Current Exhibits

Visitors to the Henry Plant Museum marvel at the building’s Moorish-inspired architecture and the fantastic collection of orientalist décor housed inside.  Imagined East: Decorative Arts and the Imperial Gaze will explore the roots of Orientalism, its appeal and significance as a decorative style, and the cultural impact of this movement.  The exhibit will feature original artifacts from the Tampa Bay Hotel as well as loans from public institutions and private collectors.  Objects on display will include sculptures, pottery, paintings, prints, furniture and more.
Orientalist art and décor swept through the Western world in the late 19th century.  Beautiful objects from, or inspired by, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia were brought together in the homes of wealthy collectors to signify that one was both well-traveled and well-educated.  The influence of this movement can be seen throughout the Tampa Bay Hotel.  Visitors to this exhibit will learn how international trade created this movement and how Orientalism shaped the way that cultures viewed themselves and each other.

The exhibit will open with a fascinating talk by Dr. Jack (John Kuo Wei) Tchen titled "George Washington Ate Here: 'Oriental' Luxuries in American Culture" in the Music Room of Plant Hall at 7 pm.  Tchen is a historian, curator, dumpster-diver, and teacher promoting more democratic storytelling and decision-making. Dr. Tchen is the Clement A. Price Professor of Public History & Humanities and Director of the Price Institute on Ethnicity, Cultures, and the Modern Experience Rutgers-Newark.

Join us for a special lecture on Saturday, June 10, 2023 by Professor Richard Ellis in conjunction with the exhibit, In the Shadow of the Crescent: The Tampa Bay Hotel & Islamic Architecture.  

This exhibit is graciously underwritten by:
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Explore the aesthetic movement known as Orientalism.