LIVE POSTCARD POSERS AT CYPRESS GARDENS.
Landscape painters posed people in their creations to provide scale and dynamic human interaction.
Postcards publishers did the same with their panoramic landscapes, scale-confusing show cave interiors, and motel pools that could look dreary and bleak without people. At Cypress Gardens, however, the postcard posers were live and framing Florida’s most famous tropical attraction all the time. It was like walking into a three-dimensional postcard. Opened along the banks of Winter Haven’s Lake Eloise by Dick and Julie Pope in 1936, Cypress Gardens added “Southern Belle” posers in 1940 who became as famous as the flowers. Here, electric boat tourists and a stroller making his own snapshot postcard, frame up the garden’s “Throne of Citrus Royalty.” The postcard back explains; “when the throne is not being used by Florida Citrus Queens visitors can make pictures of their friends and family as they sit on the throne and reign as King or Queen for a day,” becoming their own postcard poser.