Ford directly, but on what drew them, and so many others, to southwest Florida — the natural environment. “This was a fun exhibit to organize since it is not focused on the famous men — in fact, the artists were asked not to include the likeness of Edison or Ford,” says Chief Curator, Brent Newman.
Edison’s Jungle features 30 award-winning artists from throughout the southeastern United States. A wide variety of mediums are represented, including oil paint, water color, photography, and sculpture. Admission to this exhibit is included with admission to the site, and always free for members — come explore the “Jungle” before it closes on May 19, 2019!