On a recent trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I had the opportunity to visit Bonnet House, the Florida retreat for the Chicago artist and muralist, Frederic Clay Bartlett and his wife, Evelyn Fortune Lilly. 

Frederic Bartlett (heir to what became True Value hardware) and Evelyn Lilly (first marriage to Eli Lilly of the pharmaceutical company) were also collectors of fine art paintings.   They donated some of his own works as well as his collections to the Art Institute of Chicago in memory of Frederic’s late wife, Helen Birch.

After Frederic died, Evelyn donated the house and property in 1984 and it is now listed on the National Register for Historic Places.  You wouldn’t know that the property exists among all the hotels and high rises…an oasis along the A1A congestion.   

Visitors are allowed to only take photos of the grounds.  Here is a selection of photos I took on my visit.


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