The Blake Banks Collection
FMM is host to a number of engaging exhibits, including the beautiful and expansive Blake Banks shell collection.
Captain Blake Banks was a successful Cortez fisherman with a passion for sea life. His collection is well documented, making it especially important academically. All of his specimens were collected in the Gulf of Mexico, some of which were eventually donated to the museum by his widow, Betty.
Researchers and volunteers have been working studiously to create a chart that serves as a snapshot of where these specimens were collected.
Boat models have also served an important purpose in boat building and design. While FMM does have some half-models related to these efforts, many of the models on display at FMM are miniature versions of real ships that played a role in Florida’s Maritime history.
People have been making scale models for thousands of years. However, it’s still open to debate whether the first ones were intended to be religious objects, works of art, or perhaps even children’s toys.
FMM is home to a small library of books on maritime topics that range from tales of old Florida to boat building and design.
Guests are welcome to peruse the library during regular business hours. However, some books are too fragile to be on permanent display and are viewable by appointment only.
In addition to books, FMM houses a collection of boat plans, nautical charts and other archival materials that are available for scholarly research.
If you have any questions about the exhibits or collections, please contact us at (941) 708-6120.