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

For the Love of the Game: Baseball in the Palm Beaches

The Historical Society of Palm Beach County presents the special exhibition, For the Love of the Game: Baseball in the Palm Beaches, at the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum in the 1916 Palm Beach County Court House from September 6, 2016 – July 1, 2017.

America’s national pastime is on glorious display at the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum in downtown West Palm Beach. Baseball in the Palm Beaches brings to life the early Hotel Leagues, Negro Leagues and Municipal Leagues. It’s a fascinating celebration of modern Major League teams and players, minor leagues, Little Leagues, local players, and fans — 120 years of baseball in Palm Beach County. From the games initiated by Henry Flagler as a way to entertain his hotel guests, to the future Ballpark of the Palm Beaches now underway, visitors to this exciting exhibition will discover the rich history of this beloved sport right here in Palm Beach County.

Whether you’re a baseball fan or history buff, this special exhibit has something for everyone, from interesting anecdotes and artifacts to the science of a strike, Baseball in the Palm Beaches is sure to hit it out of the park. Come discover why Palm Beach County has been home to major league and little league champions and a legacy for the future.


Traveling Exhibitions

In the Historic Courtroom Gallery:

The Art of Uncle Monday — June 2 through July 30

In her book Uncle Monday and Other Florida Tales, Kristen G. Congdon gathered forty-nine folktales from a wide variety of sources, including many from Work Progress Administration materials in Florida’s Department of State archives. The stories, many of them a century old, represent a sampling of Florida’s ethnic diversity, such as Native American, African American, Afro-Caribbean, and Hispanic. Kitty Kitson Petterson’s detailed pen-and-ink drawings illustrate each narrative, capturing how Florida has been shaped by its unique environment and inhabitants.

The traveling exhibit, created by the Museum of Florida in Tallahassee, contains 55 frames drawings and illustrations from the book. It was scheduled to be seen by the thousands of children who visit the museum during summer camps, many of whom are from multicultural families.


Upcoming Exhibitions

Special Exhibition:

Shipwreck!  September 5, 2017 — June 30, 2018

The call went out from south Florida lighthouses to rescue crew and passengers when possible, and often to make good use of ship materials and contents. First identified and named by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513, the Gulfstream current has since been utilized by shipping traffic as a nautical highway. The current’s proximity to the east coast of Florida, the often volatile nature of the Atlantic Ocean, and the frequency with which the area is visited by hurricanes all speak to the abundance of shipping disasters throughout our local history.

By examining known wrecks within modern geographical borders of Palm Beach County, this exhibit will provide guests with insight into our county’s development and habitation during various periods of Florida history. The popular subject of shipwrecks will serve as a lens through which we explore the impact on people and places associated with these events. Monday – Friday 10 am–5 pm, Saturday 10 am–4 pm. Tours are available with reservations; please call 561.832.4164 ext. 110.