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Director of Marketing & Public Relations

July 25, 2013

Bok Tower's original Great Brass Door Key on display at PMoA Exhibit July 27-Oct 5


LAKE WALES, Fla. – Samuel Yellin’s original key to the iconic Singing Tower at Bok Tower Gardens, along with other art collection pieces from Pinewood Estate, are on display at Lakeland’s Polk Museum of Art (PMoA) for a new exhibition running July 27-October 5 entitled “Polk County Collects.”

The Yellin key is stamped “1928 * The Singing Tower * Samuel Yellin” and was presented to Bok Tower Gardens by Nellie Lee Bok in April 1978 so that it could be added to the Garden’s archives. It’s about 14 inches long, features the detail of a bell, and still works to lock and unlock the Great Brass Door (although the lock on the door has been modified for use with a much smaller, modern key today).

In addition to the Polk Museum of Art’s large permanent collection, and impressive collections at Bok Tower Gardens, Florida Southern College, Southeastern University and Polk State College, there are a number of private art collectors throughout the county who have amassed beautiful and important works of art. “Polk County Collects” showcases selections from some of these private collections to give audiences a glimpse into what fellow Polk County residents have collected over the years.

According to Pinewood Estate Coordinator Elyse Justice, who helped make arrangements for the Gardens to loan part of its collection to PMoA, this exhibit will help reach new audiences.

“It gives visitors throughout the region an opportunity to see, in a different light, the art of the Gardens,” Justice said. “In addition to the Yellin key, we’ve provided Harold Parish's painting of Bok Tower from Pinewood’s music room, as well as A View of the City of Baku on the Caspian Sea, the 1863 Paul von Franken painting that is normally displayed over the mantel in the loggia.”

Simultaneously, a second exhibit in conjunction with Florida Southern College will feature eight paintings and some 400 drawings by Tibor Pataky (TEE-bor PAT-a-key), an obscure but notable Hungarian-American artist who lived and worked in Central Florida during the mid-20th century.

The exhibitions will be celebrated at a reception from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, August 23, at the Museum. The evening will begin with a lecture at 6 p.m., and a reception featuring light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will follow at 7 p.m. The event is free for members and $10 for guests.

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About Bok Tower Gardens:
Voted Florida’s best garden, Bok Tower Gardens is a National Historic Landmark located 10 miles from LEGOLAND Florida, 55 miles southwest of Orlando and 60 miles east of Tampa near Lake Wales in Central Florida’s rolling hills of citrus. Open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Visitor Center, Café and Gift Shop are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Members and children under 5 are admitted free. LEGOLAND ticket holders will receive free admission for children under 12. For more information, contact Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Boulevard, Lake Wales FL 33853; 863-676-1408 or visit


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