A History of Conservation: A Bird’s Eye View
Closes Feb. 10, 2019
From Egyptian hieroglyphics painted more than 2,000 years ago to the founding of the Florida Audubon Society in 1900, humankind has been captivated by the beauty and fragility of birds. Today, birds are a reminder that nature is always with us, recognized as indicators of the health of ecosystems…
Jan. 19-August 19
The arrival and expansion of the railroad changed Florida in many ways, from the profound to the mundane. A difficult three-day journey from Gainesville to Tampa was replaced with a comfortable day-and-a-half trip from Tampa to New York. More important than vacations to the big city, Florida’s farmers could get their products to northern markets in a matter of days rather than weeks, greatly reducing spoilage and increasing profits.
Travel and transport by rail, for passengers and freight, reached their zenith in the mid-20th century. After World War II, traveling by car – and then by airplane – became more common than by rail, though American commerce still ran on steel wheels. The increase in foreign imports and subsequent reduction in American manufacturing has led to a decline in freight traffic over the past several decades.
As Florida’s cities become larger, more congested and more densely populated, the idea of connecting the state’s major population centers via high-speed rail continues to arise. Interurban rail, too, is used in southeast Florida to ease traffic congestion. The question of how much we will continue to rely on the existing railroad network, and what new lines, if any, we will add, has yet gone unanswered.
March 2-August 11
Almost as soon as the cigar smoke started rising from the factories of Tampa’s Ybor City, the beer started flowing. In 1897, the aroma of Cuban tobacco emanating from the city’s cigar factories mingled with the scent of imported hops fermenting at the Florida Brewery – the state’s first.
Raise a glass with the History Center for “History by the Pint: Beer and Brewing in Tampa Bay,” opening March 2. The exhibit traces the heady history of beer in the bay area, from its Ybor origins to Florida’s craft beer capital.
Learn about early breweries and brewing methods, Prohibition’s effects on Florida, the rise of national breweries in Tampa, and how the home brewing movement of the 1970s triggered a cultural shift in the way Americans consume beer.
“History by the Pint” is on view at the History Center March 2 through August 11.
Celebrating Our Heritage: 30 Years of Hispanic Themed Art from the Tampa Hispanic Heritage Archive
January 28, 2017 – March 5, 2017
Celebrating Our Heritage: Thirty Years of Hispanic Themed Art features 30 original works of art from the organization’s archive.
The colorful originals are all past winners of Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc.’s annual poster contest.
Preserving Eden: The Florida Photographs of Clyde Butcher
September 3, 2016 – January 8, 2017
Preserving Eden also highlights Florida’s indigenous flora and fauna, and spotlights the state’s early naturalists such as Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
After nearly 50 years of photographing the natural landscapes of North America, Butcher continues to employ traditional “analog” photography methods, using a variety of vintage large-format view cameras and a custom-built darkroom to produce his award-winning images.
Re-Placing Fort Brooke
February 20 – October 30, 2016
Golden Legacy: Original Art from 65 Years of Golden Books
June 4 – August 14, 2016
Bringing Home the Sunshine: Collecting Florida Souvenirs
January 16, 2016 – April 17, 2016
St. Augustine at 450: A Look at the Oldest European City in the U.S.
May 23, 2015 – February 7, 2016
Florida’s Got the Blues
September 12 – January 3, 2016
Curated by the Museum of Florida History, Florida’s Got the Blues highlighted Florida’s blues music legacy, showcasing the artists who played juke joints and night clubs from the panhandle to Miami, through photos and interactive audio recordings.
In addition to Florida’s Got the Blues, the show included a collection of rock-n-roll photography from the archives of the Tampa Bay Times featuring performers who have played on stages across Tampa Bay including Elvis, Tom Petty, The Ramones and U2.
Patios, Pools, and the Invention of the American Backyard
June 20 – August 30, 2015
Repurposed DooDad Art / Sculpture Competition
May 4 – May 31, 2015
For the 2014-2015 school year, each sculpture had to include at least 1 recyclable plastic bottle and at least one necklace of Gasparilla throw beads.
Operation Drumbeat: Nazi Threat in the Gulf
December 7, 2014 – May 10, 2015
Operation Drumbeat: Nazi Threat in the Gulf, featured a 30-foot replica of a two-man WWII-era German Seehund “midget” submarine which was constructed by local exhibit designers Creative Arts as part of H2’s new reality show, Museum Men.
WWII-era artifacts recovered by local deep-ocean shipwreck exploration company Odyssey Marine Exploration from the SS Gairsoppa shipwreck were also featured in the exhibition.
The Art of Piracy: Pirates in Modern Culture
January 24 – April 26, 2015
The exhibition featured original paintings from current, award-winning artists such as Don Maitz, Rick Reeves and Alberto DeLama, plus original and reproduction works from famed 19th and early 20th century artists.
Also included were early illustrations that led to the original Tampa Bay Buccaneers logo, original sketches of early Gasparilla parade floats, and decorative invitations and dance cards from the first two decades of Tampa’s Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, founders of the Gasparilla festival, which began in 1904.
Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown
November 1, 2014 – January 11, 2015
Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown celebrated the holiday season as explored in the Peanuts comic strip and presented a behind-the-scenes history of the making of the animated classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas.
This seasonal exhibition featured reproduction comic strips, quotes by Schulz, photos from his boyhood, artifacts from A Charlie Brown Christmas special, and seasonal novelties.
More Than Dots on a Map: Florida Cities and Towns
May – November 2014
However, More Than Dots on a Map: Florida Cities and Towns offered a more nuanced perspective, featuring maps devoted exclusively to cities, towns and neighborhoods.
Spirited: Prohibition in America
September 1 – October 20, 2014
What made the country go “dry” and how did America change during this period in history? Visitors to Spirited learned about the amendment process, the role of liquor in American culture, the cultural revolution of the roaring ‘20s and how current liquor laws vary from state to state today.
Against All Odds: The Art of the Highwaymen
June 14 – August 17, 2014
On loan from the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando, Against All Odds: The Art of the Highwaymen featured a rare look at the work of all 26 Florida Highwaymen.
Repurposed DooDad Art / Sculpture Competition
May 5 – June 1, 2014
Participating art classes were provided up to 20 cigar boxes – symbols of Tampa’s unique history − and were asked to transform them into works of art, all while learning the importance of repurposing and recycling objects to create something new.
Suited for Space
February 1 – April 27, 2014
This one-of-kind exhibition took visitors on a journey through nearly a century of spacesuit design and development, from the earliest high-altitude pressure suites to the iconic white suites of the Apollo mission.
Charting the Land of Flowers: 500 Years of Florida Maps
September 21, 2013 – April 13, 2014
The exhibit offered viewers an opportunity to see the world as early European explorers saw it, and to see the peninsula that would become one of the South’s most populous states evolve before their eyes. Together with atlases, city maps, nautical charts, and satellite images, the maps charted 500 years of exploration, settlement, and growth in The Land of Flowers.
JFK in Tampa: The Exhibition
November 8, 2013 – January 12, 2014
The exhibition also included uniforms and badges from the Tampa Police Museum and notes from the Secret Service “Kennedy Detail” which were used while escorting the President around the city.
Circus: The Photographs of Frederick W. Glasier
May 25 – August 4, 2013
Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: The Photographs of Carlton Ward Jr.
February 23 – May 5, 2013
When their journey was complete, conservation photographer Carlton Ward Jr., documentarian Elam Stolzfus, conservationist Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, and bear biologist Joe Guthrie had traveled 1,000 miles in 100 days. Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: The Photographs of Carlton Ward Jr. took visitors on a virtual expedition from the Everglades to the Okefenokee.
The exhibition featured a collection of large-format images taken by Ward, along with maps, video footage, audio clips, news reports, and equipment used by team members during the expedition.
The Big Picture: A Selection of Cirkut Photographs from the Burgert Brothers Collection
January 17 – October 20, 2013
The History Center’s exhibition also included a slideshow by local photographer Bryan Weinstein, who “re-photographed” locations where several original Burgert Brothers photos were taken.
His methodical recreations of the historic photographs offered a striking before-and-after effect, underscoring how much the places have changed or, in some cases, remained almost exactly the same.The exhibition also included ledgers, glass-plate negatives, and other ephemera from the Burgert Brothers Studio.
Coffee: The World in Your Cup
October 6, 2012 – January 6, 2013
Spies, Traitors, Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America
February 4 – June 24, 2012
Out of This World: Extraordinary Costumes from Film and Television
October 1, 2011 – January 7, 2012
Sports in Tampa Bay: Through the Eyes of Lamar Sparkman
June 18 – September 12, 2011
Perhaps best known as the creator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ original swashbuckling logo, which fans labeled “Bucco Bruce,” Sparkman’s drawings of professional and amateur athletes span more than 40 years. In 2010, the Sparkman family donated more than 200 original drawings by the late cartoonist to the Tampa Bay History Center.
Those drawings, along with objects from Tampa’s professional, collegiate and amateur teams, tell the story of Sports in Tampa Bay: Through the Eyes of Lamar Sparkman.
Blue and Gray in Tampa Bay: The Civil War on Florida’s Gulf Coast
January 10 – May 30, 2011
Civil War-era maps, weaponry, photographs and reproduction uniforms were included in the exhibit. “The opening date of January 10th is significant,” said the History Center’s Saunders Foundation Curator of History, Rodney Kite-Powell. “Florida seceded from the Union exactly 150 years ago, on January 10, 1861.”
From the Orange Blossom Special to High Speed Rail: Train Travel in Tampa Bay
October 8 – December 31, 2010
Obscured by Time: The Magic of Florida, featuring the art of Hermann Trappman
July 10 – September 26, 2010
This exhibit offered a glimpse of early Florida, its native peoples and geography prior to European contact in the 1500s. A self-taught artist, Trappman’s work explores the life of Florida’s early peoples and is based on artifacts, fossils and other archaeological evidence found along the shores of Florida.
Shades of Greatness: Art Inspired by Negro Leagues Baseball
February 1 – April 25, 2010
Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition
September 19 – December 19, 2009