from the Archives

Andy Warhol’s visit to Deco District

March 2020 marked the 40th anniversary of the world-famous artist Andy Warhol’s visit to the Deco District. As one of the pioneering Art Deco collectors, Andy Warhol called the MDPL office in March 1980 and asked if someone would show him the Art Deco buildings in Miami Beach. An appointment was made and shortly after Warhol arrived from New York. He was given a top to bottom tour led by MDPL founder, Barbara Baer Capitman and Diana Camber of MDPL, who went on to become Director of the Bass Museum of Art. This event was widely covered by the news media and gave our new historic district a stamp of approval from an art-world celebrity.

Lynn Bernstein, an early supporter of MDPL and close friend of Barbara Baer Capitman remembers that day fondly, “I remember a frenzy of reporters. It was an incredibly upbeat happy day for MDPL. Barbara was amazing at attracting people to the movement and luring them down to Miami Beach to be part of the rediscovery of our Art Deco gems. Everyone felt they had a part to play. They were such incredibly fun days for all. I knew at the time how special the experience was and never took it for granted…she [Barbara} was incredibly goal oriented and recognized skills that each person she encountered might have and how they could contribute towards the transformation of the area into the National Register Historic District….”

Shown are 1980 Black and white photographs of Warhol’s visit at The Amsterdam Palace Apartments, 1116 Ocean Drive (now The Versace Mansion) from MDPL’s archives.

Andy Warhol being given a tour of the Amsterdam Palace Apartments by Diane Camber of MDPL.
Andy Warhol touring the Art Deco District in March 1980.

Black and white photo of one of the tour trolleys for Andy Warhol’s visit. Pictured smiling is Lynn Bernstein who was the guide on that trolley.
Andy Warhol and Diane Camber of MDPL during his tour of South Beach

What would Miami Beach be like without Historic Art Deco, Mediterranean, and MiMo buildings?

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