Saturday, October 17, 2020

Museum of Science & History making plans for relocating

The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) announced its intent to build a new museum at the Shipyards property on the Northbank of Downtown Jacksonville, Florida.

This new facility would replace current plans to renovate and expand the Museum’s existing structure at 1025 Museum Circle. Preliminary design and construction projections indicate the new museum could be ready to welcome its first members and guests in 2024. This new facility will allow the Museum to provide continuous operation at its current site throughout the construction process.

The Museum’s Board of Trustees engaged a cross-functional team of project partners and stakeholders, including engineers, architects and commercial real estate analysts, to evaluate the site. This process revealed new opportunities to implement the Museum’s visitor experience plan, which was shaped by an extensive community input process, and align MOSH’s vision with efforts to create a vibrant network of civic attractions, parks and river access points on the Northbank.

“As a mission-driven organization, our primary goal is to ensure our future plans align with MOSH’s value to this community — both today and in the future,” said Bruce Fafard, CEO of MOSH. “The presentation of a new site option at the Shipyards property provides an exciting opportunity to reconsider how we will serve Northeast Florida’s citizens and visitors in the years ahead.”

Museum leaders anticipate pre-construction activity could begin in 2021, pending completion of initial due diligence work approved in the FY 2020/2021 City of Jacksonville Capital Improvement Plan. Construction costs for the new museum will be paid with funds from the MOSH 2.0 capital campaign.

“The next iteration of MOSH will serve as a transformative center for science, innovation and humanities in Downtown. We welcome the support of businesses, philanthropists and foundations that share our passion for activating the riverfront, inspiring innovation, supporting critical workforce development and driving tourism to Downtown Jacksonville,” said Jill Davis, Chair of the MOSH 2.0 campaign cabinet.

The Northbank plans build on the strong momentum in Downtown over the past few years and align with the goals of the Curry administration. This development will join other exciting potential projects along the Downtown riverfront, including the Ford on Bay, new FIS headquarters and the recently announced Lot J agreement.

“For nearly 80 years, MOSH has inspired Jacksonville citizens of all ages to embrace the joy of lifelong learning. We applaud the Museum’s leaders for their commitment to Downtown and their bold, innovative vision for the future that will inspire generations and strengthen our reputation as a premier destination in the Southeastern United States,” said Lenny Curry, Mayor of the City of Jacksonville.

About MOSH: The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) is located at 1025 Museum Circle near Friendship Park. MOSH, first chartered in 1941, inspires the joy of lifelong learning by bringing to life the sciences and regional history. Admission is $15 for adults; $12 for youth, students, active and retired military and seniors. There is no admission fee for children 2 and under or Museum members. Learn more at HERE.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

STAGE 9 exhibits present “TOYTOPIA” at MOSH

Take a trip down memory lane and share toy experiences with the whole family. What was your childhood passion? Jump roping? Star Wars® collectibles? Baking in an Easy Bake Oven? Whatever was your favorite toy then and now, you’re sure to find it in the TOYTOPIA exhibit at the Museum of Science & History (MOSH), developed by Stage 9 Exhibits. Opening October 17, Toytopia is sure to rekindle the wonder and delight of your favorite childhood moments and where you can play all day in a world of big toys.

Toytopia is one of the premier exhibits created by the Stage 9 Exhibits. Their exhibits have travelled internationally and have been exhibited at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, Orlando Science Center and the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, Canada.

Toytopia will showcase specialty exhibits from toymakers including: Hasbro®, Duncan Yo-Yo®, Schleich®, Breyer®, Crayola®, KNEX® (Lincoln Logs®) and many more. “Our goal was to capture the essence of childhood wonder; that dream of being in a world of toys,” explained Troy Carlson, owner of Stage Nine Entertainment Group and G. Willikers Toy Emporium.

MOSH Members are invited to explore Toytopia during special Members-only early access on opening weekend. The Museum will open one hour early to MOSH Members on October 17 & 18. The early access will include a special show in the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium.

