This original exhibition examines Floridians' past, present and future relationship with the St. Johns River and its springs. Dr. Briley Rasmussen, Director of Museum Studies at the University of Florida, is the lead curator of the exhibition. Guest curators include Dr. Whitney Sanford, Professor of Religion at the University of Florida, and Ms. Florence Turcotte, Literary Collections Archivist at George A. Smathers Libraries. University of Florida museum studies, religion and sustainability graduate and undergraduate students assisted with exhibition research and installation.
Drawing upon an historical and ethnographic study of the north-flowing St. Johns River and its environs, this exhibit explores the complicated relationships between peoples and places and the diverse ways that people express their care for their places. The ethnographic and historical materials in the exhibit will both demonstrate how people have responded to past environmental challenges, such as resistance to the Cross-Florida Barge Canal, and illustrate how different language obscures shared concerns.
The exhibition includes original work by photographers Anne Ledbetter and Bruce Mozert; artifacts from Kingsley Plantation; a model of the Silver Glen Springs shell mound; documents and images on loan from the University of Florida George A. Smathers Library, Special & Area Studies Collections, and the Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper project; and images of the St. Johns River, Ocklawaha River and Silver Springs from the Matheson's photographic, stereographic and postcard collections.
UF religion professor Whitney Sanford talks about the spiritual connection people feel to Florida's waters, including the St. Johns and its springs, in the latest issue of Our Town Magazine. According to historian and adventure guide Lars Andersen, the first Floridians considered water sacred.
Center for the Humanities
and the Public Sphere
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
200 Walker Hall
P.O. Box 118030
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611