General Donations

General Donations - Donate Now!

If you prefer you may mail your donation directly to us at:

South Florida Museum
P.O. Box 9265
Bradenton, FL 34206-9265

Or contact Development Director Martha Wells at:

941-746-4131, ext. 35

East Gallery

NOW OPEN - 'The Evolving Universe'
from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service

If we could look at the Milky Way Galaxy from beyond its borders, it would look like a spiral pinwheel with a bulge at
the center. Earth lies in one of the outer arms. The center of our galaxy, where the stars are tightly packed together,
 is one of the brightest sections of the night sky. X-ray: NASA/CXC/UMass/D. Wang et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/D.
Wang et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSC/S. Stolovy

The cosmos constantly changes. Stars are born, live out their lives, and die - sometimes calmly, sometimes explosively. Galaxies form, grow, and collide dramatically. “The Evolving Universe,” a new exhibition developed by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, reveals the dynamic and evolving universe through breathtaking photographs and informative captions.

This remarkable journey from present-day Earth to the far reaches of space and time will be on view at the South Florida Museum through February 1, 2015, and will then continue to travel on an exciting sixteen city tour through 2017. The exhibition is included in Museum daily admission. General admission prices are: Adults - $18, Seniors (65+) - $16, Children (4-12) - $14, Children 3 and under are free when accompanied by a paying adult. (Museum members are also free.)

The South Florida Museum will host an Exhibition Reception on Thursday, October 30 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.  Visitors will be welcome to browse the exhibition and speak with Museum staff about the exhibition and related upcoming programs. Light refreshments will be provided in addition to a cash bar.  The Reception is free to Museum Members and $5 admission for the general public. For information and reservations for the “The Evolving Universe” Reception, please contact Laurie Voight at or 941.746.4131 ext. 17.

"The Evolving Universe" explores how the stars, galaxies and universe undergo the same stages as life on Earth: from birth, to maturity and, eventually, to death. Visitors to the exhibition can choose one of two paths to explore the cosmos. They can begin close to home with our solar system and move outward to the farthest reaches of the universe. Or they can begin 13.7 billion years ago at the moment of the Big Bang and move forward in time to the present day. Along their journey they will learn how a variety of telescopes and instruments, many developed by SAO, reveal the fascinating history of the expanding universe.

All of the elements—the raw materials that make up everything in the universe, including the Earth and human bodies—are formed within stars and released into space when stars die. Images of stars at various life stages will join the compelling visuals and epic stories of supernovas, stellar nurseries, nebulae and galaxy clusters that reveal the fascinating history of the expanding universe.

Exhibition Reception

Thursday, October 30 5:30 - 7 pm
Light Refreshments provided; cash bar available.
Free for Museum Members / $5 Non-Members
Reservations required.

Click here to RSVP or call Laurie Voight at 941-746-4131, ext. 17.