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(OCALA, Fla.) Jan. 14, 2013 — The world premiere of “New World Treasures: Artifacts from Hernando De Soto’s Florida Expedition” is Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida. The artifacts were discovered in Marion County and will be on display at the Appleton through Dec. 31, 2013, in conjunction with 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.
The artifacts are from the oldest confirmed New World contact site in the United States of Conquistador Hernando De Soto’s journey through Ocala in August 1539. This was one of the earliest Royal Spanish expeditions to the New World.
This collection of rare 16th century artifacts includes Murano glass beads from Italy, chain mail from Spanish armor and the largest cache of medieval coins found in the American mainland to date. 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. Also included is pottery by the tribe of Potano Native Americans who encountered De Soto, and some of the pieces date back to 850 B.C.
“We are pleased to be able to participate in such a major way with the Viva Florida 500 initiative by presenting this exhibition with some of the most important Spanish artifacts found in the continental United States,” said Appleton Curator of Exhibitions Ruth Grim. “This collection of De Soto artifacts is a fascinating reminder that Ocala and Marion County has a long history as a crossroads of different people and cultures.”
In addition to “New World Treasures,” Appleton guests can also view the temporary exhibitions “Chick Schwartz: Cedar Key Artist” through March 17 and “Rebels With a Cause: American Impressionist Women from the Huntsville Museum of Art” through March 31. The Appleton offers a permanent collection of European, American and Contemporary art, plus Asian, African 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.
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