Thursday, July 26, 2012

My surprise visitor yesterday was none other than Gifford Waters, Collection Manager for the Florida Museum of Natural History.  He was in town for the display at Government House and was kind enough to show me the new temporary exhibit they have in the south corridor (near the bathrooms).

Wow, you all need to run not walk over to check out what FLMNH has in store for us!   


As a member of the public, I thought it was just fun. I have visited Fountain of Youth every season for the last 6 years to try and understand how what my eyes see below the ground when Dr. Deagan and her crew are excavating translates to buildings that would have stood on the site.  And I just can't do it.  My brain, even though it understands features, can't even keep the buildings in place after the grass is put back.

 But now we have a translator!  The magical images above this paragraph come from the interactive display I'm hugging below.  The touch screen comes to life, shows you the birds-eye view approach to the site as it might have been--based on the archaeology--back in 1565.  To borrow a phrase from Junie B. Jones, "Wowee Wow Wow!"  The praise may seem out of place to you, but I felt like a kid playing around with the screen, going structure to structure, and delighting in seeing artifacts I've seen a hundred times placed in the probable context.  It was like magic!

I <3 the 3D CGI model of FOY!  Hugging is optional.
 And the answer to yesterday's "What Is It???" Wednesday can be found on display.  It's a 17th century wine bottle that was actually found at Government House!

 More images from Government House Exhibit:

 Wall of the display features authentic technique of plaster over coquina.

Not a great photo but be sure to check out the floor plan for the future exhibit, 
including retail store, Thanksgiving table set for you, wall of the Castillo 
with proper lime wash and red paint, and more interactive displays.

Familiar images from FLMNHs current virtual St. Augustine exhibit.  Click here to visit.

Display uses the 1783 Jefferys map to show where different men and women 
of different cultures lived and worked throughout the Colonial city.

For more information on the exhibit, you can read to official press release for the exhibit.

The Museum of History and Archaeology at the Government House in historic downtown St. Augustine will close July 23 for renovations and a new exhibit to open late next year.

“First Colony: Our Spanish Origins” will present the story of the founding of St. Augustine, its nature as a military and civilian community, its multicultural character and its importance to American history. The museum, which opened in 1991, will be open extended hours July 1-22 so the public can look at the current exhibit one last time.
The new exhibit was created based on scholarly research by the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, and is being developed under grants from the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State.
The exhibit will be vital to the visitor experience and understanding of the unique Hispanic aspect of American history that is often unrecognized but will be celebrated as part of the City of St. Augustine’s 450th Anniversary in 2015. The exhibit will open at Government House in fall 2013 and remain during the 450th celebration. It will then become available for nationwide touring to spread the story of St. Augustine and our national origins to a broader audience.
Also funded by grants from the Florida Division of Historical Resources, the ground floor of Government House will be rehabilitated with upgrades to the museum, lobby and public restrooms. The construction work will restore some historic elements, particularly in the grand lobby, while also modernizing and slightly enlarging the exhibit space and adding a gift shop. The rehabilitation design was preceded by extensive research into the building’s history and architecture, which will be interpreted in new lobby display
cases. The construction work is expected to begin in September and conclude by June 2013.
Prior to the museum closing, the current exhibit will be open for extended hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days per week July 1-22. A small preview exhibit, showcasing the themes and content of the upcoming “First Colony” exhibit will be installed in the Government House lobby on July 9 for public viewing. The Government House is located at 48 King St.

Text and Images: Sarah Miller, FPAN Staff

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