Current Exhibits

Gainesville’s Modern Landmarks: Celebrating our Mid-Century Architectural Past (1945-1975)

Main Exhibit Hall

This exhibition has been produced in partnership with Gainesville Modern and the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections of George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida. Every city has a period of time that defines its built environment and architectural character. For Gainesville, that moment was the mid-20th century. This exhibition highlights some of the outstanding examples of the Mid-Century style that are worthy of consideration for landmark status. The urgency of landmarking these irreplaceable resources has been heightened by the demolition of St. Michael’s Church (1975) designed by Frank Lloyd Wright protégé Nils M. Schwiezer. As Matheson Board member and Gainesville Modern president Marty Hylton says, “Landmark status, however, does not mean freezing buildings in time, but retaining them and adapting them to meet new community needs.”

Featured Image (above) – Weil-Cassisi House, courtesy of Paul Privette

Finding the Fountain of Youth: Exploring the Myth of Florida’s Magical Waters

Mary Ann Cofrin Exhibit Hall

This exhibit is based upon Rick Kilby’s award-winning book, Finding the Fountain of Youth: Ponce de Leon and Florida’s Magical Waters. The former traveling exhibit was created by the Florida Museum of Natural History and was donated to the Matheson by author Rick Kilby. The exhibit examines how the legend of Ponce de Leon’s quest for restorative waters shaped the Sunshine State’s image as a land of fantasy, rejuvenation and magical spring-fed waters.

Upcoming Programs

Gainesville Memories Community Project
Saturday, July 13
Location: Matheson Library & Archives, 418 East University Avenue

Here’s your chance to make your mark in history! The Matheson History Museum is partnering with The Gainesville Sun and Pediment Publishing for a unique community project.

Utilizing images from the Matheson’s collection and from the public the Gainesville Sun will be creating a book tentatively entitled “Gainesville Memories: The Early Years,” that will focus on the city’s history prior to 1940.

Bring your historic photos, dated 1940 or earlier, to the Library and Archives building of the Matheson History Museum on Saturday, July 13th, from 11am to 1pm to be scanned by a representative from Pediment Publishing. Your historic photos can be digitized and returned to you while you wait (limit 10). Each image will be captioned and credited to the contributor; Pediment Publishing will provide you with digital copies of your photos upon request. Your images may be selected to be in the “Gainesville Memories” publication, available for sale at the Matheson History Museum in December, just in time for Christmas gifting. Your history deserves to be remembered!

(If you are a private collector or have a particularly robust collection, the publishers may schedule a private appointment with you.)

Parking at the Library & Archives is very limited so please park at the museum and walk across the street.

Questions? Please contact Dixie Neilson, Acting Director, at or 352-378-2280.