Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald Museum
Those of you who know me best, know that I spend a heck of a lot of time traveling I-65 between Birmingham and Mobile. I have several stops chosen that are clean, safe and offer good lunch options; but, little did I know that there are also educational stops along the way, too. I found one of them recently at the Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald Museum in Montgomery, AL.This museum is located just off I-85 and is truly a diamond in the rough as far as museums go in the state of Alabama.
HISTORY OF THE HOUSE
The Fitzgerald’s lived in the house only a few short months, but that was not unusual for the couple. They lived most of their lives sort of like gypsies, with each stop being just a few months at a time. They moved into this house in the fall of 1931 and moved away in the spring of 1932, shortly before the birth of their only child. They made many trips to Montgomery during their lifetime, however, and our southern city is where their daughter, Scottie, would call home long after both parents passed away.
One of the things I loved about this museum was discovering all of the information about Zelda. It was an incredible bit of news to learn of her many talents. She is one of our own Alabama belles and her life is overlooked because of her husband’s fame. She loved dance, painting and even wrote one book, which I had no idea about until I visited the museum.
Willie was my guide and he did a great job sharing the sad story of her life. It was one more example of how the artistically brilliant are often troubled mentally.
“She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring.” – Zelda Fitzgerald
The tour through the house and the grounds can take as little as 15 minutes or you can meander longer and imagine Zelda meditating about her many talents on a similar bench. It wasn’t discovered until it was too late in her life, but she was quite the artist. She could have painted scenes to rival artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, but mental illness cheated us of her talent. A few of her paintings can be seen inside the museum.
Upon entering the house, visitors are greeted with this map of literary greats from our southern states.
The original floors where Scott and Zelda may have danced are still in place.
Zelda had quite the collection of Victrola records and gave other flappers a run for their money during the roaring 20’s.
There is a short video about their lives shown on a sunporch that was added to the property after the Fitzgeralds lived there.
This photo shows her beauty, interest in dance and an apparent love of animals or at the very least -her cat.
Stamp collection that belonged to F. Scott Fitzgerald and his daughter, Scottie.
The tour guide, Willy, recommended a book as the most accurate about her life. Zelda Fitzgerald, Her Voice in Paradise, by Sally Cline.
It was definitely worth the 20 minutes I spent there while traveling between Birmingham and Mobile. I would love to go back and spend more time someday. If you find yourself on I-65 or I-85 near Montgomery, stop for a look into The Great Gatsby and our own Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.