Museum Studies student Lauren O’Neill, recent Museum Studies graduate Alexis Schumen (MA Museum Studies '16) and Dr. Briley Rasmussen, Director of the Museum Studies Program, recently collaborated with students, faculty and community members to develop River of Dreams: The St. Johns and its Springs, an exhibition held at the Matheson History Museum in Gainesville, Florida.
As stated in the introduction text, the surging exhibition “highlights some of the many integral roles the St. Johns River has played in the lives, economy and traditions of North and Central Florida.” O’Neill beautifully illustrates that “as you travel through the exhibition, you travel along the river.”
Rasmussen, the lead curator for the exhibition, worked closely with Dr. Peggy Macdonald, the executive director of the Matheson, Dr. Whitney Sanford from the Religion Department and Florence Turcotte, a curator at the George A. Smathers Library, to design the exhibition, create and streamline content and work with local artists and archeological sites to procure objects meaningful to the St. Johns River and the stories it flows through.
O’Neill and Schumen co-curated the exhibition, facilitated meetings, helped solidify the major themes and flow of the exhibition and painstakingly installed the show over 23 hours.
This stunning show brilliantly illustrates the dynamic relationship between multiple departments throughout the University of Florida and our community. The relationships that made this exhibition possible are a strong testament to the strength of the Museum Studies program as an interdisciplinary powerhouse.
Visit River of Dreams: The St. Johns and its Springs at the Matheson History Museum open through June 24, 2017.