Taking you back to the early years of the state of Florida, the Collier County museum, in Naples, Florida sits on five magnificent acres of native Florida gardens with outstanding wildlife exhibits, two historic cottages, a recreated Seminole War fort, a tropical orchid house, a Seminole village, a working archaeology lab and a 1910 steam logging locomotive. This fabulous journey will start off about a million years ago, with prehistoric saber cat skeletons and Calusa Indians, dioramas of local history, excellent new exhibits that span Spanish explorers to the Seminole Indians and more. The museum has become the headquarters for all the county's museums and has been open since 1978. It welcomes regional schools and civic groups, with the finest guided tours in the area helping you to become more aware and involved in the changes that have evolved over the millennia. The museum even has a WWII Sherman tank, that was designed for the war in 1940, and would become one of the most significant weapons of the war. Production ended on this unique weapon in 1945, and would become obsolete for the US army in 1956, although it would be used by the Israelis for twenty more years and more than forty other countries worldwide. Another outstanding venue at the museum is the Dr. Frank C. Craighead, Sr. laboratory and the Florida native gardens, showcasing the best and brightest blooms and plants native to the state. The lab has grown into a popular attraction and education facility for folks of all ages, highlighting the career and findings of the great doctor, who had dedicated his life to the study and preservation of Florida's natural resources and beauty. Frank began his career with the US Department of Agriculture as a forest entomologist, investigating diseases spread by beetles in the pine trees; which would pique his curiosity about the area's expansive wildlife and plant life. It is a fascinating story and filled with many interesting and exciting discoveries and finds made by the doctor that live on today. The easiest and most economical way to travel the region is to rent a car or other vehicle of your choice and needs, with the best deals in the southern parts of Florida being offered by the friendly folks at Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
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The fabulous Naples Museum of Art contains a magnificent collection of art housed in a three story, 30,000 square foot structure with outstanding permanent collections that include sculpture, 3-dimensional art, 20th century Mexican art and American modernism. This spectacular facility has fifteen galleries, a museum store, glass-domed conservatory, extravagant chandeliers, a Persian ceiling created by the famous glass artist Dale Chihuly and entry gates created by the gifted artist, Albert Paley, an excellent well known metal artist. The museum itself is devoted to showcasing world-class sculpture, paintings, various other art forms and drawings, as well as offering outstanding educational programs and lectures. In their marvelous collection displays you will view Leaders in American Modernism with one such selection featuring works from the William J. and Suzanne V. von Liebig collection with works included by Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Jackson Pollock, Oscar Bluemner and others. Also available is the Modern Mexican Masters collection that showcases works by artists that have been collected by Pollak and Bryna, which has become the biggest Mexican art collection in the southeast. Artists included in this installation include; Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Miguel Covarrubias, and Rufino Tamayo; and the outstanding selections from the Patty and Jay Baker collection. The museum continues to bring in excellent works that augment and compliment their many collections, with a magnificent permanent collection of prints, graphics, paintings, photographs, mixed media works and sculptures. It also has one of the best collections of miniatures in the nation , including a fantastic selection of Kupjack Rooms that have been loaned from the Kupjack and Associates, along with works from the Carole and Barry Kaye collection. While traveling around the area, the most economical and efficient way to do it is to rent a vehicle from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, with numerous locations in the city that offer the biggest discounts in the state and region.