From spears and pioneers to hurricanes and famous names, you will love exploring the past at the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum!  Our curatorial team strives to create the finest exhibitions, featuring interactive displays, vivid imagery, and stories of Palm Beach past and present.


Special Exhibitions

Building Paradise: Addison Mizner’s Legacy

The next annual exhibition at the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum (September 4, 2018 through June 29, 2019) will pay homage to Addison Mizner, who developed a completely new architectural style for Palm Beach that became the standard for Palm Beach County. The year 2018 marks the centennial of Mizner’s first major Florida commission, the Everglades Club in Palm Beach. In addition to his Palm Beach “society” mansions and commercial properties, Mizner is known for spreading his unique style to Boca Raton, which he dreamed of turning into “the world’s most architecturally beautiful playground.” Mizner’s legacy continues in the 21st century as new developments emulate his style and honor his name.

For the first time, the Johnson History Museum has invited a guest curator, Augustus Mayhew, to lend life to the exhibition.  Mayhew has gathered materials long hidden from public view and is using gems from the Historical Society of Palm Beach County’s collection to help communicate the drastic changes that Mizner introduced to the Palm Beaches, both architecturally and in the business community.

When Addison Mizner began building the grand mansions of Palm Beach, he found no one who could supply the appropriate materials for his commissions.  He then hired craftsmen from Europe and started a series of businesses where his visions could be manufactured.  Mizner Industries, Inc. included several companies, including Los Manos Potteries (roof and floor tiles and decorative pottery), La Puerta (antiques and reproduction furniture), and Mizner Cut Cast Stone Company (ornamental building stone).  Many businesses continue to produce these same materials for new construction.

Fledgling architects worked in Mizner’s drawing room, producing detailed renderings and construction drawings.  Some of them eventually opened architectural firms and incorporated Mizner Industries materials in their own designs.

Building Paradise: Addison Mizner’s Legacy will feature many photographs of the houses he designed, both inside and out, materials from the Mizner Industries, Inc. companies, and information about Mizner and the influences that led him to Palm Beach.  It will be both educational and entertaining for visitors of all ages.



Courtroom Exhibitions

In the Historic Courtroom Gallery:

Remembering the Storm of ’28 | Sept. 17 – Dec. 31, 2018

On September 16, 1928, a storm equal to a Category 4 hurricane struck Palm Beach County from Boca Raton to Jupiter. At least 2,500 people died, most of them in the Glades. To commemorate the 90th anniversary of this catastrophe, the Historical Society of Palm Beach County will present an exhibit, Remembering the Storm of ’28, opening on September 17, 2018 in the courtroom of the 1916 Historic Courthouse; the HSPBC will host a Preview Party on September 12. Other local historical organizations will join the HSPBC in marking this significant anniversary, and the exhibit will travel to other venues throughout Palm Beach County.


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