Matheson to host traveling Smithsonian exhibit 

Matheson History Museum.
The Matheson History Museum in Gainesville.
Courtesy of Cool Blue Photography

The Matheson History Museum in Gainesville will open a traveling Smithsonian exhibition titled “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America” on Saturday, July 20. 

The Florida Humanities chose the Matheson History Museum to host the exhibit as part of Museum on Main Street, a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, state humanities councils and local host institutions. 

“The Matheson History Museum is honored to be one of five museums in Florida selected to host this exhibition during a critical election year,” Matheson executive director Kaitlyn Hof-Mahoney said in a press release. “We look forward to welcoming our neighbors in to learn more about the history of elections and the political process in Alachua County and beyond.” 

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“Voices and Votes” features archival photographs and videos, interactive games, and historical artifacts like campaign souvenirs, voter memorabilia and protest material aiming to connect people with the history of America. The exhibit explores America’s government “of, by and for the people” to inform how each generation and community continues to shape its future. 

Harper's Weekly cover
Courtesy of Matheson History Museum

The Matheson History Museum will also host “Voices and Votes: Democracy in Alachua County” beginning on June 26.  

Researched and curated by Liam Shanley and Willett Hancock with the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections and the League of Women Voters of Alachua County, the exhibit will focus on the history of elections, suffrage and civil rights at the local level. 

The Matheson will hold a member-only preview of the exhibit from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 19. The exhibit opens to visitors from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, including an opening reception at 2 p.m. The reception will include a ribbon cutting, refreshments and tour of the exhibition.  

The traveling “Voices and Votes” exhibit will remain open through Saturday, Sept. 7. The local “Voices and Votes” exhibit will remain open through early 2025.  

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