In case you visit Miami on a day like today--which we here in south Florida consider "chilly" (high: 73 low: 55)--you might want to visit a local museum or art collection instead of going to the beach. Here are a couple of places I toured this week. (More to follow as the season progresses.)
The Wolfsonian-FIU is a museum located in the heart of historic Miami Beach. Its collection of objects from the modern era (1885-1945) focuses on how art and design shape and reflect the human experience, and engages the visitor with thought-provoking discussions of the context and connection among its objects.
(Photo: Wrestler, by Dudley Vaill Talcott, Shown at the 10th Olympic Games in L.A., 1932, Aluminum)
Current shows at the Wolfsonian-FIU include a timely exhibition commemorating the 75th anniversary of the New Deal: A Bittersweet Decade: The New Deal in America, 1933-43, which considers the impact of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs on American culture. Also not to be missed is American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow, which presents 150 examples of furniture, ceramics, metalwork, plastics, graphic design, and archival design books. (Where you might find yourself saying, "Hey! My grandmother had that toaster!")
Over on the mainland, the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse is an extensive collection (45,000 square feet!) of contemporary and vintage photography, sculpture and installation, and video from the holdings of Miami collector Martin Z. Marguilies.
(Photo: Glass Case with 24 Open-Face Sandwiches by Claes Oldenburg, 1964, burlap, plaster, enamel, glass, metal)
This season's exhibitions include: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Hurma, 1994-1995, an epic figurative environment by the renowned Polish sculptor; Isaac Julien, Western Union: Small Boats, 2007, A film installation on migration and the hope for a better life; Oil Rich Niger Delta by George Osodi, a photographic essay on the people of Nigeria; and Photography and Sculpture: A correlated Exhibition of new and vintage photography linked to contemporary sculpture.