Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Wolfsonian

Ask Mitchell Wolfson Jr. what he first collected and he'll tell you keys. Keys to hotel rooms and cruise ship cabins when he traveled as a child with his parents.
Wolfson, who turns 68 next month, went on — and on — to collect almost all of the 120,000 objects found at The Wolfsonian, the Miami Beach Museum that he donated to Florida International University in 1997.
Wolfson collected some beautiful things. But more important than beauty is what each object says about the time they were produced. Even small objects tell big stories. And inside the walls of the museum are thousands of stories about the social, political and technological changes that transformed the world. With so-many-thousand items in its collection, finding just 10 things was tough. The Wolfsonian was founded in 1986 to exhibit, document, and preserve the Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Collection of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, a vast assemblage of objects that includes furniture, paintings, books, prints, industrial and decorative art objects, and ephemera. In 1997 it became a division of Florida International University (FIU), when Wolfson donated his collection and museum facility to the university, the largest gift ever contributed to a public university in Florida. The Wolfsonian is a museum located in the heart of historic Miami Beach, within easy walking distance of the world-famous Art Deco hotels. Its fascinating collection of objects from the modern era (1885-1945) focuses on how art and design shape and reflect the human experience. The museum further engages the visitor by complementing its collection with thought-provoking discussions of the context and connection among its objects. We encourage visitors to explore the material culture of the past to better understand its relevance to the present.
1001 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139
At the corner of 10th Street and Washington Avenue

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