Family Day at the CF Appleton Museum


The Appleton Museum puts on many different events every month for everyone to enjoy. Inspired by A Dickens Christmas, last year around this time, the museum was under construction, so they could not do anything Christmas related, but this year they went all out. Over 600 people went to attend this event on Dec. 1, 2018. This exhibition is an annual event set up and brought by the Urban family’s personal collection. Victoria Billig is the Assistant Director for the Appleton Museum.
“Every year the Urban family tries to be creative and different with the pieces even though they’re set up in the same spaces around the museum,” says Billig.
Cindi Morrison, Director of Museum Operations, is one of the women running this event.
Throughout the museum there are many different holiday themed displays on the first floor of the museum, then continuing on the second floor there are 10 different trees decorated by individuals and different businesses on the second floor, Morrison stated.
Some of the collections include the nativity scene, the Santa collection, Patience Brewster collection, a city of many different figurines and train set, and the list goes on.
“People who don’t normally visit the museum come and find out more about us and all the programs we do and
Along with “Santa Classics” a exhibit done by artist Ed Wheeler, an artist from Philadelphia has put himself in classic historian photos dressed as Santa Claus.
Wheeler has been dressing up as Santa and taking pictures of himself as Santa for over 40 years.
“I’m a professional photographer and I use them for my business and send Christmas cards to my clients,” said Wheeler. “8 years ago I was at a museum in New York and I saw a painting of Washington crossing the Delaware and thought it would be funny if that was Santa crossing the Delaware.”
When Wheeler first started, they didn’t have Photoshop or all the digital capabilities back then, so now he can put Santa generally anywhere he wants.
Modern day pictures are frowned upon because of copyright laws. So the pictures Wheeler does are older and under public domain.
There are currently 33 of his many paintings on display on the second floor of the museum.
Amongst the Christmas event at the Appleton Museum, they also have an event coming up on April 20th, 2019 and are in need of CF volunteers for the event. It is called the Magical Night at the Museum. The volunteers would be portraying the people in the painting or the actual artwork itself.
“Everything comes alive, and it’s a lot of fun,” says Hollis Mutch, Museum Educator.
“It specifically works when we have the CF students be the artwork because it reaches a certain age range and it makes it realistic.”
If you would like to volunteer, please contact Hollis Mutch at (352) 291-4455 ext. 1613
There are many other events that are held at the Appleton Museum of Art. Painting for all ages, 2D and 3D art classes, or even taking a tour of the museum and looking at the many pieces of art located all around, or watching a movie in the auditorium.
To find out what suits you and your family call their main number at (352) 291-4455, go to their website at or visit the museum Sunday, 12:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M., (closed on Monday) Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. The museum is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd. Ocala, FL 34470.


Story and photos by Taukiya Williams