Art, Science and Culture–All A Part Of Gainesville’s Museum Offerings
There’s little argument against the fact that Gainesville is the “museum” capital of North Central Florida. Not only is the city historic, with roots into the 19th century, it’s a university town with lots of interest in science and art. •••
Gainesville’s world-class museums are all located within easy reach of the central city, as well as first class hotels, restaurants and shops. Two of the museums, the Harn Museum of Art and the Florida Museum of Natural History are located on the campus of The University of Florida.
***During the term of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, many museums in Florida are open only for limited hours and smaller number of guests. Please check their websites in advance for exact times and restrictions.
The Harn Museum of Art
The mission of the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art pretty much sums it up:
“The University of Florida’s Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art collaborates with university and community partners to inspire, educate and enrich people’s lives through art. The museum brings the joy of experiencing great works of art to diverse university, community, national and global audiences through relevant and enlightening art collections, exhibitions and learning opportunities “
Located just of Archer Road at the western edge of the UF campus, the museum is easily accessed from I-75 (CR24 or CR26 exits) Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, hours are limited. Please visit the museum‘s website for details..
Florida Museum of Natural History
The Florida Museum of Natural History is located next to the Harn Museum of Art on the University of Florida campus. Known worldwide for its research, the museum offers visitors a look at the amazing history of our state using a variety of interactive displays, remarkable fossil presentations and realistic dioramas.
Admission to the general exhibits is free (donations appreciated!) but there are nominal charges to special events and the Butterfly Rainforest. The butterfly exhibit is world class and an excellent learning option for all ages of visitors.*
*To support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Florida Museum of Natural History is temporarily closed to the public until further notice. Please check our events calendar for updates on any program cancellations.
The Cade Museum For Creativity and Invention
If you’ve ever overexerted yourself and need your electrolytes replaced, you’ve likely had some Gatorade, a drink invented by Dr.. Robert Cade for the University of Florida football team. One thing led to another, with the eventual opening of the Cade Museum in Gainesville.
The Cade Museum’s mission statement speaks to its interest in exploration, creativity and invention.. Read it HERE
Located at 811 South Main Street the museum anchors the newly-developed Depot Park. Hours are varied due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Call (352) 371-8001 for details.
The Matheson History Museum
Located in the heart of historic downtown Gainesville, the Matheson History Museum is home to the 1867 Matheson House, permanent and temporary exhibits on Alachua County and Florida history, and a local history library and archives filled with resources for the researcher and the curious alike. Throughout the year we host a variety of programs on local and Florida history.
All exhibits and programs are located in the main Matheson History Museum building, as well as the museum’s gift shop and offices. The museum is housed in the former American Legion Hall, which was built in 1932.
Historic Thomas Center
The Thomas Center, built in 1910 as an upscale home , is a multi-purpose facility located at 302 NE 6th Avenue, in Gainesville’s Duck Pond neighborhood. The building is beautifully restored and maintained, and hosts regular art exhibits and civic activities. It even provides the City of Gainesville with office space.
“Formerly the kitchen of the Thomas residence and later the hotel, the Thomas Center Gallery is an intimate and inviting gallery space on the ground floor just off the Spanish Court. In recent years, the Thomas Center Gallery has showcased three national debuts of artists with ties to the local community: sculptor Jesse Aaron, painter Eddy Mumma, and printmaker Louise Leak. Year-round, visitors can expect thought-provoking exhibitions featuring regional, national and international work of excellence.”