The Wolfsonian-Florida International University (or Wolfsonian-FIU) is a museum, library, and research center in the heart of Miami South Beach’s Art Deco District, with a mission to “illustrate the persuasive power of art and design, to explore what it means to be modern, and to tell the story of social, political, and technological changes that have transformed our world.” Its collection is comprised of over 120,000 objects dating from 1884 to 1945, from the height of the Industrial Revolution to the end of WWII. Included in the collection are works in glass, ceramics and metal, rare books, periodicals, ephemera, works on paper, paintings, textiles, and metals.
Several countries are represented here, most notably Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, the United States, Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, Japan, and the former Soviet Union. Some popular collections are: the British Arts & Crafts movement, Dutch and Italian versions of the Art Nouveau style, American industrial design, objects and publications from world fairs, propaganda from WWI and WWII and the Spanish Civil War, New Deal graphic and decorative arts, avant-garde book design, and publications and design drawings relating to architecture.
The museum was opened to the public in 1995, and has received recognition from scholars, collectors, educators, the media and visitors for its showcase of art and design as both an agent and indicator of societal and cultural change. It also supports scholarship and develops critically acclaimed exhibitions, publications, and educational programs that highlight the impact of design on the modern world.
Know Before You Go
Parking is a challenge; there is a small public (pay) lot a few blocks north of the museum at the corner of 13th street and Collins. There is a modest admission fee for the museum. Admission is free Friday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m.