Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler
Exhibits Director
George A. Smathers Libraries
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
Email: l.s.wheeler@ufl.edu

Past Exhibits

Collateral materials from past exhibits, such as catalogs, posters, installation photographs, and object lists are available in the Exhibit Materials Collection within the UF Digital Collections.

2018      2017      2016      2015      2014      2013      2012      2011      2010      2009      2008      Earlier


Let's Talk About Sex
Smathers Library Gallery
August 31, 2020 – December 15, 2020

Illustratration from Book Sex is a Funny Word. Person smiling with heart around them.

Children’s literature illustrates the changing attitudes towards sex education over time. Increased sex education has grown young people's sexual knowledge, awareness, and autonomy. It has also improved their attitudes towards sexual and reproductive health and behaviors while affirming the position of sex education within a larger framework of human rights.

Curated by Hunter McDaniel.


John David Ridge: A Life in Costume
Smathers Library Gallery
January 21, 2020 - April 27, 2020

Costume sketch by John David Ridge for 2016 My Fair Lady

John David Ridge (1945 – ) has worked as a costume designer, costume maker, and costume supervisor on stage, film, and television. The exhibition takes a look at highlights from his career including work with The Joffrey Ballet, Halston, and Julie Andrews, as well as costume design for the Spider-Man trilogy (2002–2007).

Curated by Jim Liversidge.


An American Canal in Panama
Albert H. Nahmad Panama Canal Gallery, Smathers Library 1st Floor
March 16, 2019 - February 23, 2020

Group of people at demonstration to save the Panama Canal The Panama Canal and its surroundings were historically the source of tension between the United States and Panama. This exhibit looks at the sources of tension and examines events that led to the transfer of the Canal in 1999.

Curated by Elizabeth A. Bouton, John Nemmers, and Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler. With assistance from Elizabeth Bemis.


Bo Diddley: An American Original
Smathers Library Gallery
April 1, 2019 - June 21, 2019

Bo Diddley: An American Original highlights the contributions and life of Ellas Otha Bates, later McDaniel (1928-2008), whose musical contributions and performance style indelibly shaped American popular music.

Curated by Jim Liversidge and Florence M. Turcotte, with assistance from Alan Asher and Venetia Ponds.


Ediciones Vigía
Smathers Library Lobby
January 7, 2019 - March 22, 2019

Ediciones Vigía presents selections from the Libraries collection from the Vigía publishing house in Matanzas, Cuba. Each book is a unique artistic production often including mixed media which are also often re-purposed or easily accessible such as newsprint, cardboard, and yarn.

Curated by Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler


Inspired by Cuba!
Smathers Library Room 100
January 7, 2019 - April 5, 2019

Inspired by Cuba! explores the many ways in which Cuba has been immortalized in ceramic pieces. The pieces range from the mid-18th century to recent years.




Served in the Zone
Albert H. Nahmad Panama Canal Gallery, Smathers Library 1st Floor
March 3, 2018 - February 1, 2019

Woman buy canned goods with baby in shopping cart An exhibition of food and community identity during the American Era of the Panama Canal Zone. Served in the Zone features photographs, artifacts, and ephemera paired with memories from former Canal Zone residents to illustrate their impact.

View the online exhibit

Curated by Elizabeth A. Bouton


Frankenstein: Scientific Inspiration and Outcomes
Marston Science Library, 3rd floor
August 27, 2018 - November 25, 2018

Anatomical heart illustration An exhibit in honor of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankensteinkenstein. Frankenstein: Scientific Inspiration and Outcomes begins with the science that inspired Shelley and looks ahead to current biomedical research to hypothesize what technology Dr. Victor Frankenstein might have utilized as a scientist in 2018.

Curated by Dr. Sara Russell Gonzalez


Smathers Library Lobby
November 9, 2018 - December 18, 2018

Catalyst presents four years of the Coffey Residency in Book Arts. Displayed alongside the completed artist's books are some of the materials from UF Special & Area Studies that served as inspiration.

Curated by Ellen Knudson


Black Educators: Florida's Secret Social Justice Advocates 1920-1960
Smathers Library Gallery
October 22, 2018 - December 18, 2018

Drawn rendering from photograph of Lincoln Hign School's first graduating class Black Educators: Florida's Secret Social Justice Advocates celebrates the 60th Anniversary of Desegregation at the University of Florida by showcasing the role of Black educators in the 40 years before the Civil Rights Movement.

Curated by Dr. Diedre Houchen and Florence M. Turcotte


Racism, Representation, and Resistance in Children’s Literature 1800 – 2015
Smathers Library Grand Reading Room
August 13, 2018 - October 5, 2018

Tree illustration Racism, Representation, and Resistance explores the long history of racism in children’s literature by examining the dehumanization and colonization of people of color, primarily Africans and African Americans. It also explores how self-representational children’s books by African American authors resisted and subverted racist ideologies.

Curated by Suzan Alteri, Stephanie Birch, and Dr. Hélène Huet


Imagining the Classical World: Greece and Rome through the Centuries
Smathers Library Gallery
June 18, 2018 - August 3, 2018

Top of a Greek column Imagining the Classical World explores how the ideas of ancient Greece and Rome have been visually communicated since the Renaissance.

Curated by Jessica Aberle and Megan Daly



From Generation to Generation: Gainesville Remembers the Holocaust
Smathers Library Lobby
April 9, 2018 - June 29, 2018

Portrait of two young men, Holocaust survivors This community-inspired exhibition explores how the Holocaust is remembered and memorialized by the residents of Gainesville, Florida. The exhibit offers a glimpse into the daily lives of European Jews in the pre-war period, provides personal insights into their experiences during WWII and the Holocaust, and illustrates their varied attempts to re-build their lives.

Curated by Rebecca Jefferson and Katalin Rac


30 Years of Conservation in the Libraries
Smathers Library Gallery
April 9, 2018 - June 8, 2018

woman's hands working Celebrating 30 years of the Smathers Libraries Preservation Department, this exhibition highlights the differences between preservation and conservation and the many ways Smathers staff have helped collections last.

Curated by Fletcher Durant


Then and Now: Celebrating African American contributions in STEAM
Marston Science Library, 2nd Floor
March 16, 2018 - May 7, 2018

portrait of Edward Alexander Bouchet Then and Now: Celebrating African American contributions in STEAM showcases some of the lesser-known, “unseen”, but significant research in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) by African Americans.

Curated by Joe Aufmuth and Melody Royster


University of Florida Yearbooks
Smathers Library Lobby
March 2, 2018 - April 2, 2018

1919 cover of UF yearbook Highlighting the history of the UF yearbooks. The first yearbook, The Seminole, was published from 1910 until 1973. In 1983, it was renamed THe Tower. The last University of Florida yearbook was published in 2007.

Curated by Peggy McBride


José Revueltas: Literary and Political Duality
Latin American & Caribbean Collections, Smathers Library 3rd floor
February 16, 2018 - May 11, 2018

illustration of orange orchid To read José Revueltas is to approach one of Mexico’s most talented and politically involved authors of the twentieth century. His novels reflect an intriguing mind, dedicated to improving societal conditions in Mexico through literature. The bilingual exhibit includes signed copies of some of Revueltas most notable works.

Curated by Margarita Vargas-Betancourt


Visualizing the Natural World
Smathers Library Gallery
February 9, 2018 - March 30, 2018

illustration of orange orchid How we talk about nature reveals the place we claim in the world. Visualizing the Natural World encapsulates ways of knowing through the eyes of scientists and their work.

Curated by Haven Hawley, Valrie Minson, and Sam Huang