A multi themes museum , Daytona Beach!

Well hard to come up with a post title and my rudimentary creative mind…. But rather than not write about it , its a start. This is in nostalgia sentimental route of mine and on these days it’s the perfect time.

I , if you have read my blog, lived for 18 years in the State of Florida , central and south of it. One big spot was Daytona Beach! I went to university studies there and worked, and married, and had my oldest son at the Halifax hospital. Therefore, know the area quite well.  Of course, I have several posts on it .However, I like this time to write about a multi themes museum in Daytona Beach.

The Museum of Arts and Sciences, often referred to as MOAS, is one nice place to visit while in Daytona Beach, Volusia county, Florida,  The museum is a member of the American Alliance of Museums , and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Very dear to me as I was one of the volunteers who helped clean and place some of the artwork in the Cuban Foundation museum with Dr Libby back in 1978. Read on…

The Museum of Arts & Sciences was founded in 1955. However, all started when in 1977, art historian Gary Russel 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.” A well deserved nomination and more.

A story dear to my history roots is here, and a must for all interested in Cuban history and the arts. Not in Miami, but Daytona Beach!!!

The newly rebuilt West Wing of the Museum opened on October 30, 2015. This was great as the previous space was rather cramp and dull.  This expansive wing of MOAS is home to the Cuban Foundation Museum, amongst other museums themes. The largest permanent exhibition of Cuban  art outside of Cuba!!! yes

daytona beach

Here you will see an exhibit that chronicles 300 years of Cuban history and culture. The art collection is a legacy of former Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, who lived in Daytona Beach off and on during the 1940s and 1950s. He came to Daytona Beach and bought a house on North Halifax Avenue in the mid-1940s when term limits prevented him from seeking a second term and his successor in office would not guarantee his security. For direction North Halifax Avenue runs along the Halifax river part of the Intracoastal river highway dividing mainland and beachside in most of Florida. It starts north of Main Street bridge and goes all the way north. The old locals I met remember him fondly, not us of course, unfortunately the next one was worse.

While president, Batista vacationed in Daytona Beach with his wife and children. The city celebrated him with a parade and declared it Bastista Day on March 24, 1956. Batista rode in an open air convertible with Mayor Frank Morrison, waved to crowds lining the street and later spoke at a reception with a U.S. senator, according to news reports from the time. During the visit, Batista gave his two properties at 137 and 145 N Halifax Ave. to the city, and formalized the creation of a Cuban Foundation Museum. And Batista’s former homes were later torn down and replaced with St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, which is still there. When it became clear that Batista would be overthrown by Castro, he sneaked out of Cuba on Jan. 1, 1959. At the time, the Eisenhower administration would not let him back into this country. Batista’s wife and son, Roberto, were living in the former Ransom Olds mansion at 129 N Halifax Ave (now the Greek Orthodox church) . Batista would never set foot in America again and died in Spain in 1973.

Daytona Beach

Some webpages to help you plan a trip to the museum and the Cuban art to follow

The museum of Arts and Sciences of Daytona Beach: Official MOAS

The MOAS Cuban Foundation Museum section: Official MOAS on the Cuban Foundation Museum

City of Daytona Beach on the MOAS museumCity of Daytona Beach on MOAS

The State of Florida tourist office on the MOAS museum in Daytona BeachState of Florida tourist office on MOAS

Ok so I am glad found one old photo (showing the Vuelta Abajo tabacco area and Yumuri caves) and got me the idea to tell you about this wonderful place that I worked as a college student and help arranged some wonderful Cuban art pieces. Hope you like it and do visit , something wonderful to do away from the beach, the MOAS at Daytona Beach.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

4 Comments to “A multi themes museum , Daytona Beach!”

  1. What an interesting post, I enjoyed it.
    I visited Daytona Beach in 1990!

    Liked by 1 person

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