Henry B. Plant Museum

 In Museums

University of Tampa, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33606

The Henry B. Plant Museum interprets the Tampa Bay Hotel at the turn of the century; the Victorian lifestyles and history of America’s Gilded Age; the life and significant contributions of the visionary builder, steamship and railroad magnate Henry Bradley Plant in the development of Florida and Tampa Bay; and the role of the Hotel in the Spanish-American War. Through educational exhibits of original furnishings and artifacts and a dynamic docent-led tour, students are transported to the late Victorian period and immersed in the opulence of the Tampa Bay Hotel and its rich history.

Exhibition Schedule:

Imperial Designs: From the Habsburg’s Herend to the Romanov’s Fabergé

On display through December 23, 2018

Photograph by Giovanni Lunardi.

During the last quarter of the 19th century, Henry Plant and other wealthy Americans traveled extensively in Europe, absorbing the culture and acquiring treasures that they brought back to the United States. This exhibit brings together a collection of items similar to what these travelers would have seen while visiting the great courts of Europe. Plant himself ordered and used Herend china at the Tampa Bay Hotel in the 1890’s.

Included in the exhibit are a dozen rare Fabergé designs featuring a lacquered box,  a chamberstick, and a gold mounted brooch. Other treasures include Russian eggs presented by tsars; Imperial Porcelain Factory china from imperial yachts including the royal private yacht Livadia; an impressive collection of Herend china from Hungary with patterns ordered by the Russian Tsar, royal houses and eminent customers. These amazing pieces are all from the private collection of Kathy Durdin.

Several Russian pieces take center stage in the exhibit. The Durnovo Casket, presented to Ivan Nikolaevich Durnovo, a high ranking official in the Russian government, is lovely enameled silver gilt openwork over sheets of lapis lazuli made by the Ovchinnikov firm. Visitors may recognize the frescoes of renaissance artist Raphael highlighted in the Raphael service. These pieces feature allegorical figures from frescoes in the Vatican. This service was commissioned in 1883 during the reign of Alexander III.

This exhibit has been graciously underwritten by BNY Mellon, Greenberg Traurig, KPMG in honor of Kathy Woodard, and The Bank of Tampa.


37th Annual Victorian Christmas Stroll

December 1 – 23, 2018

36th Annual Victorian Christmas Stroll

36th Annual Victorian Christmas Stroll

Celebrate the spirit of the season with the extravagance and grandeur of a Victorian Christmas. Decorations are inspired by life in the 1890s, including representations of historic figures, recreational activities, entertainment, and important traditions. Antique toys and ornaments lend an air of authenticity to the event.  PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT A DOCENT GUIDED TOUR.  Admission for this tour  is $15 adults, $13 seniors, $9 youth.

2019 Gasparilla: A Tampa Tradition

January – February 2019

2018 Gasparilla: A Tampa Tradition

2018 Gasparilla: A Tampa Tradition

Shiver me timbers! Pirates, queens and lots of loot are yours for the viewing.  Join us for an exhibit on the rich history of Tampa’s oldest and most fun-loving community festival.  This exhibition explores Tampa’s premier party, attended by a motley crew of the famous and infamous, the beautiful people and bad dudes. Learn more about the early Gasparilla parades and enjoy vintage photographs from 1904 to the present.


Curriculum Connections:

The Museum’s content fits with Social Studies curriculum for 3rd-4th and 8th grades, though content is appropriate for 3rd-8th grades.



Tour Length:

Groups should allow 1.25 hours for the tour.

For groups of more than 50 students, allow an additional 30 minutes for the live theater performance.


A minimum of 10 school students and a maximum of 85 people total (students, teachers and chaperones).

If school groups have more than 85 people, we can divide the visit over two days.

Bus Parking:

Children can be dropped off at the museum entrance.

Buses can park in front of the Vaughn Center.

Further instructions will be provided once reservation is confirmed.

Study Guide/Activity Guide:

The museum has teacher resources available on their website at http://www.plantmuseum.com/discover/learn/field-trips


Students are $3, teachers are free, additional chaperones are $7.

Reservation Instructions:

To make a reservation, contact Heather Trubee Brown at htrubee@ut.edu or 813-258-7304.


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