Florida’s rich surfing history subject of new exhibit opening Aug. 31

May 7th, 2013
Former professional surfer Shea Lopez, the oldest son of Gulf Coast surfer Pete Lopez, surfs in Hawaii in 2005.  Photo by Jeff Divine

Former professional surfer Shea Lopez, the oldest son of Gulf Coast surfer Pete Lopez, surfs in Hawaii in 2005.
Photo by Jeff Divine

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History visitors will soon have the opportunity to discover the state’s famous coastal waters and deep surfing culture in the new exhibit “Surfing Florida,” opening Aug. 31.

Developed by Florida Atlantic University, the exhibit documents the state’s surfing history through vintage photographs and interpretive graphics as well as videos and oral histories from well-known Florida surfers. The Florida Museum will broaden the exhibit’s scope with surf memorabilia and specimens to explore animals in the surf and on the beach.

“The exhibit is packed with Florida surfing history and memorabilia, but we wanted to add objects from our collections and interesting natural history stories,” said Darcie MacMahon, Florida Museum assistant director for exhibits. “There are actually quite a few animals that surf, even a snail! We also wanted to explore some of the animals that use the beach, since many are familiar to beachcombers.”

The exhibit’s science content will include the museum’s famed “International Shark Attack File” and shark research programs, fish and marine invertebrate collections as well as other areas of study.

The museum will display the exhibit through Jan. 20, 2014.

“Surfing Florida: A Photographic History” was organized by the University Galleries, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, with support from the Florida Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Writer: Katina Prokos, kprokos@flmnh.ufl.edu
Source: Darcie MacMahon, 352-273-2053, dmacmahon@flmnh.ufl.edu
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu