Welcome to the historic St. Francis Barracks, headquarters of the Florida National Guard. More than 250 years old, St. Francis Barracks was constructed with locally-quarried coquina stone and is one of the oldest collections of buildings in the nation’s oldest city.
Florida’s Adjutant General Major General Henry McMillan, Jr. established a museum and archives here in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of St. Augustine’s founding in 1965. By 1988, new construction of the adjacent Cedar Room prompted the removal of the original museum exhibit and created an opportunity to develop a new exhibit which opened in 1992.
The current exhibit, installed in 2022, is the third permanent exhibit for the museum at St. Francis Barracks. The collection includes historic items of Florida’s military and archaeological artifacts excavated on site. Also included are several paintings of the Florida National Guard Heritage Art Series, a permanent collection of original works of art created to highlight Florida military history.
The Florida National Guard Heritage Art series was established in 1988 under the direction of Major General Robert F. Ensslin, Jr., the Adjutant General of Florida, and The Florida National Guard Historical Foundation, Inc.
Today, the collection includes twenty-three paintings displayed in armories across the state. Many of the paintings were funded by the Florida Department of State Art in State Buildings Program, while others were donated to the collection by private individuals or civic organizations.
The art collection, now more than twenty years old, is undergoing condition assessment and, if necessary, conservation treatment by a professional fine arts conservator. Treatments include a range of work from a light cleaning to removal of yellowed varnish and application of new conservation varnish.