Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Today we visited a very impressive living history museum called the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. This museum transports you from Miami to Italy and even a little bit of Paris. It is a huge mansion built by James Deering in 1914 with construction finishing in 1916. The contents of the house were sourced by Deering and his friend Paul Chaflin from all over Europe. In one of the rooms there are even antiquities from Pompeii. If the house isn’t grand enough, the gardens are simply stunning. Fountains imported from Italy, hedge mazes, and a small garden theatre are just a few of the things on offer.Read More »

Wolfsonian Museum

Right in the heart of the Art Deco district is the Wolfsonian Museum. It is an incredibly impressive structure. Originally, the building was utilized as a storehouse for the belongings of visitors who were leaving Miami in summer but returning the following winter. In 1986, the function of the building changed to become a museum. It’s mission was to “exhibit, document, and preserve the Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Collection of Decorative and Propaganda Arts” (http://www.wolfsonian.org/about/museum-history). This mission continues to define the Wolfsonian. In 1997 the collection was donated to the Florida International University. These are just some fast facts to contextualize the museum.Read More »

Art Deco in Miami

If you love Art Deco architecture then Miami should be on your bucket list. Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue are saturated with some of the finest examples of Mediterranean Revival (1910s – 1920s), Art Deco (1920s – 1940s), and MiMo (1940s-1960s) style buildings. These buildings are still standing thanks to the efforts of the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL). Whilst the society focuses on the tangible heritage, that is preserving the physical structures of the building, what they have also achieved is the continuance of intangible stories. Heritage interpretation in the form of guided tours and self-guided audio tours were readily available for individuals wishing to explore the gems of the beach.Read More »