DATE: March 6, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Patricia Ventura
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - South Regional/Broward College Library, located at 7300 Pines Boulevard, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024 will host an exhibition of Shirley Ardell Mason’s paintings during the months of April and May, 2014. Shirley Ardell Mason, famously known as “Sybil,” was best known for her struggle with multiple personality disorder, of which the famous book titled Sybil was published in 1973 and then made into a TV movie in 1976.
Sybil created a sensation with its account of a woman who had more than a dozen distinct personalities, some of whom were males. Her multiple personalities were a result of traumatic abuse she endured as a child.
“South Regional Library is honored to be able to bring this unique piece of American psychiatric history to the public. Seeing Sybil’s art is an opportunity to know more about the woman behind the compelling story,” said Pat Ventura, event and exhibit coordinator for South Regional/Broward College Library.
Before Sybil appeared, multiple personality disorder was considered rare, and the American Psychiatric Association did not list it as a distinct disease. After the book and movie, there was a huge increase in reported cases. The book kept her anonymous by not revealing her real name. She was simply known as “Sybil.”
After Sybil was published, Shirley Ardell Mason moved to Lexington, Kentucky, where she lived quietly for more than 20 years, painting and running an arts business out of her home. Neighbors suspected she was the famous “Sybil” after seeing the famous Dr. Cornelia Wilber, Sybil’s psychiatrist, frequenting her home. After Mason’s death in 1998, her identity was revealed as the famous “Sybil” and more than 40 of her paintings were offered at auction in New York. Some of her remaining art collection is currently in the care of family members who live in Pembroke Pines.
South Regional/ Broward College Library will be exhibiting Shirley Ardell Mason’s art during the months of April and May. There will be a reception with a brief presentation on Saturday May 3 from 2 to 3 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the South Regional/Broward College Library. The event and the exhibit is free and open to the public.
For more information on Shirley Ardell Mason's work, please visit www.hiddenpaintings.com.
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