Artist found ideal canvas in the Upper Keys
In 1992, collectibles dealer Chuck Faulkner made an unusual discovery in a bag that was discarded from a storage unit in Kissimmee. It was filled with close to 170 paintings by Harry J. Sonntag, who was also known as the “Hermit Artist of Key Largo.”
The woman who had cleaned out the unit said she and her husband had found the bag under a bed in a rooming house in St. Thomas in 1960.
In 1955, the Key Largo Art Gallery burned, and Sonntag told everyone that his life’s work was in the building. But Faulkner has photos of the gallery’s interior that shows many of the paintings now in Faulkner’s collection, so the collector knows that wasn’t true.