About MOAS

About the Museum

The Museum of Arts & Sciences (MOAS) is the primary art, science and history museum in Central Florida. The area’s largest museum, MOAS is nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. Located on a 90-acre Florida nature preserve, the facility hosts over 30,000 objects including the Dow Gallery of American Art; one of the finest collections of American art in the Southeast, the Schulte Gallery of Chinese Art; the Bouchelle Collection and the Gallery of Decorative Arts; the Cuban Foundation Museum, showcasing one of the most significant collections of Cuban paintings in the United States; the Prehistory of Florida Gallery featuring Florida’s Giant Ground Sloth skeleton and the Root Family Museum displaying restored railroad cars, antique automobiles and the largest collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia in Florida. The Helene B. Roberson Visible Storage Building exhibits thousands of objects from many donors which are owned by the Museum, while the Linda and Charles Williams Children’s Museum presents an interactive experience for children. A new state-of-the-art planetarium and the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art showcasing the largest collection of Florida-based art in the world, rounds out the areas to explore inside the Museum of Arts & Sciences.

The History of MOAS
1955

The Museum of Arts & Sciences is a not-for-profit educational institution founded in 1955.

1962

The Museum of Arts & Sciences was chartered by the State of Florida in 1962. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Programs are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the County of Volusia.

1975

The impressive 13-foot tall skeleton of the Eremotherium laurilardi or Giant Ground Sloth was excavated in 1975 and dates back approximately 130,000 years. The Volusia County Giant Ground Sloth is the best preserved and most complete fossil of this species in North America and now resides in the Prehistory of Florida Gallery within the MOAS West Wing. 

1986

The Kenneth Worcester Dow and Mary Mohan Dow Gallery of American Art is a 4,000 square-foot exhibition that opened in 1986. The gallery presents and interprets, in historical context, 300 years of American painting, sculpture, pewter, silver, period furniture, and decorative arts. 

1995

The Cuban Foundation Fine and Folk Art Museum contains one of the largest collections of Cuban art outside of Cuba. This rich gallery was reinstalled in 1995 with the inclusion of pre-Columbian Taino pottery and Spanish Colonia artifacts in silver, rare woods, and tortoiseshell. 

1996

Established in 1996, the William and Helena Schulte Gallery of Chinese Art showcases 84 objects from the Museum's collection, including large interpretive panels on Chinese history and society. T'ang and Wei horses, Han and Ming tomb figures, Ch'ing gemstone carvings and Ming blue and white objects are amoung the many other cultural items. 

2001

The 24,000 square-foot Root Wing opened in October 2001 and houses the Root Family Museum which encompasses 20th century American culture and technological artifacts relating to the history of Coca-Cola. The Root Family Museum also contains a Train Station that includes two rail cars and a railroad exhibit that gives great insight into the lives of early American industrialists.

2005

The Kim A. Klancke, M.D. and Marsha L. Klancke Environmental Education Complex in Tuscawilla Preserve opened in Spring 2005. Nature trails throughout the 90-acre preserve in adjacent Tuscawilla Park are mainted by MOAS. 

2008

The Charles and Linda Williams Children's Museum opened in 2008 and is the first hands-on science center in Volusia County. This 9,300 square-foot space houses more than fifteen professionaly designed interactive exhibits, geared especially towards children, that demonstate various principles of science, engineering, and physics. 

2011

The Helene B. Roberson Visible Storage Building is a state-of-the-art, 4,000 square-foot addition that was added to the Museum in 2011. The facility stores and displays important works from the Museum's collection in a glass-fronted, open storage format. It is the only such facility for art and decorative objects in Florida. 

2014

That new MOAS Planetarium is a 94-seat facility housed in a beautifully designed new building. The 40 ft. diameter dome structure and sound system changes the whole experience for viewers as they engage in the wonders of the universe. The Planetarium features a brand new OmniStar™ digital projector which expands the Planetarium's capabilities significantly. Besides star shows, the Planetarium also has the ability to play full-dome HD movies of all types and genres. The new Planetarium opened in August 2014. 

2015

The Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art opened in February 2015 and is home to the most extensive collection of Florida art in the world. The 26,000 square-foot Museum features a collection of Florida themed oil and watercolor paintings dating back to the early 1800's. The entire collection consists of over 2,600 paintings. The size and scope of the collection lends itself perfectly to illustrating the many stories that can be told about the geography and natural history of Florida. 

2015

The new West Wing of the Museum opened in October 2015. The West Wing was originally built on a dip in the property and flooded in May 2009 due to heavy rains. The Museum was able to obtain FEMA funding that was matched in part by a Volusia County ECHO Grant and funding from the Museum to make reconstruction possible. 

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