Andy Sweet was a gifted photographer who from 1977-1982, documented the residents of South Beach through his camera lens. In 1982 his life was tragically cut short when he was murdered. These archives were donated to MDPL back in 2000 by Audrey Sweet, Andy Sweet’s mother.
1979 archival photographs by Andy Sweet include a color photograph of Commissioner Elayne Weisburd with Mayor Leonard Haber. Elayne was the first elected female Commissioner in Miami Beach and served from 1977-1979. Leonard Haber was a Miami Beach Commissioner from 1974-1977 and then elected Mayor of Miami Beach from 1977-1979. The second color archival photograph is of the 1979 dedication of Roy Lichtenstein’s The Mermaid sculpture outside of the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts at 1700 Washington Avenue. It was Lichtenstein’s first public art commission and the first piece of public art in the city of Miami Beach. The third color photograph by Andy Sweet is of Commissioner Elayne Weisburd, her husband Sidney Weisburd & Mayor Leonard Haber at a ribbon cutting ceremony. Sidney Weisburd was elected as a three-term commissioner and both him and Elayne were the first couple ever to serve in that position. The fourth photograph is of Elayne Weisburd and her staff at City Hall around the Christmas tree. The last photograph is the headquarters of Mildred Falk, who served as Miami Beach Commissioner from 1979-1981. She also served as the President of the Miami Beach’s Home Owner’s Association.
For those who haven’t yet seen the moving documentary “The Last Resort” about Andy Sweet’s work, you can still catch it on Netflix. In 2018, the book entitled “Shtetl in the Sun; Andy Sweet’s South Beach 1977-1980”, containing dozens of his bold colorful and unconventional photographs was published.