Brevard Museum of History Hosts Exhibit Opening Nov. 15
By Space Coast Daily // November 13, 2014
ABOVE VIDEO: This Mastodon was assembled by a crew from the University of Florida’s, Museum of History and Natural Science, and volunteers from the Brevard Museum. Bones, the mastodon, is now the star attraction of the By-Gone Beasts exhibit which also features a giant ground sloth and saber tooth cat. (Video by Hassan Patterson)
Eye On The Universe: The Hubble Space Telescope
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – A new era begins for both the Florida Historical Society and the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science as the oldest cultural organization in the state takes ownership of an outstanding museum.
The facility is now also the home of the Florida Historical Society Archaeological Institute.
“I’ve been connected with the Florida Historical Society for almost 20 years now, and this is the most exciting event I’ve seen happen,” says FHS President Leonard Lempel.
“This museum is a tremendous new edition to the Florida Historical Society. I’m just real excited about all the opportunities it presents.”
The Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science was established in 1969. The nearly 15,000 square foot facility sits on a 20-acre nature preserve with walking trails through three Florida ecosystems. The museum is adjacent to Eastern Florida State College and the University of Central Florida Cocoa campus.
The museum’s mission to educate the public about local history compliments the Florida Historical Society’s statewide focus. From the prehistoric era to pioneer settlement to the launching of America’s space program, Brevard County serves as a microcosm of Florida history.
Established in 1856, the Florida Historical Society maintains an extensive archive at the Library of Florida History in Cocoa, publishes books and periodicals, produces radio and television programs, operates the Florida Historical Society Archaeological Institute, and manages the Historic Rossetter House Museum in Eau Gallie.
An Annual Meeting and Symposium is held in a different Florida city each May, and the organization participates in festivals, events, and educational outreach throughout the state.
Bruce Piatek is the new Director of the Florida Historical Society Archaeological Institute and the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science. Piatek has an extensive background as both a professional archaeologist and a museum administrator.
He was City Archaeologist in St. Augustine where he also ran a successful museum. For 20 years, Piatek was executive director of the Florida Agricultural Museum, building it into the most popular tourist destination in Flagler County.
“I think the Brevard Museum is great. It’s got tremendous potential,” says Piatek.
“There’s been 45 years of hard work by the folks who put the museum together, got it operating, and have continued to operate it. I think it’s exciting what the Florida Historical Society has planned for coming into the museum and making it a more vibrant and viable operation.”
With the event “A New Era of Discovery” to be held November 14 at the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science in Cocoa, the Florida Historical Society recognizes more than 500 years of exploration with a special showing of the Jackson Walker painting They Called it La Florida, and the new exhibition “Eye on the Universe: The Hubble Space Telescope.”
The Florida House in Washington, D.C. owns the Walker painting depicting Ponce’s 1513 landing in Florida, and is loaning the work to the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science. The artist is pleased to see this painting visiting Florida, particularly Brevard County.
Ponce’s own records indicate that he first landed in Florida just north of present day St. Augustine.
“A second landing further south resulted in a first sighting of inhabitants,” says Walker. “Those people were the Ais Indians, natives of Brevard County.”
A team from Delaware North and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is designing and installing the $200,000 exhibit “Eye on the Universe: The Hubble Space Telescope” at the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science. The exhibit is on extended loan.
“We tell the NASA story to people from around the world,” says Therrin Protze, Chief Operating Officer of Delaware North Corporation Parks and Resorts at Kennedy Space Center.
“A natural extension is to share NASA content through other educational learning centers in our community. We are partnering with the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science to share the amazing story of the Hubble Space Telescope. This community outreach enables our organizations to inspire young minds through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) content.”
At the special event “A New Era of Discovery,” there will be live music, gourmet hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine, and the new exhibits commemorating human exploration from Ponce de León to the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science will also be showcasing their current exhibits including skeletons of a mastodon, a giant ground sloth, and a saber tooth tiger. An exhibit on the Windover Archaeological Dig is featured, along with an extensive collection of archaeological artifacts.
The new Hubble exhibit, Eye On The Universe: The Hubble Space Telescope, Grand Opening is set for Saturday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. at the Brevard Museum of History & Natural Science, located at 2201 Michigan Avenue in Cocoa. For information call 321-632-1830 or e-mail email@example.com