Tom Petty exhibit opens in Gainesville: Includes Rock & Roll Hall of Fame artifacts

by Jody Farmer, Cade Museum

The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention is happy to announce the opening of a new exhibit, Tom Petty: Among the Wildflowers, featuring artifacts previously on display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.  

Tom Petty: Among the Wildflowers explores the joys, pains, and creative awakenings that Gainesville native Tom Petty experienced while pouring his soul into his magnum opus, Wildflowers, released in November 1994. Through this exhibit, guests can hear first-hand accounts from Tom and the Wildflowers team about the album’s spirited creation.  

The exhibit space is divided into three segments of artifacts that correspond to a unique aspect of the Wildflowers creative process: songwriting, recording, and reception and delivery. Through generous contributions from the Tom Petty Estate and individual bandmembers involved in the Wildflowers recording process, including Mike Campbell, Stephen Ferrone, and Howie Epstein, visitors can discover the many artifacts that tell the album’s story, such as the original guitar and outfit featured in Tom Petty’s 1995 Rolling Stone Magazine cover, original lyric sheets, and instruments used in the album recording.   

The exhibition draws heavy inspiration from the 2021 documentary Tom Petty: Somewhere You Feel Free—The Making of Wildflowers directed by Mary Wharton and produced by Adria Petty, eldest daughter of Tom Petty and partner in Petty Legacy, along with her sister, Annakim Violette, and stepmother, Dana York Petty.  

“The Petty Legacy is committed to investing in the new artists, creators, and inventors that will come out of Gainesville,” Adria Petty said. “The Cade Museum is a beacon for this. Our dad was such an unassuming and wonderful man like the late Dr. Cade; I know he would be humbled by this honor. The legacy of the Cade Museum uplifts and facilitates this spirit of invention and discovery. We could not be more thrilled that this important exhibition will travel from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to our dad’s hometown in Central Florida. We hope it inspires people to dig deep, dream and express themselves. We are forever grateful to Phoebe Miles for making this exhibition possible.” 

Tom Petty: Among the Wildflowers will be open from July 22 until January 1, during museum hours: Thursday to Sunday from 10am-4pm. Purchase tickets at 

About the Cade Museum 

for Creativity and Invention 

The mission of the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention in Gainesville, Florida, is to transform communities by inspiring and equipping future inventors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. 

Named after Mary Cade and her husband, Dr. James Robert Cade, the lead inventor of Gatorade, the project has been spearheaded by their daughter, Phoebe Cade Miles, and her husband, Richard Miles, since 2006. 

They encourage the development of innovation ecosystems through the Cade Prize for Innovation, the Cade’s proprietary Innovation Education learning framework, and the 21,000-square-foot hands-on learning museum that promotes the development of an inventive mindset, which the Cade calls Inventivity™. 

The Cade believes every person should have access to the right to invent and innovate inherent in America’s DNA and works diligently in outreach efforts to bring this understanding to all, with an emphasis on the underserved. To learn more, visit

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