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BEYOND THE GAME: Sports & the Evolution of South Florida

Since the 1920s, sporting events and institutions have both mirrored and shaped the growth of South Florida. Miami Jai-Alai and Hialeah Park two of the area’s earliest sporting attractions, lured northern tourists with, respectively, the spectacles of jai alai, an ancient Basque game imported from Cuba, and horse racing. Along with the annual collegiate Orange Bowl Game, these quickly became world-famous draws and by the mid-century were helping fuel the public fascination with South Florida as a locus of sun, fun, and leisure. It was an image that eventually would draw not only visitors, but transplants to the region.

The Discipline of Nature: Architect Alfred Browning Parker in Florida

A Modernist architect best known for his residential designs, Alfred Browning Parker was born in Boston but moved to Miami at age 8. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1939 with a degree in Architecture. He designed over 500 projects in his 60 year career, including the “Tropex-pansible home”which was constructed with high quality modular parts.

NEWSMAN: The Photojournalism of Tim Chapman

For forty years, photojournalist Tim Chapman documented the history of South Florida and beyond. His career with the Miami Herald began in 1972, ended in 2012, and included coverage of The Jonestown Massacre, the Mariel Boatlift, the Cocaine Cowboys era, and Hurricane Andrew, among other local and international events. In 2013, Chapman donated his life’s work to HistoryMiami Museum, and Newsmanshowcases images from this collection, selected by longtime Miami Heraldphotographer Al Diaz. The displayed images, along with cameras, press passes, notebooks, and other artifacts, chronicle Chapman’s storied career.

Parkquest South Florida: Paintings by Patricia Rottino Cummins

With a paintbrush in hand, Miami’s very own environmental artist Patricia Cummins has captured various scenes from nature while traveling the nation for over a decade. Patricia’s body of work represents the natural beauty of national parks from coast to coast, from California to Florida.

Mucho, Mucho Amor: 50 Years of Walter Mercado

Mucho, Mucho Amor: 50 Years of Walter Mercado celebrates the life and career of the beloved Latino astrologer and pop culture icon. For over five decades, Walter Mercado has shared his astrological predictions with style, flair, and mucho, mucho amor.

Raised in the sugar cane fields of Puerto Rico, Mercado grew up to become a gender non-conforming, cape-wearing, psychic astrologer whose televised horoscopes reached 120 million Latino viewers a day for more than 30 years. One of the world’s most famous astrologers, he is a part of the cultural zeitgeist for Latinos and remains a popular figure that transcends generations.

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of Mercado’s first show, HistoryMiami Museum will open an exhibition of his costumes, mementos, and ephemera, on display for the first time ever.

For tickets click here.

A special public program with Walter Mercado will be held on Saturday, August 3. For tickets click here.



Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Now Open Buy your Ticket!

HistoryMiami Museum is proud to present Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the largest and most comprehensive exhibition on America’s favorite sport. Gridiron Glory presents a panoramic view of the story of professional football – from its humble beginnings in the early 20th century to the cultural phenomenon it is today.

The 8,000 square foot exhibition features more than 200 awe-inspiring artifacts, rare photographs, one-of-a-kind documents, spectacular footage from NFL films, and interactive displays that challenge both mind and body. The interactive multimedia experience also includes a “Hometown Heroes” section to spotlight the Miami Dolphins and local football heroes.

Fans will get up close to artifacts including the seven-pound sterling silver Vince Lombardi Trophy and items from legends of the game like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, John Elway and Joe Montana. Dolphins fans will find notable artifacts from all-time favorites such as Dan Marino and Jason Taylor, including the football thrown by Dan Marino when he broke the career passing yardage record, as well as Jason Taylor’s jersey, pants, shoes and helmet he wore during the 2006 season when he won the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Other items on display include:

  • A game ball from a 1910 game
  • Emmitt Smith Helmet – worn during when Smith broke Walter Payton’s career rushing record
  • Larry Csonka’s helmet – worn during his career with the Miami Dolphins
  • Barry Sanders’ 2,000 yard jersey – Sanders wore this jersey when he joined O.J. Simpson and Eric Dickerson as the only players in the NFL  to rush for more than 2,000 yards
  • Tom Brady’s draft card presented at the 2000 NFL Draft indicating the New England Patriots selected him in the 6th round
  • A mold replica of Jerry Rice’s hands and the football that Rice caught when he tied the NFL record for most career receptions
  • Joe Montana autographed football – MVP football from his Super Bowl XXIV victory
  • Troy Aikman helmet – worn during his 1992 season with the Cowboys
  • Walter Payton jersey – worn when he broke Jim Brown’s all-time rushing record in 1984
  • The game ball from Super Bowl XLII when the New York Giants ended the New England Patriots’ undefeated season with a 17-14 victory
  • The historic elevator panel from Three Rivers Stadium where Art Rooney was standing when the famous “Immaculate Reception” occurred in the 1972 Playoffs

Guests can see how they measure up to the pros by comparing their physical dimensions and athletic abilities to those of the biggest stars in the game. Visitors are invited to try on vintage pads and jerseys, along with today’s equipment or step inside the Instant Replay Booth and see if they can make the right call. Interactive touch screen selection kiosks will also show video clips on each member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Fans can relive the game-changing, milestone records that turned players into legends through Fantastic Finishes from NFL Films in a pop up theater. They can then test their knowledge of the 326 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame at interactive kiosks throughout the exhibit.

The traveling exhibition has been featured in every Super Bowl city since its opening in 2012 and will run through Super Bowl week.

Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will run through Super Bowl 2020 in Miami, until Sunday, February 9, 2020.

Sponsored in part by: Baptist Health, Miami Dade County, Miami DDA, Bermont Advisory Group

Thank you to our partners: Intercontinental Miami, The Miami Dolphins, The Super Bowl Host Committee, University of Miami Athletics, WSVN 7

Click here for sponsorship opportunities: Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Queer Miami: A History of LGBTQ Communities

Exhibition closes Sept. 1, 2019

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion, Queer Miami: A History of LGBTQ Communities chronicles Miami’s queer past, reflecting multiple forms and expressions of gender and sexual diversity. Through artifacts, photographs, archival footage, and more, the exhibition displays the stories of Miami’s queer communities who, despite discrimination, isolation, and violence, carved out spaces for themselves in southern Florida. Moments of defiance, resistance, and triumph are emphasized, highlighting stories of community and identity formation, coalition building, and civil rights. The exhibition also encourages museum visitors to share their personal stories, in an effort to acknowledge the diversity of the LGBTQ communities over time.

The exhibition is curated by Julio Capó Jr. who was born and raised in Miami and is an associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is the author of Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940.



Photo Captions:

Gay Rights Parade, June 25, 1978. Tim Chapman Collection, HistoryMiami Museum

Three participants riding in a car in Miami’s first Gay Rights Parade, 1978. Tim Chapman, photographer. Tim Chapman Collection, HistoryMiami Museum, 2013-334-78-64-4.

Two women holding each other while walking in Miami’s first Gay Rights Parade, 1978. Tim Chapman, photographer. Tim Chapman Collection, HistoryMiami Museum, 2013-334-78-64-9.

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