MOSH is taking special precautions to ensure the safety of visitors during COVID-19. All guests ages 6+ are required to wear face masks during their visit; sanitized stylus pens are provided for use with exhibits; many components have been converted to touchless interactivity; and a heightened cleaning regimen of all public spaces is in place. Toytopia features additional signage and modifications that are in line to the MOSH’s COVID-19 policy.

“MOSH is excited to bring Northeast Florida residents of all ages and interests back to their childhoods with Toytopia,” said Bruce Fafard, Interim CEO of MOSH. “Play is the foundation from which the joy of lifelong learning grows. We welcome visitors to come and explore this unique exhibition at MOSH from October 17 through May 16, and enjoy a nostalgic trip down memory lane.”

Toytopia will feature several special exhibits, including:
The World’s Largest Etch A Sketch, close to 8’ tall.
Retro Arcade Area, with working classic games
A Life-Size Doll House.
A Life-Size Monopoly Car and game board.
Schylling Tin Toys – See how tin toys are created out of simple sheets of tin.

To find out more about Toytopia and exhibition hours, please visit
MOSH is committed to the safety of all guests during COVID-19. Masks are required for Museum entry for all visitors ages 6+, with single-use masks available for purchase for $1. Social distancing is encouraged, and hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the Museum. High traffic areas are cleaned and disinfected regularly. Timed ticketing is required to ensure capacity remains at safe levels throughout the day; tickets are available online.

“Around Town With Ms. “V” does not know all the particulars concerning the COVID-19 protocol of this establishment.

About MOSH: The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) is located at 1025 Museum Circle near Friendship Park. MOSH, first chartered in 1941, inspires the joy of lifelong learning by bringing to life the sciences and regional history. Admission is $15 for adults; $12 for youth, students, active and retired military and seniors. There is no admission fee for children 2 and under or Museum members. Learn more at

About Stage 9: Stage 9 Exhibits is a full-service developer of creative, unusual exhibits for permanent or temporary display. Stage 9 Exhibits owns, operates, and tours six internationally-acclaimed exhibitions including: The Lost World of Dragons, Expedition: DinosaurHall of Heroes, POPnologyThe Animation AcademySweet: A Tasty Journey, and Rock U: The Institute of Rock “N” Roll.


Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens unveils permanent galleries

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens today announced the completion of several updates to its permanent galleries. The Museum’s curatorial team initiated these updates while the galleries were closed to the public from March 14 through July 21. The temporary closure provided a unique opportunity to refresh these spaces to showcase the diversity of artists, perspectives and styles within the Museum’s permanent collection.

“While the Museum places attention and emphasis on our special, traveling exhibitions each year, we also work hard to keep our many other galleries lively and relevant through loaned works of art, new acquisitions and gallery reinstallations,” said Holly Keris, the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Chief Curator of the Museum.

Recent acquisitions and gallery updates include:

The Joan Wellhouse and Martin Stein, Sr. Gallery: Inspired by historical documents and field research, “ISW: Isis Control, attack, support zones as of Oct 2018; HIU, UNHCR: Regional Displacement – numbers & locations of Syrian refugees and IDPs as of Sept-Oct 2018,” by Tiffany Chung, is an intricate, unconventional cartographic rendering of Syria and surrounding countries, showing the effects of military conflict and the resulting displacement of people. This gallery also features three untitled drawings by James Castle, a self-taught American artist who was born deaf and learned to communicate at a young age by creating art.

The Betsy and William D. Lovett Gallery: The Museum acquired a new work that complements the historically significant Wark Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain: “Large Monolith” by Broached Commissions, a narrative and research-driven furniture and object design studio based in Australia, which harvests antiques for their useful parts and repurposes them into a range of furniture typologies. The monolith, which was created for Broached Recall, is indicative of the entwined notions of aesthetics, ecology, environmentalism and conservation – both of historic objects and of natural resources.

