Friday, September 11, 2009

The Wolfsonian Museum, Miami, FL

During my walking tour, we stop in front of the Wolfsonian Museum in the heart of South Beach.

This building is more than a historic site dating back to the 1930's. It's a time machine like many museums but often misunderstood.

Mitchell Wolfson Jr. amassed a collection of propaganda artifacts from 1885 -1945. The accumulation comprises a variety of media from furniture to industrial design objects to metalwork and more. The objects are interpreted to explore key issues in design history--the way design has both altered and been altered by cultural change, industrial innovation, and strategies of persuasion.

From the typical objects relating to Travel & Transportation to the eyebrow-raising political propaganda from Germany and the Spanish Civil War, Wolfson Jr. calls his repository, the "prologue to the modern era" or the more identifiable "Indiana Jones' Lost Ark".

Worth approximately $60 million, most of Wolfson's treasures are stored in an annex building. Select pieces are put on display in the "museum" building to allow for a themed, brief but peak-your -interest -and -mind tour. It's not the heavy-weight and day-long tour of the Louvre.

This is well worth a detour from the tourist attractions. Museum admission is $7.00 and free after 6pm on Fridays. Open daily except for Wednesdays.

To learn more about the life long journey of Mitchell Wolfson Jr. and his bumpy road that lead to a collection now the envy of every scholar, click here for recent article in the Miami Herald.