Welcome to the Artist's Room of the Cultural Museum. 

Sculptor Stanley "Barefoot" Papio (1914-1982)
By Jerry Wilkinson

At the age of 34, Stanley Joseph Papio settled on Key Largo. To the locals he was known as Barefoot Stanley. He seldom wore shoes. His explanation was in his business the welding sparks ruined his shoes and it was cheaper to get used to burned feet than to continue buying shoes. 
Stanley was different and space does not allow a full explanation. One interviewer described Stanley: "A gadfly among moths, an artist unloved in a community of artists, a true individual, as inflexible as cast iron and as hard to weld." 
Below is a photo of Stanley in 1975.

Much has been said about Stanley's Museum. It is said
that he created the museum to avoid zoning laws concerning his "junk yard." Stanley said it simply was storage place for his raw materials for his art. He never admitted that it was a "junk yard. See photo below.

Now for a visit with Barefoot Stanley's visions of space.

Much of Papio's folk art can be seen at the East Martello Tower, 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd., Key West, FL phone (305) 296-3913.

 Above is the rear of a sculpture (Rabbit) that served as his entrance sign.

Papio was of Canadian descent and was a bon fide welder. Above was his shop rates.

Papio welded chrome items unusually well. Most of all these objects set outside in the Key Largo Museum at about MM 101 bayside for years.

There are over 50 pieces of Papio sculpture at East Martello Museum and Gallery and even his severest critics usually find a favorite.

The above is a large piece, as many of Papio's are, and has its own room in the old fort for display. One may enter and examine each courthouse figure up close.

The above piece is 76"h x 39"w x 32"d in size and could be a statement being made by Stanley. There appears to be social commentary associated with each piece.

It is though that many of Papio's figures are parodies of his neighbors who protested his untidiness. Above is shown the Two Faced Woman who could represent a neighbor who was friendly, but helped arrest him for his junk yard. Allegedly, he was arrested six times.

Some believe that Suitcase Charlie represents the tourist.

In the previous image we saw the USS Rebel missile. Above is the Rebel Submarine.

A close up of the person in the submarine shown above.

What more can be said?

This is 62"h x 48"w x 55"d painted and chrome piece.

For the above Papio used a sink for the body, a hubcap for a hat and two stove burners covers for breasts.

If in Key West, see the real objects and much more at the East Martello Tower, phone 305-296-3913. While at the Martello Tower see the excellent exhibit of art by Key West's own artist, Mario Sanchez. For a preview click HERE.


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