On display for the first time will be rare artifacts from De Soto’s royal expedition to Florida in 1539. Showcased are glass beads, chain mail from Spanish armor and the largest cache of medieval coins found to date in the U.S. Photo courtesy of the Ocala Star Banner.
'New World Treasures,' De Soto Artifacts at Appleton Museum, Sept. 22
July 12, 2012
The first public exhibition of rare artifacts from one of Spain’s earliest royal expeditions to Florida in 1539, “New World Treasures: Artifacts from Hernando De Soto’s Florida Expedition,” will open on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida. The artifacts were discovered recently in Marion County and will be on display at the Appleton into 2013 as part of the statewide “Viva Florida 500” anniversary celebration.
Daily admission to the Appleton Museum is $6 for adults; $4 for seniors 55 or better and students 19 and over; $3 for youths ages 10-18; and free for members, CF students, children age 9 and under, and active military personnel and their immediate families.
This extraordinary collection of rare 16th century artifacts includes delicate blue Murano glass beads fabricated in Italy during the early 1500s, pieces of chain mail from Spanish armor and the largest cache of medieval coins found to date on the American mainland. The coins include rare King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella related coins, including a Spanish piece confirmed to have been made in Spain between 1471 and 1474 during the reign of King Enrique IV, which may be the oldest confirmed European artifact discovered in the United States.
“These Spanish artifacts discovered in Marion County are the earliest of their type to have been found in the Continental U.S. and it proves that Ocala and its immediate environs are home to some of the oldest historic sites in the country,” said Appleton Curator of Exhibitions Ruth Grim. “This collection of Hernando De Soto artifacts is a fascinating reminder that Ocala has a long history as a crossroads bringing together people of different cultures and from all walks of life.”
In addition, the Appleton Museum of Art offers a permanent collection of European, American and contemporary art, plus Asian, African, Islamic and pre-Columbian artifacts and antiquities. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays and closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. A 12-month membership is available for $25 for seniors 55 and over, $30 for adults 18 and over, $40 for two seniors over age 55, $50 for a family of two adults and any children under age 18, and $15 for all college students and current or retired educators. Owned and operated by College of Central Florida, the Appleton Museum of Art is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, east of downtown on SR40 (exit 352 east off I-75 or exit 268 west off I-95). For more information call the Appleton Museum of Art at 352-291-4455 or visit www.AppletonMuseum.org.