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Museum of Arts and Sciences (Daytona Beach) facts for kids

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Museum of Arts and Sciences
MOAS Lobby .jpg
Location 352 South Nova Road
Daytona Beach, Florida
Type Art, Science, History
Public transit access Route 7, VOTRAN

The Museum of Arts and Sciences, often referred to as MOAS, is a museum in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. The museum is a member of the American Alliance of Museums and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. It is home to over 30,000 objects, making it one of the largest museums in central Florida.


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

In 1977, art historian Gary Russell Libby was hired as the Executive Director of the Museum of Arts and Sciences which became accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and a Smithsonian Affiliate under Libby's leadership. The Museum grew from one location of 7,000 sq. ft. to 120,000 sq. ft. with three different locations. During his time as director, Libby organized and led the first international museum travel program in Florida. This annual program introduced cultural treasures in Mexico, Central America, South America, Europe, Scandinavia, North and Equatorial Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia to thousands of central Floridians who attended these interpreted educational and cultural expeditions.At his 2002 retirement, The Trustees of the Museum of Arts and Sciences named Libby as the first Director Emeritus and named the Lobby of the Museum as the "Gary R. Libby Entry Court."

The newly rebuilt West Wing of the Museum opened on October 30, 2015. This expansive wing of MOAS is home to the Cuban Foundation Museum, the Karshan Center of Graphic Art, the Gillespy Gallery featuring African artifacts, the Marzullo Gallery featuring weaponry from around the world, and the Prehistory of Florida Gallery. 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.


Some notable exhibits include:

  • The most complete giant ground sloth skeleton in North America housed in a Florida fossil gallery
  • The largest permanent exhibition of Cuban art outside of Cuba
  • Coca-Cola entrepreneur Chapman Root's (The Root Glass Company) lifetime collection of Americana, including two private rail cars (The two being the Skytop Lounge, 'Dell Rapids', and an Observation Dome, 'Silver Holly'.), the second largest collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia in the world (featuring original molds and the original patents for the bottle), Indy race cars, teddy bears, and quilts.
  • While about half of the exhibits are permanent, there are many exhibits which change every few months.
  • A collection of international decorative arts and Early American furniture and art
  • A gallery of Chinese art
  • Visible storage
  • The Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art which contains the largest collection of Florida art in the world.

The museum also has its own auditorium and planetarium.

Charles and Linda William's Children's Museum

MOAS opened the first science center in the area on November 21, 2008. The Charles and Linda William's Children's Museum features hands-on science exhibits in a 9,000-square-foot (840 m2) state-of-the-art facility. The Children's Museum is home to interactive exhibits that demonstrate various principles of science, including a raceway where kids can build their own vehicles, doctor and radiologist exhibits, tennis ball launcher, video light microscope, a make-believe pizza parlor, and more.

Gamble Place

Another off-site exhibit MOAS has to offer is Gamble Place. Nestled among the Spruce Creek Preserve, this property features Florida's rich natural environment and a unique historic past told by the property's three historic house museums. Gamble Place has been developed and restored by the Museum of Arts & Sciences in cooperation with the Nature Conservancy and the City of Port Orange. It is now a 175-acre (0.71 km2) park with trails that cover five different ecosystems and is home to many endangered and threatened species.

Klancke Environmental Education Complex

In 2005 MOAS opened the Kim A. Klancke, M.D. & Marsha L. Klancke Environmental Education Complex in Tuscawilla Preserve, a 90-acre (360,000 m2) nature preserve in the middle of Daytona Beach that includes over 1/2 mile of boardwalks and nature trails. The preserve protects virgin Florida coastal hydric hammock, and is a habitat for endangered species of flora and fauna. Currently the Tuscawilla Preserve is closed due to damages sustained from Hurrican Irma in September 2017.

Lohman Planetarium

In 2014 the Museum opened a new state-of-the-art planetarium. Complete with 94 reclining seats, an immersive environment is generated 360 degrees around you from an OmniStar™ projector fitted with a fish-eye lens, capable of displaying vibrant and colorful HD content across an expansive 40-foot hemispherical dome. Coupled with a powerful audio system that truly surrounds the audience, the planetarium helps visitors feel like they are really traveling through space or visiting the terrain of an exotic far-off world. The powerhouse of the planetarium comes from its software, Uniview™, that provides a three-dimensional perspective of the observable universe - allowing the Museum to navigage the star field from any spot on Earth, fly to the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit, skim through the rings of Saturn, and cruise around galaxies billions of light years away.

Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art

In 2015, the Museum opened the innovative Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art, home to the largest collection of Florida art in the world. The collection of around 2,600 Florida themed oil and watercolor paintings will be on display throughout rotating exhibits. The Museum's grand central gallery and mezzanine showcase the collection's signature pieces, while six smaller galleries feature beautiful changing exhibitions with Florida themes. A gift shop and cafe add to the Brown Museum experience and make for the perfect day-long visit to the MOAS campus. Conference rooms with full meeting and presentation capabilities are available to the public on a rental basis.

West Wing

In fall of 2015 the Museum opened its new West Wing. The opening of the West Wing marked the completion of the last phase in a multi-phase construction projection. The new planetarium, which opened in August 2014, was also part of the West Wing project. The West Wing was originally built in a dip on the MOAS property causing it to be lower than other additions added on in the years that followed. On May 19, 2009, heavy rains resulted in four to six inches of water flooding the Museum's 20,000 sq. ft. West Wing. Museum staff began the successful removal of art and artifacts at the first signs of water intrusion. The space was rendered unusable due to the damage caused by days of continuous precipitation. Some galleries including the old Planetarium were able to be refurbished to allow them to be reopened to visitors. However, the previous home of the Giant Ground Sloth skeleton has to remain closed.

On August 27, 2009, the State of Florida Division of Emergency Management issued a White Paper with a primary recommendation of demolition with reconstruction at an elevation above the building's current level to prevent future flooding issues. With help from Congressman John Mica, the Museum was able to obtain FEMA funding to make reconstruction possible.

The West Wing has been completely reimagined with a distinctly contemporary feel. The old West Wing was made up of hexagon shaped pods. The new design is very straightforward and provides the visitor with clarity and awareness of their surroundings. The wing is home to six unique galleries, including the main hall; the Karshan Center of Graphic Art; the Cuban Museum, showcasing the most significant collection of Cuban paintings in the United States; the Elaine and Thurman Gillespy Jr. Gallery, featuring a large collection of Sub-Saharan African artifacts; the Mary Louise Marzullo Gallery, displaying a large collection of weaponry from all around the world; and the Prehistory of Florida Gallery, featuring Florida's Giant Ground Sloth skeleton and other natural history specimen.

29°11′30.32″N 81°2′13.97″W / 29.1917556°N 81.0372139°W / 29.1917556; -81.0372139

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