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Seminole postcards highlight Collier County Museum exhibition

Photo courtesy Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum An exhibit with postcards featuring Native American life in Florida is at the Collier County Museum until April 18.

NAPLES — Picture postcards have been around since the 1880s. The first one depicted the Eiffel Tower and others that followed showed scenes from tourist locations around the globe. Their popularity hit a high mark during their heyday in the first decades of the 20th century.

“Postcards and Perceptions: Florida Seminoles and Tourism,” an exhibition at the Collier County Museum in Naples through April 18, showcases postcards that document early 20th century Seminole life.

The show is one of the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum’s traveling exhibits and features pop up banners about the history, crafts and significance of tourism in the first half of the century. Selections from the Collier County Museum’s postcard and patchwork collection are also on display.

The images reveal the Seminole Tribe’s evolution through the years as it strived to maintain its distinct culture and identity while relying on the tourism trade for survival. Some of the images depict Seminoles wrestling alligators, sewing patchwork and posing with tourists.

Collier County Museum director Amanda Townsend will present a program at the museum about the history and importance of the postcards on Feb. 8 at 3 p.m. The program will explore how the
postcards reflected the social values of the times and defined the image of Florida for tourists. Seating is limited, so reservations are suggested. Call Curator of Education Joy Murphy at 239-252-8242 to reserve a seat.

The Collier County Museum is located at 3331 Tamiami Trail East in Naples. For more information, visit or call 239-252-8476.



Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at