Exhibits

There is always something to see and do in Historic Pensacola. Our Museum of Industry and Museum of Commerce are hosts to permanent exhibits and tell the stories of the Pensacola’s early industries and downtown Pensacola circa the 1890s.

Currently on exhibit in the Voices of Pensacola is Gender Portraits. Gender Portraits is a project from artist Drew Riley, of the Austin Creative Alliance. The nonprofit organization supports sex and gender minorities using art as a foundation for education, activism, and advocacy. Drew Riley interviews individuals that are part of the trans, intersex, and gender nonconforming communities, using her art to bring each person’s story to life through stunning portraits of a person’s authentic self. This artist showcase will be held in the Voices of Pensacola Multicultural Center in conjunction with our Queering Spaces exhibit located in the Pensacola Museum of History. Learn more about Drew Riley and her art on her website, Gender Portraits.

The Pensacola Museum of History is where you will find a permanent exhibit on the history, archaeology and preservation of the City of Five Flags, in addition to changing exhibits.

The Finding 1821 Trail allows you to explore Pensacola's history through modern technology. The Finding 1821 trail reflects a local establishment that was near that location two hundred years ago. Outside each business is a QR code that links to a corresponding advert from an early 1820s newspaper. You can find ours on the left window in the breezeway. Over a dozen sites have been identified so far. Take a stroll around town, visit local shops, and explore the history of Pensacola through today's technology.

Tell us about your visit!

 

Permanent Exhibits

Trader Jon's

Martin "Trader Jon" Weissman, owner and namesake of Trader Jon's Bar, was well known for his personal eccentricities such as his famously mismatched socks and "Tradernomics" as well as his eclectic establishment. One of Pensacola's top tourist destinations for decades, Trader Jon's, decorated with photos and memorabilia, some traded for drinks, was a safe haven where young flight students, military personnel, astronauts and movie stars rubbed shoulders with local politicians, characters and the occasional ne'er-do-well. Trained as a U. S. paratrooper in WWII, Trader's lifelong love of naval aviation and his livelihood were inseparable. There was truly nothing like it on Earth! Step inside and experience the legend that was Trader Jon's. 

New Rental Venue! For booking information, please contact our special events coordinator at hpvevents@uwf.edu.

New Trader Jon's exhibit in the pensacola museum of history

The City of Five Flags

The City of Five Flags tells the unique story of Pensacola through artifacts, photographs and stories told through archaeology and preservation efforts. Renovated in 2012, the City of Five Flags exhibit includes streamlined timelines, one-of-a-kind artifacts, and immersive environments all designed to help visitors experience life in Pensacola under five different flags.

For thousands of years, people have been discovering Pensacola. Warriors, conquistadors, presidents, heroes from all walks of life, and countless others have discovered that in trying to make their mark on Pensacola, Pensacola has made its mark on them.

What drew people here more than 450 years ago still captivates us today. The beautiful, unspoiled bay, the vivid pageantry of our multi-cultured history, and the promise of new discoveries from places that transcend time itself--this is Pensacola, City of Five Flags.

  

Changing Exhibit Galleries

2000 Men: Black Politicians During Reconstruction

October 8, 2021 - July 2022

Coming to the Pensacola Museum of History is 2000 Men: Black Politicians During Reconstruction. After the Civil War, newly enfranchised Black men entered the world of politics for the first time. The inclusion of African Americans as not only citizens, but as voting constituents greatly impacted politics in the United States. Impacts from this crucial time in American history are still seen today. Though the exhibit highlights local Black politicians, items on display will enhance the story of overall understanding of the national context. Portraits, letters, and memorabilia will soon fill the third floor of the museum! Be sure to come visit during the fall to be among the first to view 2000 Men. The exhibits team is always looking for items to help tell our story. If you, or someone you know, may be interested in donating items relating to this or any of our exhibits, please reach out! 

Greetings From Pensacola

October 4, 2019- September 2022

Postcards were one of the ultimate promoters of person, place and thing during the first half of the 20th century. Journey through the development of the postcard and Pensacola’s postcard past while becoming acquainted with Curt Teich, the world’s most successful postcard publisher.

Cotton Fields to Congress: The Life and Career of Earl Hutto

Closes April 4, 2022

The exhibit replicates the feel of a campaign headquarters on election night as visitors trace Hutto’s career from the Alabama cotton fields into sportscasting, television and radio production, and eventually into state and national politics. A pictorial biography and timeline showcases Congressman Hutto’s interactions with local and national military personnel, political figures, and celebrities. The exhibit features memorabilia and artifacts from his eight terms of political service, including a vignette of his Congressional office. In his travels around the world, Congressman Hutto never forgot his local roots, and the exhibit pays tribute to his efforts and accomplishments on behalf of northwest Florida. If you’ve ever wondered how Hutto earned the title “Captain Supreme,” the exhibit answers that question.

The Story of Us: From Curiosity Cabinets to Modern Museums

Modern museums look vastly different than 16th century curiosity cabinets. Museums, and their predecessors, exist because of the drive to preserve memories. Every object has a story to tell - sometimes two or three. Our mission is to protect and interpret thousands of objects that represent the history of Northwest Florida.

Queering Spaces: Celebrating Pensacola’s LGBTQ+ Community

May 1, 2021-extended to February 28, 2022

This exhibit explores the history of the Queer Community, going beyond Memorial Day Weekend and Pride to uncover the long-lasting impacts of Pensacola’s vibrant past. It will look at the unique spaces created by and for LGBTQ+ people, political activism through the years, and celebrate a community that continues to grow and thrive in Pensacola. The exhibit was completed in partnership with community curators Emily Williams, Laynie Gibson, and Maggie Crain. 

Suddenly American: A Meeting of Heritage and Country

July 2021 until December 2023

This exhibit looks at the transition of Florida from a Spanish territory to an American region, which formally occurred in 1821. Florida’s embattled history dates back much farther than 1821. From refusing independence during the American Revolution to wanting their own freedom in 1810, Florida loved to cause problems. The United States eyed the region early on, using the Seminole Wars as an excuse to seize territory before turning to diplomatic means to acquire Florida. The Adams-Onis Treaty, debated and initially agreed upon in 1819, resulted in Spain ceding control of East Florida to the United States. At the same time, Spain also agreed to give up all claims on West Florida, in essence giving the entire Florida territory over to the United States. Ratified in 1821, the Treaty was cause for celebration in Pensacola, the capital of West Florida, as it officially became part of America. 

Visualized Landscapes: a selection of Northwest Florida maps

January 28, 2022 - August 2022 

The wild landscape of the northern Gulf Coast has transformed dramatically over the years, due to both natural and human forces. From early drawings to more recent renderings, this exhibit explores the shifting topography of Northwest Florida through a series of maps selected from the UWF Historic Trust Archives.