April Programming at The Wolfsonian

The Wolfsonian–FIU
1001 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
305.535.2622 | wolfsonian.org

This April at The Wolfsonian–FIU, the sky’s the limit. For Poetry Month, we’re offering a poetry kite-making family day workshop that culminates with test flights in Lummus Park, The Wolfsonian will be hosting poets in teeny tiny pop-up residencies in our Bridge Tender House. This partnership with O, Miami Poetry Festival likewise ends with a bang: a poetry reading with the eight participating writers!

In addition, they’re aiming high(brow) and dreaming big with programs that represent some of our most intellectual fare and loftiest missions. Don’t miss out on a curator-led looking session at Slow Art Day, or the second-annual tribute to the power of the poster, PosterFest. While last year’s edition centered on the realities faced by South Florida’s homeless population, for 2019 they’re partnering with AIGA Miami and the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County to address the topic of Miami’s HIV rate, the highest in the nation. By challenging designers to reimagine The Wolfsonian’s vintage AIDS awareness posters, PosterFest strives to break down misconceptions, encourage empathy, and foster compassion about this startling statistic affecting our community’s public health.



Apr 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25 (Tues + Thus) | 10am–noon

Room of One’s Own: A Teeny Tiny Poetry Residency

Cozy up to a poet! Cozy up to two! Throughout the month of April, two mornings a week, stroll in front of The Wolfsonian to find one of eight poets at work in our Bridge Tender House-turned-tiny writing studio. While they agonize over every word and line break, you can interact, read along, and witness their creative process. Then, join us for a poetry reading of the writers’ final works on Friday, April 26, 7–9pm. Created in partnership with the O, Miami Poetry Festival.

Free and open to the public

Sat, Apr 6 | 12–3pm

Discovering Design Free Family Day: High Hopes

Celebrate Kite Month and Poetry Month all at once by designing and building your own poetry kite! We’ll get inspiration from Demi’s magical illustrations in Magic Wishes That Fly Up to the Sky, a book all about kite-flying traditions in China—then, we’re sending those hopes flying high up in the Miami Beach sky with test flights in Lummus Park.

Free for children and accompanying adults | RSVP

Sat, Apr 6 | 4–5:30pm

Slow Art Day: Looking with the Curators

Mind the art! Join us for Slow Art Day, a global event designed for seeing deeper by looking close. Relax, uncover details, and consider hidden stories behind some of our favorites as three Wolfsonian curators guide your eyes over select collection gems.

$12, FREE for members | Space is limited; RSVP

Fri, Apr 12 | 6–9pm

Second Shift

It’s SoBe’s best-kept nightlife secret: when the other happy hours wind down, we keep the killer specials going! For a sophisticated date night that will be kind on your wallet, pencil in a stop at The Wolf. First take a free guided tour of the galleries at 6pm, then head downstairs to the Design Store for half-priced beer, wine, and mixed drinks. After pre-gaming with our one-two punch of culture and cocktails, you’ll be right in the heart of the action only a couple of blocks from Ocean Drive—perfectly situated to hit the town in style.

Free and open to the public; drinks available for purchase

Fri, Apr 26 | 7–8:30pm

Sketching in the Galleries

Put down that iPad and reconnect with good ol’ paper and pencil! Our bilingual instructor gets you drawing newbies started, or teaches longtime artists new tricks. Materials and gallery stools provided, all ages and skill levels welcome. English/Spanish

Free and open to the public, walk-in basis, no RSVP required

Fri, Apr 26 | 7–8:30pm

Room of One’s Own: Poetry Reading

Just what did those poets get up to in that teeny tiny poetry residency in the Bridge Tender House? Join us for an evening of poetry as our eight poets read the work they created, and take the collection away with you in print. Created in partnership with the O, Miami Poetry Festival.

Free and open to the public | Space is limited; RSVP

Sat, Apr 27 | 2–6pm

PosterFest: Design for Good 2019

South Florida has the highest rate of HIV in the nation. So how can we help address a public health crisis through visual communication? Join us for an interdisciplinary event packed with presentations, hands-on workshops, and a “design with empathy” challenge focused on the theme of posters as vehicles for advocacy and social change. Inspired by select pieces from our AIDS awareness poster collection, the afternoon includes an exhibition of vintage HIV/AIDS posters and the contemporary companions local designers created in response—all in an effort to combat a startling statistic impacting our community. Co-presented with AIGA Miami and Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County, STD/HIV Prevention and Control Program.

Free and open to the public | RSVP

Weekly on Fri | 6–6:45pm

Free Friday Guided Tours

Learn more about The Wolfsonian and related art and design themes during a 45-minute free guided tour of the building, collection, or exhibitions. New guides bring different perspectives each week!

Free and open to the public


LAST CHANCE! Closing Apr 28
Made in Italy: MITA Textile Design 1926–1976

Art and design, modern industry and handcraft—these were the ingredients brought together by MITA, an Italian firm specializing in carpets, tapestries, and other textiles. Founded in Genoa as the Manifattura Italiana Tappeti Artistici (Italian Artistic Carpet Manufactory) in 1926 by Mario Alberto Ponis, MITA earned its reputation by collaborating with some of Italy’s most talented artists and designers to create carpets inspired by modernist aesthetic trends while employing up-to-date production techniques. After the Second World War, MITA expanded production to include tapestries and fabrics with both abstract and figurative patterns—striking designs that secured lucrative commissions, decorated ocean liners, and were showcased in international exhibitions.

Carpets, tapestries, scarves, and printed fabrics, as well as original design drawings, will showcase exceptional work by designers like Gio Ponti, Fortunato Depero, Enrico Paulucci, Emanuele Luzzati, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Gio Pomodoro, and Ettore Sottsass, Jr., revealing a characteristically Italian approach to industry and design.

Made in Italy: MITA Textile Design 1926–1976 is organized by The Wolfsonian–Florida International University in Miami Beach and The Wolfsoniana–Palazzo Ducale Fondazione per la Cultura in Genoa, in cooperation with the Consulate General of Italy in Miami. Additional support is provided by the Consular Agency of the United States of America in Genoa, Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A., Blu Logistics Italia Srl, and Dietl International Services.

LAST CHANCE! Closing Apr 21
All Roads Lead to Rome: 20th-Century Tourism in Italy
For centuries Italy reigned as an essential stop for wealthy people taking the “Grand Tour.” In the wake of the 1922 Fascist Revolution, Benito Mussolini began promoting Italy as not merely a place to marvel over ancient Roman ruins, but also as an impressive testament to the achievements of the Fascist state. All Roads Lead to Rome presents material from The Wolfsonian’s library—including tourist brochures, menu covers, photographs, exhibition catalogs, chapter vignette proofs by the Futurist artist Fortunato Depero, and a unique watercolor sketch book by costume designer Albert Wainwright—that touted Italy as a travel destination to foreign and domestic tourists by offering visions of the glory of Rome, ancient and modern.

The Wolfsonian’s library installations are generously sponsored by Henry S. Hacker.

Deco: Luxury to Mass Market
“Art Deco” has come to evoke a set of styles that emerged in the 1920s and 1930s out of aspirations to fuse art and industry into a modern language of design. From exquisite handcrafted objects to streamlined household appliances, the items on display in Deco will demonstrate how American designers adapted a style associated with European luxury to the demands of industrial mass production. Through decorative arts, product design, architecture, and graphics from the Wolfsonian collection, the exhibition will trace Art Deco’s origins in Europe, its migration to the United States, and its evolution into a fully American style—perhaps most spectacularly realized on Miami Beach in the 1930s.

Deco: Luxury to Mass Market is made possible by Diane and Alan Lieberman and the South Beach Group, with the support of Jamestown, L.P., and Saul and Jane Gross and Streamline Properties.

Through May 26

The Art of Labor
American artists produced a flood of depictions of working men and women during the 1930s, a time of mass unemployment and union organizing. In doing so, they created art that only partly captured how the industrial revolution and the growth of the service economy had transformed the nature of work over the past half-century. The paintings and sculptures in this installation highlight forms of labor—growing crops, forging metal, cutting stone, and sewing clothes—that grew out of older traditions and relied on physical strength and manual skill. These proved to be more picturesque and heroic subjects than many purely modern jobs, such as office, retail, or assembly line work.

Through May 26
Frank Brangwyn: Bringing the Empire Home
Frank Brangwyn: Bringing the Empire Home spotlights the life and career of Frank Brangwyn (British, b. Belgium, 1867–1956), a versatile artist and designer working in the first half of the twentieth century. His murals, architectural plans, luxury interiors, and furniture vividly capture the many dimensions of Britain’s role as a colonial power and global trade giant. In his diverse works, Brangwyn harnessed the products, resources, and local cultures of Britain’s colonies and commercial partners for decorative ends just as the British empire began its slow collapse around the world.

Through May 31
Enter the Design Age
Enter the Design Age, an installation by the Paris-based creative studio H5, is a response to a challenge. The Wolfsonian asked H5 to make a statement about the richness of the museum’s collection on the façade of our building. H5 chose its favorite medium, typography, to issue a giant appeal for people to enter and discover what’s inside. The installation highlights the richness of The Wolfsonian’s holdings—which date from 1850 to 1950, a century when design emerged as a profession and transformed the visual and material world—by embedding a timeline with information about key pieces in the lettering. Extending the installation is a video screened at night on the north side of the building, a kind of animated “big-bang” that imagines the collection’s origins.

H5’s fusion of playfulness with cultural and political critique makes the studio a natural partner for The Wolfsonian. Founded in 1996 by Ludovic Houplain, H5 is composed of art directors, graphic designers, illustrators, filmmakers, and producers who collaborate on music videos, branding campaigns, and independent artworks. H5’s Logorama was awarded an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 2010.

Major support for Enter the Design Age is provided by Dr. David and Linda Frankel, and Oui Design, a joint program initiated by the French Embassy Cultural Services, FACE (French American Cultural Exchange) Foundation, Canal+ International, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Art and Design in the Modern Age: Selections from The Wolfsonian Collection
These galleries provide an overview of the museum’s holdings of American and European artifacts from 1850 to 1950. Culled from The Wolfsonian collection are approximately three hundred works in a variety of formats, ranging from books, posters, and postcards to decorative arts, architectural models, paintings, and sculptures. Focal points include design reform movements, urbanism, industrial design, transportation, world’s fairs, advertising, and political propaganda. Inaugurated in November 1996, this ongoing exhibition is periodically updated.