Daytona Beach is just one surprise after another. I’ve never thought much about visiting Daytona Beach as I’m not a big Nascar fan, but I’ve seen the light. There is so much more to Daytona Beach than one of the most popular sporting events in the world. There is a good food scene, a craft beer Ale Trail, lots of history including the landing place of Ponce de Leon, and two museums/art galleries within walking distance of each other. I think it may be one of Florida’s most overlooked cities. Today’s adventure is all about discovering the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts & Sciences. It’s a rare cloudy and cool day so it is perfect for exploring the arts & culture scene of this city on a beach.
As I mentioned Daytona Beach has two museums almost side by side. There is the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art and the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts & Sciences which is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute. Opened in 1955 I am exploring MOAS today as the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum was closed for the day.
It would be easy to wander and lose myself here for an entire afternoon. There are many galleries, a planetarium and a children’s museum to explore. I’m going to focus on a few that are my favourite. The Kenneth Worcester Dow and Mary Mohan Dow Gallery of American Art is spectacular. I may not want to decorate my house in this style but the craftsmanship and beauty of each piece is stunning. Of particular wow factor is the piano on display. I can see many parties and songs sung around this instrument.
The Anderson C. Bouchelle Gallery for International Decorative Arts also has some stunning pieces, including this crystal perfume case edged with silver made in Osler, England for a Maharini of Murshidabad.
If fashion is your thing there is a temporary exhibit called Flapper Style. It takes you back to another age of glamour, excess and The Great Gatsby. The condition of these dresses and shoes are immaculate. They don’t make clothes like this anymore.
The last major exhibit that wowed me was the Root Family Museum. Named after the patriarch of a family that made his fortune from glass bottles. Glass bottles made for Coca-Cola no less. The iconic bottle design we associate with Coca-Cola was his and it made him his fortune.
There are cars and all sorts of Coca-Cola memorabilia on display. From signs, to coolers and delivery trucks it is all here.
This is just a taste of what you can see in the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts & Sciences. There is more, much more. Including this Giant Ground Sloth skeleton that was discovered only a few miles away from the museum location. Before man discovered Florida the Giant Ground Sloth was here.