There’s wizardry afoot in our limited engagement exhibit Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine.
Renaissance traditions of alchemy, astrology, herbology, meet JK Rowling’s imagination and are woven into the adventures of Harry Potter and his friends.
On display in Harry Potter’s World are rare and authentic Renaissance artifacts salvaged from the Spanish galleons Nuestra Señora de Atocha and Santa Margarita which sank off the coast of Key West in 1622. These treasures were recovered by the infamous Mel Fisher and his crew over a thirty year period.
On display are Renaissance swords, surgical tools, cooking pots, and a solid gold “poison cup” all of which were salvaged from the Atocha site. The cup held a bezoar stone that could detect and neutralize arson —a favorite poison of the period. In the Potter series, Harry uses a bezoar stone to save the life of a friend who was accidentally poisoned!
Just as exciting is the mariner’s astrolabe that is also featured in the exhibit. An astrolabe was a device used for thousands of years by astronomers, sailors. The astrolabe is most likely the real-life inspiration for the fictional Time-Turner used by the witches and wizards of Harry Potter’s world.
“We think this exhibit is a great way to tell the story of the priceless artifacts that we have in our collections. And in doing so, we are able to cast a new light on the magical world of Harry Potter and his friends,” says the museum’s CEO Melissa Kendrick.
Visitors to the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum can also enjoy the other exhibits that offer both shipwreck treasure and history including the Shipwreck Fleet of 1622 and the Last Slave Ship exhibits. Four great exhibits. One low priced.
“Harry Potter’s World” and the museum’s associated Renaissance education programming are expected to continue through July 2013.