TARPON SPRINGS — Visitors to the art exhibit opening today at the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center will see images of familiar things: shrimp boats, a sponge diver and a portrait of a man who looks like many of the denizens of the town's sponge docks.
They're the work of the late Harriet Crothamel Muller, whose exhibit is carefully named "A Tribute to an Unpublished Artist," apparently to distinguish her from the young international artist/actor/director Harriet Muller.
Harriet Crothamel Muller was born in Pennsylvania in 1911 and worked in pencil, chalk, pastels and oils all her life.
Her first public artwork was for her high school yearbook. She went on to attend the Women's Art School at New York's Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and to become a set designer and photography assistant. She later studied in Alaska with Russian artist/musician Wassily Sommer.
Ms. Muller moved to Tarpon Springs in her later years, where the sponge docks inspired her works.
She retired to Old Town in Dixie County, Fla., where she continued to create artwork using family portraits and photos she had taken during her travels around the world.
Among the pieces in the Tarpon Springs exhibit is Shorty's Watch, which shows a man sitting on a fishing boat looking down a river toward a sunset. The scene looks like the Tarpon Springs sponge docks as they appeared many years ago.
Another piece, Sponge Diver, shows a man under water in a traditional diving suit with the large copper helmet and air hoses running down from an imagined boat above.
Ms. Muller died in 2005.