Need more culture in your life? Want a great list of exciting museums for family and/or guests that are visiting? New to the area and want to know about the landmarks here in Tampa Bay?
Here’s a list of some of the exceptional museums in our area to explore.
The American Victory Ship is one of only four operational World War ll ships in the U.S. As a national historic landmark, the mariners museum ship is a prize attraction offering educational tours, event hosting, and semi-annual cruises.
The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMoPA) is a museum dedicated to exhibiting important photographic art as central to contemporary life and culture. FMoPA collects, preserves, and exhibits historic and contemporary works by nationally and internationally known photographic artists. FMoPA also enriches the community by operating outreach programs to educate children and adults. Its location is in the Waterfront Arts District in Rivergate Plaza’s architecturally significant Cube, a soaring six-story atrium recognized as one of the most impressive interior spaces on the west coast of Florida.
The Glazer Children’s Museum is a children’s museum located in downtown Tampa, Florida, next to the Tampa Museum of Art and Curtis Hixon Park, alongside the Tampa Riverwalk. It is part of the Waterfront Arts District. Play with purpose at the Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa’s interactive, learning laboratory where children play, discover, and connect to the world around them to develop as lifelong learners and leaders.
Since 1933, the Tampa Bay Hotel has been home to the Henry B. Plant Museum and The University of Tampa. The building, renamed Plant Hall, is a National Historic Landmark. The Henry B. Plant Museum holds the distinction of accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. Its mission is to interpret the history and lifestyle of America’s Gilded Age and the life and significant contributions of Henry Bradley Plant to the development of Florida and Tampa Bay. Original furnishings and artifacts and a dynamic self-guided audio tour immerse visitors in the opulence of the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel and its rich history.
Opened in 2002, the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art is a modern and contemporary art museum with a collection of more than 6,000 works of 20th and 21st century art. The museum is located on the Tarpon Springs Campus of St. Petersburg College. As a membership-based cultural and academic institution, LRMA serves students and the community at-large, and the museum provides an array of educational programs for all ages to complement a year-around exhibition schedule.
The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida was founded by Margaret Acheson Stuart (1896-1980) and reflects her vision of providing outstanding examples of world art in an inviting, elegant setting. The MFA, a city landmark, opened to the public in 1965–the first art museum in St. Petersburg located on the downtown waterfront. Keeping the galleries intimately scaled was important to Mrs. Stuart. The Museum is dedicated to serving all people by pursuing excellence in art from antiquity to the present through the collection, exhibitions, and education for its diverse audiences.
Beginning with a look at Florida’s first peoples, who inhabited the peninsula some 10,000 years ago, and the arrival of European explorers in the 1500s, to Tampa Bay’s modern role as a port city, industrial capital of west central Florida and a draw for tourists and visitors the world over, the History Center tells the story of Tampa Bay’s and Florida’s history, heritage and culture. The History Center is also home to the Touchton Map Library/Florida Center for Cartographic Education. The only cartographic research center of its kind in the state, the TML/FCCE is houses one of the most comprehensive collections of Florida cartography in the world, with holdings spanning five centuries. The TML/FCCE features a regular schedule of changing exhibitions and is open by appointment to researchers and students. Visitors to the History Center can dine in the Columbia Cafe, a branch of the world-famous Columbia Restaurant, featuring signature Spanish-Cuban cuisine, a staple of Tampa’s iconic immigrant community of Ybor City. The History Center also includes a Museum Store, classrooms, temporary exhibition galleries and event rental spaces.
The Tampa Museum of Art is located in downtown Tampa, Florida. The Tampa Museum of Art opened its award-winning new home in 2010 with a commitment to providing innovative public programs with a strong focus on classical, modern, and contemporary art. The Museum balances a growing collection, including one of the largest Greek and Roman antiquities collections in the southeastern United States, with a dynamic annual schedule of special exhibitions. It is the region’s largest museum devoted to art of our time and has built a reputation for embracing contemporary photography and new media; most notably, Leo Villareal’s Sky (Tampa), the 14,000-square-foot LED installation on the Museum’s south façade, has become an iconic image for Tampa. Since its founding in 1979, the Museum has been dedicated to providing quality education to students and adults, with more than half of its programs offered free of charge. The Museum is home to Sono Café, a Slow Food movement café overlooking the Hillsborough River, and has emerged as Tampa’s premier venue for special events.
The Dali Museum celebrates the life and work of Salvador Dali (1904-1989) and features works from the artist’s entire career. The collection includes over 2,100 works from every moment and in every medium of his artistic activity, including oil paintings, many original drawings, book illustrations, artists’ books, prints, sculpture, photos, manuscripts and an extensive archive of documents. Founded with the works collected by Reynolds and Eleanor Morse, the Museum has made significant additions to its collection over the years. In 1942, the Morses visited a traveling Dali retrospective at the Cleveland Museum of Art organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and became fascinated with the artist’s work. On March 21, 1943, the Morses bought their first Dali painting, Daddy Longlegs of the Evening, Hope! (1940). This was the first of many acquisitions, which would culminate 40 years later in the preeminent collection of Dali’s work in America. On April 13, 1943, the Morses met Salvador Dali and his wife Gala in New York initiating a long, rich friendship.
The Morses first displayed their Dali paintings in their home, and by the mid-1970s decided to donate their entire collection. A Wall Street Journal article titled, “U.S. Art World Dillydallies Over Dali,” caught the attention of the St. Petersburg, FL community, who rallied to bring the collection to the area. The Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, FL opened in 1982. The distinguished new building, which opened on January 11, 2011, enables the Museum to better protect and display the collection, to welcome the public, and to educate and promote enjoyment. In a larger sense it is a place of beauty dedicated, as is Dali’s art, to understanding and transformation.
There is a Mediterranean-style garden nestled within the Ybor City Museum State Park. The garden provides a private, serene environment in a historic urban setting. Florida-friendly flowers and plants, statuary and a fountain make it a lush oasis. Conveniently located in Ybor City, Tampa’s National Historic Landmark District, the multifunctional garden can be used for weddings and receptions, corporate events, private parties, fundraisers and other special events. Approximately 250 seated or 400 standing guests can be accommodated. A stage is available for your use.
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