Mandarin Museum is delighted to present our Fall 2024 Third Thursday Lecture Series featuring a diverse group of speakers and topics. Each lecture in the four-part series is held in partnership with Mandarin Community Club.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2024, 6:30 – 8 PM

August’s Third Thursday Lecture features Dr. Keith Holland and his team of Maple Leaf Divers. In the 1980s, they formed St. Johns Archaeological Expeditions, Inc. and sued the federal government for the rights to dive the 1864 wreckage of the Maple Leaf steamboat. The Maple Leaf was a Union vessel sunk by a Confederate mine in the St. Johns River just off the bank of Mandarin Point. For more than 100 years, its cargo hold sat undisturbed in the muddy river bed. Mandarin Museum is now home to the most comprehensive exhibit on this National Historic Landmark. BUT, not every story could make it into the exhibition. Come hear what didn’t make it into the exhibit at this Third Thursday Lecture that is sure to entertain.

Refreshments begin at 6:30 PM, program begins at 7:00 PM. Admission is free.

Third Thursday Lectures are presented by the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society in partnership with and held at the Mandarin Community Club, located at 12447 Mandarin Road

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2024, 6:30 – 8 PM

In conjunction with the “Memphis Wood: Revisited” exhibition, Dr. Heuer’s talk, Memphis Wood: Threads of Modernity, examines the art of Memphis Wood within the context of the Studio Craft Movement’s rise in late 20th-century America. Focusing on fiber arts, we will explore Wood’s work alongside that of celebrated artists such as Mariska Karasz, Sheila Hicks, and Anni Albers. Their contributions will be situated within the broader contexts of post-war art movements, providing a comprehensive understanding of their impact and legacy.

Dr. Elizabeth Heuer is Associate Professor of Art History at University of North Florida and co-curator of “Memphis Wood: Revisited.”

Mandarin Museum will remain open until 6:30 pm to allow guests to stop in and view the exhibit before continuing on to the lecture at Mandarin Community Club.

Thank you to our generous sponsors for supporting our Fall 2024 Third Thursday Lecture Series!


THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2024

May’s Third Thursday Lecture continued our series, “Our Mandarin Neighbors.” Featuring Chef Dennis Chan of Blue Bamboo, guests enjoyed a taste of some of his popular menu items. In addition, Chef Dennis presented his family’s story, their history of feeding Jacksonville and the Mandarin community since the 1930s, and the blended cultural traditions that inspire him today.

April 18, 2024

Since the 1970s, Mandarin has experienced rapid growth. Long gone is its rural nature – the community is now solidly suburban. Many longtime residents lament this change in character, pace, and scenery.

Mandarin Museum’s Executive Director, Brittany Cohill, explores the ways in which Mandarin’s fate is representative of national trends in housing and commercial development since the end of World War II. Newcomers to Mandarin – most a part of Generation X and the Millennial Generation – inherited these trends that influenced their settlement in suburban communities.

Despite calling Mandarin home for 22 years, Cohill is considered one of these newcomers by Mandarin natives. As part of “Our Mandarin Neighbors” theme, she will tell her family’s story against the backdrop of historical events, and locate her move to Mandarin within its context.

March 21, 2024

Judge Davis grew up in Jacksonville and graduated from a segregated Douglas Anderson High School. Coming of age during the 1950s and ’60s Black struggle for civil rights, Davis felt strongly he could make a difference by studying and practicing law. After serving as a naval officer in the Vietnam War, he graduated with his law degree from FSU. He worked for the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. before entering private practice. In 1992, Florida Governor Lawton Chiles appointed Davis to the Duval County Circuit Court, making Judge Davis just the second Black circuit court judge in Northeast Florida.

February 15, 2024

Longtime Mandarin residents Irene Jaffa and her son, Andrew, shared their family’s harrowing story of Holocaust survival and immigration to the United States at the end of WWII. This presentation was in partnership with the LJD Jewish Family & Community Services.

ARTIST BRENDA COUNCILL: Celebrating 50 Years
November 9, 2023

With a career spanning 50 years, Councill made a name for herself in Jacksonville with her popular series of limited edition prints and drawings of historic Mandarin homes and sites. Since, she has explored diverse mediums including painting, sculpture, and mixed media. Now internationally known, her work is in corporate, private, and public collections in the United States and around the globe. As a longtime former resident of Mandarin, her heart has remained with the community she holds dear. Her current project focuses on creating the first and only life-sized sculpture of Harriet Beecher Stowe to be installed in Walter Jones Historical Park. A scale model of the proposed bronze sculpture is currently on display in the Stowe Gallery at Mandarin Museum.

GREG HOLBROOK: The Murray/Sheldon Family of Mandarin & New Smyrna
August 17, 2023

Greg Holbrook, Executive Director of the New Smyrna Museum of History, presented on the Murray/Sheldon family, early 19th-century residents of Mandarin. Originally from Philadelphia, George Murray was a well-known engraver. The family also owned land grants in Mandarin and New Smyrna. Mr. Murray died young, and his wife and children came to Mandarin alone. Their daughter, Jane Murray, married John Dwight Sheldon in what is now Walter Jones Historical Park. Jane and Dwight buried three children on the land before selling the property in 1840. They moved to New Smyrna where they became well-known and distinguished citizens.

WAYNE WOOD: Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage
May 18, 2023

Wayne Wood presented an intriguing slide presentation based on his new book, Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage: Bicentennial Edition, as well as stories and little-known facts about some of the city’s most interesting buildings.