Museum of Florida History Reopens, Debuts Colonial Exhibit

Oct 16, 2015

The Museum of Florida History has a new permanent exhibit. Forever Changed: La Florida, 1513 to 1821 is now open to the public. The exhibit chronicles the state’s colonial history.

The exhibit examines the European impact on native peoples, cultures and landscapes. Original artifacts and clothes are on display, as well as life-size casts of historical figures. Curator Bruce Graetz says the figures serve as a personal connection to the period.

“What we wanted to do was incorporate a personal perspective in this. Something that the public can identify with as an individual that was living in that time period,” he said.

Museum curators, staff, board members and Secretary of State Ken Detzner hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Forever Changed exhibit.
Credit Museum of Florida History /

Curator Lisa Dunbar says she hopes the exhibit shines a light on the state's lesser known history.

"There's really a lot more to Florida history than people think. When they think colonial Florida they think St. Augustine, but there was a lot more to the story. It's a pretty complex, changing history and we want people to gain a greater awareness of that history," she said.

The exhibit is interactive, with games and touchable artifacts. Visitors can walk through reproductions of St. Augustine’s fort and step inside a colonial-style house. Also on display are personal belongings of Seminole Chief Osceola.