Tennessee Williams Museum to Open in Key West

Tennessee Williams Museum to Open in Key West

A Key West exhibit memorialising iconic playwright Tennessee Williams has expanded to become the Tennessee Williams Museum and will open in the Florida Keys island city on 15th December 2017.

The museum has evolved from the popular Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit following its merger with the Key West Art & Historical Society. Located at 513 Truman Avenue in the heart of Key West, the new museum is a little over a mile from Duncan Street where Williams resided for 34 years, a site that literary fans regularly seek out to view the historic property.

After arriving in Key West in the late 1940s, Williams lived as an openly gay man with his partner Frank Merlo and had a pivotal influence on the island’s literary culture. The award-winning playwright penned classics including ‘The Glass Menagerie’, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’.

According to founder and curator Dennis Beaver, the exhibit features the largest permanent collection of Williams memorabilia currently on display to the public. Highlights include personal photographs of Williams at home with Merlo and friends, first-edition plays and books, a typewriter used by Williams when he lived in Key West, an artist-crafted model of his island home and even the original steps from the film adaptation of Williams’ play ‘The Rose Tattoo’, which was filmed in Key West.

Visitors to the new museum, which is scheduled to be open from 9.30am to 4.30pm daily, can take entertaining and informative self-guided tours as well as pre-arranged curator-led tours showcasing Williams’ history and legacy. Expanded elements include larger viewing and display areas for the extensive artefact collection.

“I am delighted that the literary legacy of Tennessee Williams, ‘outed’ as gay by the press early in his career, will flourish under the stewardship of the Key West Art & Historical Society whose goal is to keep Key West history alive and accessible to the public,” said Dennis, who also founded the annual multi-week Tennessee Williams Birthday Celebration. In 2018 the celebration runs from 28th February to 9th April and includes a short-story writing contest, film screenings and theatre productions of Williams’ work.

For bookworms keen to learn more about Key West’s literary history, the Old Town Literary Walking Tour runs each Friday and Saturday. The tour illuminates stories of writers that have called Key West home and features the former homes and favourite haunts of writers including Williams and Robert Frost. The 90-minute tours depart Fridays at 4.30pm and Saturdays at 10.00am from in front of the Monroe County Public Library at 700 Fleming Street.

Of course, literary fans visiting Key West can also stop by the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum at 907 Whitehead Street to explore the legendary writer’s residence and see some of the 40-50 cats — many of them six-toed — that live on the property.

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

More in News

Job Opportunities

Cassidy Travel to Appoint Business Development Manager

Neil SteedmanMarch 22, 2018
Royal Caribbean International’s Mariner of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International New Global Island Collection

Michael FloodMarch 22, 2018
Air France Hop!

Air France Extends Cork-Paris CDG Service to Year-Round Service

Neil SteedmanMarch 22, 2018
Irish Ferries Drayton Manor Theme Park

Irish Ferries Unveils Drayton Manor Theme Park Package

Neil SteedmanMarch 22, 2018
View of Trinidad, Cuba, taken from a Bell Tower

Lainey’s Adventures: Touring Trinidad in Cuba

Neil SteedmanMarch 22, 2018
Clubs to Hire

Clubs to Hire Founder Warns Popular Golf Destinations of Over-Pricing

Neil SteedmanMarch 22, 2018
Gibraltar Skywalk Opening

‘Luke Skywalker’ Opens Skywalk in Gibraltar

Neil SteedmanMarch 22, 2018
B737 Max 8

Air Canada Switches to Premium Economy on B737 MAX 8

Michael FloodMarch 20, 2018
Commission for Aviation Regulation

CAR Publishes Advice to Department on Package Travel Directive

Neil SteedmanMarch 20, 2018

Copyright © 2016 Belgrave Group Limited, C4 Nutgrove Office Park, Nutgrove Avenue, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, Ireland