Art Deco Weekend 2023 Lectures Preview

Maps and the Selling of the Sunshine State
Maps and the Selling of the Sunshine State

The 46th Annual Art Deco Weekend is happening this weekend!

Join us for three days of live music, dancing, classic car shows, and endless Art Deco.

You also won’t want to miss our wonderful lecture series, taking place at our Art Deco Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and virtually:

Here’s a preview of our lineup.

And make sure to check out the Official Art Deco Weekend 2023 Collectible Program Guide, now available online.


Friday, January 13th, join us online for Astaire, Rogers, and the Art Deco Dream, a virtual lecture hosted by writer, speaker, teacher, and critic Michael Lasser.

Michael Lasser

Here, Lasser will explore the influence of the Art Deco aesthetic and sensibility in American popular music. From the glistening dance floors, star-lit skies, sequined gowns, white ties and tails, to the sleek, witty, romantic songs of the age. Lasser will also explore Deco’s influence on dancing and singing styles that defined the era.

Michael Lasser is the author of three books: America’s Songs: The Stories Behind the Songs of Broadway, Hollywood, and Tin Pan Alley (co-written with Philip Furia), America’s Songs II: From the 1890s to the Post-War Years, and City Songs and American Life, 1900-1950. 

This is a VIRTUAL, pre-recorded event. RSVP to receive a link to the on-demand recording when it becomes available.


Jennifer Wong
Jennifer Wong

On Saturday, January 14th, we begin with The Father of Chinese Art Deco Architecture, organized by The Wolfsonian-FIU.

Speaker Jennifer Wong, granddaughter of architect Liu Jipiao, will relate his journey as student in Paris during the height of the Art Deco era, when Chinese artists were flocking to Paris to learn from Western culture. Jipiao was the organizer and designer of China’s section at the famous 1925 Paris Exposition and a key figure in bringing modernist art and architecture to his home country.

Wong will also discuss his work as an educator on his return to China, as well as the dramatic change in fortunes that led to him and his family relocating to America.

Walter Nelson
Walter Nelson

Next, catch Dancing in the Age of Deco, organized by the Wolfsonian-FIU. Historian and instructor Walter Nelson will use images and film from the 1920s and ’30s, when social dancing was more popular in America than at any other time in history.

Nelson captures the lost world of social dance from the Deco era, where dancing happened almost anywhere people got together, infused with the same modern spirit that animated and influenced the art and architecture of the period.

Lea Nickless
Lea Nickless

Finally, Lea Nickless, curator at The Wolfsonian-FIU will be hosting Maps and the Selling of the Sunshine State at the museum.

Nickless will highlight the crucial role of maps in promoting of Florida as a premier destination for sunshine and leisure, investment and industry, through graphic strategies that enhanced the state’s appeal.

Catch Nickless’s talk, then visit the exhibition she curated, Plotting Power: Maps and the Modern Age, to see examples of geographic imagery used to persuade and manipulate.


Alan Raynor
Alan Raynor

Sunday, January 15th, join us at the Art Deco Museum, where speaker Alan Raynor will discuss Art Deco’s Decline and Recovery on Miami Beach

Raynor, a supporter of the Art Deco Societies of New York and Miami, is an arts entrepreneur, author, and glass sculpter.

Nancy Liebman
Nancy Liebman

Next, catch preservationist Nancy Liebman’s talk, Another Landmark Bites the Dust: A Preservationist’s Scrapbook.

Liebman, an activist instrumental in the South Beach preservationist movement, will be sharing excerpts from her personal scrapbooks. She will chronicle her experiences and memories of the bittersweet ups and downs of Miami Beach Preservation, from the earliest days of the movement to today.

Jason Katz
Jason Katz

Wrapping up our lecture series, Islandia: The Miami Beach That Wasn’t, will explore the lost folklore a and mythology of the former city of Islandia.

Speaker Jason Katz, publisher of the Miami-based Islandia Journal, will tell the tale of the forgotten city, which encompassed 33 islands in Biscayne Bay and is now part of Biscayne National Park.

Incorporated into Dade County in 1962, Islandia had a population in the single digits. Efforts from property owners to build multiple causeways from Mainland South Florida to their island community never took off, making it a rare tale of environmental success in South Florida.

Plan your weekend ahead! RSVP today for these events and more, at

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