Joy Postle (pronounced postal) was a painter, graphic artist, muralist, WPA artist, musical performer, printmaker, entrepreneur, environmentalist, and author of four books. She loved Florida and she loved birds. She painted them in small works and in large, wrote poems about them in books and in their honor created a performance piece called "Glamour Birds". I share a connection with her love of birds, have an admiration for her talent and possess a desire to tell the world about her fascinating life.
I became aware of Joy after receiving a gift of one of her prints. I soon found that UCF had a whole website dedicated to her and they had collected much of her work. Yesterday I was privileged enough to see the collection in person and learn more about this incredible woman who passed away in a central Florida Nursing home in 1989.
Born in Chicago in 1896, Joy's life changed forever when she was working as an artist and decorator and a young man named Robert Blackstone came to interview her. They fell in love, got married and bought a camper to explore the west. In Zion National Park, Postle was attempting to paint in watercolor when she noticed the paint had frozen. Desiring warmer weather, she and Blackstone migrated to Florida, like so many of her avian friends...
UCF's collection includes paintings, drawings, manuscripts, mechanical art, poems, newspaper clippings, photographs and even a scrapbook based on Joy's life that was presented to her in the nursing home where she lived the final days of her journey. It's an interesting experience to study the artifacts from someone's life who you never knew. There is a certain connection, you feel you have insight into who they were, but you never really know if you are making false assumptions based on a small amount of evidence. What is clear to me, is that Joy Postle lived a remarkable life and was very talented, very passionate, inspired and creative.