The Legacy: South Florida Museum

Overview

The Legacy: South Florida Museum is an account of the origins, founding, and development in twentieth-century Florida of a people's museum about archeology, Spanish exploration, manatees, and space. As a museum founded in the immediate post-World War II era, with its origins in the prehistoric past, its narrative reflects Florida's changes through Spanish exploration, statehood, tourism, endangered manatees, and space development over a thousand years. The Legacy is a story of volunteerism, in the spirit of ...

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The Legacy: South Florida Museum

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Overview

The Legacy: South Florida Museum is an account of the origins, founding, and development in twentieth-century Florida of a people's museum about archeology, Spanish exploration, manatees, and space. As a museum founded in the immediate post-World War II era, with its origins in the prehistoric past, its narrative reflects Florida's changes through Spanish exploration, statehood, tourism, endangered manatees, and space development over a thousand years. The Legacy is a story of volunteerism, in the spirit of voluntary action for the common good, by dedicated individuals. It leads to today's South Florida Museum and its several facilities, including the Bishop Planetarium, Parker Manatee Aquarium, and Spanish Plaza. For more information, please see the following article from The Herald-Tribune. http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20101130/ARTICLE/11301026/1238?p=1&tc=pg

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Editorial Reviews

Robert McCracken Peck
Anticipated…
Douglas S. Jones
No stranger to Florida, Dr. Peter Bennett is also no stranger to museums. He has been president of the oldest natural history museum in the western hemisphere, the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, as well as the director of the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville and significantly, the South Florida Museum. This meticulously researched, historical account by a noted scholar and historian of science, weaves together the lives of extraordinary people from disparate walks of life who created a sense of community around the founding and growth of an iconic museum. The museum connects them all and tells their story —- the history of their place and its inhabitants. In this way, Bradenton and the South Florida Museum serve as a metaphor for Florida and all her cultural institutions.
Jerald T. Milanich
A marvelous account of a museum and its constituency that together created a legacy, one that continues to educate us about Florida's past and present. Bennett's book is a great read.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761852612
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 12/18/2010
  • Pages: 282
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Peter Bennett, a Florida native and graduate of Florida State University, received his Ph.D. from Rockefeller University. He was an assistant professor at Harvard, served as professor and chairman of biological sciences at Florida State University and then as special assistant to the president, before beginning museum work as president of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (1976-86). He then served as professor and director of the University of Florida's Museum of Natural History (1986-96), as president of Science Service and publisher of Science News (1996-98), and as executive director of the South Florida Museum (1998-2002). The author of many science, history and education articles, several science textbooks, and poetry anthologies, Bennett resides in Bradenton with his wife Gudrun, pursues academic and museum interests, and writes.

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Table of Contents

Preface v

Acknowledgments ix

1 Early Years: Places and People 1

2 Montague Tallant and the Future Museum 13

3 De Soto and Museum Origins 28

4 The Manatee County Museum 40

5 Founding and Opening the South Florida Museum 56

6 The Museum's First Year 74

7 1949: "Baby" at the Museum 84

8 "The Little Museum Just Ran on Its Own..." 98

9 New Facilities for the South Florida Museum 113

10 Museum's Progress and Dedication of New Facilities 133

11 The Museum Opens 152

12 "From Stone Age to Space Age" 171

13 Laser Fantasies and a Spanish Plaza 187

14 Transition, 1982-1987 198

15 New Beginnings 210

16 Strengthening the Legacy 227

17 Strengthening the Legacy Continues 244

18 Continuing Epilogue... 259

Abbreviations and Synonyms 269

Illustrations: List and Credits 271

Selected Bibliography 277

Index 283

About the Author 293

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