Coral Gables Museum celebrates National Park Service Centennial

Coral Gables Museum celebrates National Park Service Centennial

This British cannon rescued from Biscayne Bay’s many sunken shipwrecks was delivered to the Coral Gables Museum on May 25 for the new exhibit “This Land is Your Land: a second century for America’s National Parks” thanks to the professionals from Withers Worldwide.

The Coral Gables Museum, 285 Aragon Ave., is presenting an original exhibit, “This Land is Your Land: A Second Century for America’s National Parks,” running through Jan. 8, 2017, in celebration of the National Park Service (NPS) centennial.

This exhibition considers America’s National Park Service as it enters its second century with a particular focus on South Florida’s four national park sites: Everglades, Biscayne and Dry Tortugas National Parks, and Big Cypress National Preserve. Its purpose is to elevate awareness of our national parks with the hope of motivating action toward their continued protection. Experiential in approach, the exhibition presents natural and cultural objects, artwork and film to communicate the national park idea and experience.

“This exhibit will showcase the importance of parks to American history and demonstrate how local South Florida parks rival the greatness and majesty of Yellowstone, the first national park established in 1872,” said Caroline Parker Santiago, executive director of the Coral Gables Museum.

Visitors will stand in awe of a 16-foot taxidermy wild crocodile from Everglades National Park and a 3,300-pound British cannon rescued from the Biscayne National Park’s Maritime Heritage Trail, the only submerged archeological trail in the National Park System.

From Dry Tortugas, the exhibit will feature natural objects, like shells and corals, documented by scientists from the first topical marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere, and cultural objects, like the cane of Dr. Samuel Mudd, a prisoner of the remote island convicted of conspiring to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. One hundred additional cultural and natural objects also will be displayed, including eight paintings by American artist Charlie Harper commissioned by Everglades National Park in 1974.

Curated by Jacqueline Crucet and designed by Miami-based design firm SimpleFly Creative, this exhibit is endorsed and supported by the National Park Service.

The Coral Gables Museum’s mission is to celebrate, investigate and explore the civic arts of architecture and urban and environmental design, including fostering an appreciation for the history, vision, and cultural landscape of Coral Gables; promoting beauty and planning as well as historic and environmental preservation for a broad audience, including children, families, and community members, as well as local, regional, national and international visitors. The museum optimizes its mission by cultivating effective partnerships, and providing programming that includes exhibitions, collections, educational offerings, lectures, tours, publications and special events.

The museum is a true public/private partnership between the City of Coral Gables and the Coral Gables Museum Corp., a private, not for profit 501(c)3 corporation operating an educational cultural institution within a city-owned facility. The museum raises its own operating budget to fund the exhibitions and educational programs it provides, through memberships, private and government grants, admissions, earned income and, most importantly, with contributions from community members who believe in its mission.

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