The Helen Murchison and Edward W. Lane, Jr. Gallery: Three of the Museum’s most popular sculptures have returned from national exhibitions, including “Gamin” and “The Diving Boy” by Augusta Savage, a gifted sculptor who was born in Green Cove Springs and later became a significant teacher, leader and catalyst for change. These sculptures were part of the Museum’s 2018-2019 exhibition, Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman, which was presented in partnership with guest curator Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D. Additionally, “Portrait of a Woman,” a sculpture by William Artis, has returned.

Members and guests are required to reserve a timed ticket in advance of their visit at Tickets are available in two-hour time increments, with dates and times for the coming week updated every Monday.

The Museum has implemented many safety and sanitation measures, including hand sanitizer stations throughout the campus, plexiglass guards for the front desk area and expanded daily cleaning and sanitation policies for all common areas and surfaces according to the Centers for Disease Control and Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines. All galleries now feature routes to direct the flow of movement and support social distancing. Museum staff, members and guests are required to wear masks.

For more information about the Museum’s permanent collection, internally curated gallery spaces and special exhibitions, visit The Museum’s digital gallery experiences, virtual tours and online resources remain available to the community at

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Cummer Museum and Gardens October 2020 events

It’s been awhile since we’ve reported any events on “Around Town With Ms. “V”, nonetheless there are areas in town where you can feel safe during phase three of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Cummer is looking out for you and your family as you take steps towards a new normal.  Here is a list of activities assist you in a little entertainment.

Friday Night Picnics: October through December from 4 to 9 p.m. Registration required.

Shop the Sale: Oct. 15, 16, 17, 18. Save 50% at the Shop on past exhibition merchandise, books, décor, jewelry, scarves and more.

Virtual Envirofest: Saturday, Oct. 17 Check online for details.

Virtual Conversations with the Artists: Dustin Harewood, Crystal Floyd, and Lili Yuan - Friday, Oct. 23 starting at 7 p.m. Free | Registration required.

Member Virtual Opening, Cross Pollination: Thursday, Oct. 29 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Free to Members only. | Registration required.

Private Onsite or Virtual Exhibition Tour for 10 Guests: Booking by request; call (904) 899-6023.

Petal Pub & Parks: Private Tour for 15 Guests: Booking by request; call (904) 899-6023.

Education - My First Art Class: Color Science: Ages 3 through 5 with an adult. Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Members $80 pair, Non-Members $100 pair. Registration required, limited class size.

Think Like an Artist: Space: Ages 6 through 8. Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31 Virtual Class from 10:30 a.m. to Noon. Members $100, Non-Members $120 | Registration required.

Art Perspectives: Space: Ages 9 through 12. Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31 Virtual Class from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Members $100, Non-Members $120 | Registration required.

Virtual Educator Art Nights: Tuesday, Oct. 13 starting at 5 p.m. Free | Registration required.

Virtual Family Exploration: Native American Perspectives Friday, Oct. 16 starting at 6 p.m.
Free | Registration required.

Family Open Studio: Native American Perspectives Sunday, Oct. 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. Free with admission.

Art Experiences: Acrylic Painting: Ages 18+. Six-week class on Wednesdays
Oct. 21, 28; Nov. 4, 11, 18, 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. Members $270, Non-Members $360
Registration required.

Membership provides you with access to dynamic programs, free entry into all ticketed exhibitions, and valuable discounts to events, the Café, and Shop —all while supporting their efforts to make the Museum accessible and fun for everyone in Jacksonville. Make your Museum, your community, and your world a better place through art and gardens—join or renew today! You'll fit right in.

To minimize touch points and monitor onsite capacity, all visitors must reserve tickets online in advance of their visit. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
829 Riverside Avenue
   Jacksonville, Florida 32204
   (904) 356-6857
Hours of Operation & Admission