On View Now

 

Current Exhibits

American Flags: The Stars & Stripes in American History & Culture, Presented by Bank of America

Now Through July 29, 2018

The American flag’s history includes iconic moments of revolution, union, war, protest and patriotism. Indeed, for generations prior to 1960, the United States flag was an ever-evolving symbol that reflected the growth of the nation.

Based on one of the preeminent collections of American flags in the world, “The Stars and Stripes in American History and Culture” features textiles, artwork and memorabilia exploring the history and context of the American flag.

The exhibit features original flags dating to the 1790s, a 27-star flag marking Florida’s admission into the Union, as well as original photography and artwork, including Andy Warhol’s iconic print “Moonwalk.”

American Flags features more than 20 original flags, including an 1876 Grand Union Flag, a “Know Nothing” flag from 1849, and a 14-star flag from 1791.

Works from American pop artists Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns are also included. Johns’ Flag (1954) and Warhol’s Moonwalk (1987) illustrate the American Flags place in popular culture, while photography from the 1960s and September 11, 2001 illustrate the symbolic power of the Stars and Stripes.

Navigating in the Age Before GPS: Nautical Charts of Florida and the Caribbean

Now Through December 2018

Finding your way at sea is a complex art. Captain and crew must not only possess expert knowledge of geography, tides and weather, they also require the latest technology to ensure a safe voyage.

A new exhibit in the History Center’s Touchton Map Library lets visitors navigate Florida’s coastlines the way sailors had done centuries before the existence of GPS: with a piece of paper.

“Navigating in the Age Before GPS: Nautical Charts of Florida and the Caribbean,” highlights the era before satellites and hand-held global positioning software. The exhibit features a dozen large-scale nautical charts dating back to the late 1700s, focusing on the coastal areas along the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

As seemingly sprawling and sparse as the waters and coastlines they depict, the charts in ‘Navigating’ present an array of details and information, from depths to shipping routes, sandbars to long-forgotten coastal cities, islands and ports.

The chart “An Accurate Draught of the Gulph-Passage from Jamaica with the West end of Cuba &’c” from 1796 depicts important sailing waters of the “Gulph-Passage” between the two islands, while its title reflects the growing importance in English overseas trade at that time, especially sugar and rum.

Meanwhile, “Progress Sketch Sec. VI – West Coast of Florida – Tampa Bay and Vicinity,” printed in 1879, shows several bay area landmarks, including one of the earliest mentions of south Tampa’s Ballast Point.

As with all of the charts presented in “Navigating,” each was created without the benefit of satellite technology, or even airborne observation.

Navigating in the Age Before GPS is on view now in the Touchton Map Library and is included with regular admission.

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801 Old Water Street, Tampa, FL 33602