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The Florida Historic Capitol Museum is hosting an exclusive new exhibition opening on January 17, 2013, as part of the statewide Viva Florida 500 commemoration of Ponce de Leon’s landing in Florida and the following five hundred years of historical transitions. Navigating New Worlds: Identity, Perception, and Politics in Florida highlights rare and important maps and prints from the Michael W. and Dr. Linda M. Fisher collection.

Approximately thirty maps and prints will be on view from the Fisher collection, consisting of some of their most rare and historically important pieces. Visitors will explore the ties between outsiders' perceptions of Florida, the experiences of those actually living in the region, and how these interactions shaped Florida's settlement. Through historical interpretation based on scholarly research and document translations, the maps on display will depict the influence of Europeans on the future shape of Florida but also reflect the continuity of various cultures and languages throughout the transformation of Florida's political landscape into the Florida that we know today. Mapmaking tools, audiovisual content, and other 3-D objects will enhance the visitor experience. The exhibition will also be complemented by a series of educational programs and special events.

Take a video tour of the exhibit with the Collectors and Museum staff in Florida Portraits: Navigating New Worlds. Program produced by The Florida Channel (11:11).

About the Collection and the Collectors

For the past 40 years native Floridians Michael W. and Dr. Linda Fisher have assembled a museum quality private collection of historic prints and maps. These images are depicted through woodcuts, engravings, etchings and stone lithographs portraying contemporaneously an individual, event or place associated with Florida. The Jacksonville based collection features more than 600 items ranging from the 15th century to the early 20th century. At the heart of the collection is the history of Florida and when pieced together, like a 12-sheet map, a story of La Florida emerges. Fond of history, mystery, art and fine craftsmanship, the practicing tax attorney and retired humanities professor continue to discover more images and add to the collection “probably as long as we breathe.”

Featured Items

Hartmann Schedel Map image
Secunda etas Mundi, Hartmann Schedel, 1493

Rare, double-sided map, hand-colored. Interesting map that is printed after Columbus's expedition, but does not have the New World appearing on it. Represents the confluence of older traditions with the emerging scientific thought that would come to signify the Enlightenment in Europe.

Florida East Coast Railway Map Image
Map of the Peninsula of Florida and Adjacent Islands

Paired with a 1911 metal alloy printing plate used to produce a similar map. (Plate from the collection of John and Sandra Berryman of Ormond Beach)

Abraham Ortelius Map
Americae Sive Novi Orbis Nova Descriptio Abraham Ortelius, 1628

Mr. Fisher has two copies of this map. The edition that will be displayed is believed to be one of five in existence. La Florida is one of the most recognizable features on the map, as well as “Cannaveral.”

Exhibit Programs and Events

Explorers Day at the Historic Capitol
October 12, 2013, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Explore the Museum with some of Florida's most famous European explorers. Join a 16th century navigator for hands-on demonstrations of his seafaring tools. Family-friendly activities will be held throughout the day. Learn More »

Navigating New Worlds Curator's Tour
Fourth Friday of each Month through December 2013, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Each fourth Friday of the month in 2013, meet at the Visitor Services Desk at 11:00 a.m. for a special Curator's Tour of the exhibit. Historic Capitol staff will talk about the development of Navigating New Worlds, highlight additional themes that aren't explored in the exhibit text, and point out interesting tidbits on the maps that you may not find on first glance.

Thank You to Our Exhibit Sponsors

The Florida Historic Capitol Foundation, as the Direct Support Organization for the Museum, extends its deepest appreciation to the following Sponsors and Partners for their support and efforts in making this exhibit possible: