January Programming at The Wolfsonian


Fri, Jan 11 | 7–9pm
Into the Stacks
Ah, Miami: the rum-running capital of the South during Prohibition, where drinkers could find speakeasies not only on land, but offshore. Join Bookleggers Library founding director Nathaniel Sandler and The Wolfsonian’s chief librarian Frank Luca to “pour” over our collection of Prohibition and cocktail-related objects, with drinks from vintage recipes available for purchase! Presented in conjunction with Sandler’s Knight Foundation-funded project, Crypt Cracking.

Free and open to the public | RSVP

Sun, Jan 13 | 5–8pm (5pm tour + 6pm film)
Italian Style on Screen: Roman Holiday
Our kickoff to Italian Style on Screen, presented jointly with the Miami Beach Cinematheque, features seasoned actor Gregory Peck and ingénue Audrey Hepburn in this classic black-and-white film from 1953. The first American film to be shot in its entirety in Italy, Roman Holiday follows an incognito princess as she explores Rome and finds love with an undercover reporter who knows her true identity. Get ready for the Vespa-fueled film journey with a tour of Made in Italy: MITA Textile Design 1926–1976 at The Wolfsonian at 5pm, followed by the screening at the Cinematheque at 6pm.

$11; FREE* for MBC and Wolfsonian members, seniors, and students | Tickets
*Optional tour of Made in Italy: MITA Textile Design 1926–1976 at The Wolf is included in the film admission price.

Sat, Jan 19–Sun, Jan 20
Art Deco Weekend
The Wolfsonian teams up with the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL) to bring you a weekend of exciting talks, panel discussions, and more! Swing by the museum for programs on Saturday and Sunday, and check out MDPL’s Art Deco Weekend site for information on activities not at The Wolf.

Sessions include:
Sat 11am | Preservation: Past
Sat 1pm | The Future of Miami Marine Stadium
Sat 3pm | Skin Deep: Deco and Death
Sat 6pm | Deco Domestic: 3 Modern Homes of the 1930s
Sun 11am | Preservation: Present
Sun 1pm | Discovering Africa in Art Deco Design and Beyond
Sun 3pm | Preservation: Future

Free and open to the public | RSVP

Sat, Jan 19 | 3–4pm
Director’s Talk | Skin Deep: Deco and Death
The dark side of Art Deco returns for an encore performance!

Art Deco is known for its sinuous curves, polished surfaces, sensual materials, and erotic depictions of the male and female body. But during Deco’s height in the 1920s and ’30s, physical health was under enormous threat. How and why did its fantasies become so misaligned with the realities of the world? In this Art Deco Weekend edition of his popular talk, Wolfsonian director Tim Rodgers invites you to take a fresh look at the ideals on view in Deco: Luxury to Mass Market.

Free and open to the public | RSVP

Sat, Jan 19 | 6–7pm
Deco Domestic: 3 Modern Homes of the 1930s
When we hear “Art Deco architecture,” we think skyscrapers and South Beach hotels. But what influence did Deco have on homes? In this lecture led by Wolfsonian curators Silvia Barisione and Shoshana Resnikoff and Asheville Art Museum curator Whitney Richardson, we’ll look at three different houses as case studies to explore the regional manifestations of Deco in domestic architecture and interior design. Presented as part of Art Deco Weekend and The Wolfsonian’s Mark Mamolen program series on American homes.

Free and open to the public | RSVP

Fri, Jan 25 | 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

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 Jan 13
Wit as Weapon: Satire and the Great War
Propaganda artists on all sides frequently turned to satire as a means of rallying morale on the home front during the First World War. While official propaganda generally glorified the cause of the nation, cartoonists and illustrators created a flood of magazine and sheet music covers, postcards, and children’s books that mocked enemy leaders and soldiers. Wit as Weapon, featuring selections from The Wolfsonian–FIU Library, shows the range of satirical techniques employed during the war, aimed at both adults and children.

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

NEW! Opening Jan 17
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.

Through 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.

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 27
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.

Through Aug 11
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.

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.

The Wolfsonian is a museum, library, and research center that uses objects to illustrate the persuasive power of art and design, to explore what it means to be modern, and to tell the story of social, historical, and technological changes that have transformed our world. The collection comprises approximately 180,000 objects from 1850 to 1950—the height of the Industrial Revolution through the aftermath of the Second World War—in a variety of media including furniture; industrial-design objects; works in glass, ceramics, and metal; rare books; periodicals; ephemera; works on paper; paintings; textiles; and medals.

The Wolfsonian is located at 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL.

Admission is $12 for adults; $8 for seniors, students, and children ages 6–18; and free for Wolfsonian members, State University System of Florida staff and students with ID, and children under 6.

The museum is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 10am–6pm; Friday, 10am–9pm; Sunday, noon–6pm; and is closed on Wednesday.

Contact: 305.531.1001 or visit wolfsonian.org for further information.