The 46th annual Art Deco Weekend® took place on Jan 13- 15 along Ocean Drive. Today we are thrilled to share the videos from our lecture series program, now available for worldwide streaming. Take a look and enjoy!
Art Deco Weekend is made possible with the generous support of the City of Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County, the State of Florida, the Original Miami Beach Antique Show, and MDPL Members.
Michael Lasser: Astaire, Rogers, and the Art Deco Dream
Glistening dance floors, star-lit skies, sequined gowns, white ties and tails—and the sleek, witty, romantic songs of the era. We have the hard edges of tapping, yet the dances and singing are also open and airy. This is the Art Deco sensibility at play in American popular music.
Michael Lasser is a writer, speaker, teacher, and critic. He 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.
Jennifer Wong: Liu Jipaio, The Father of Chinese Art Deco Architecture
During the height of the Art Deco era, a wave of Chinese artists came to Paris to learn from Western culture. Among them was architect Liu Jipiao, the organizer and designer of China’s section at the famous 1925 Paris Exposition (which introduced the world to Art Deco), and a key figure in bringing modernist art and architecture to his home country.
This Art Deco Weekend lecture features the architect’s granddaughter, Jennifer Wong, who will relate Liu’s life as a student in Paris, his work as an architect and educator on his return to China, and the dramatic change in fortunes that led to him and his family relocating to America. Organized by The Wolfsonian-FIU.
Walter Nelson: Dancing in the Age of Deco
In the 1920s and ’30s, social dancing was more popular in America than at any other time in history. Dancing happened almost anywhere people got together, infused with the same modern spirit that animated the art and architecture of the period. The popularity of dance created a vast infrastructure to support it, from sumptuous dance palaces to nightclubs and many other building types, often in the latest architectural styles.
In this Art Deco Weekend talk, historian and instructor Walter Nelson uses images and film from the era to capture this lost world of social dance, correcting the distorted view in today’s popular culture about how people danced in the past. Organized by the Wolfsonian-FIU.
Lea Nickless: Maps and the Selling of the Sunshine State
In the early 20th century, maps played a central role in the development of modern Florida—going beyond the logistics of guiding tourists, investors, and other northerners on their routes to the Sunshine State. Wolfsonian curator Lea Nickless shows how maps were crucial for the promotion 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. Organized by the Wolfsonian-FIU.
Alan Raynor: Art Deco’s Decline and Recovery on Miami Beach
Alan Raynor, arts entrepreneur, author, and glass sculptor talks about the decline and recovery of the Art Deco style in Miami Beach. Raynor dives into the Egyptian, Moorish, and Mayan influences found in Art Deco, which combined with the American motif of streamlining, made its mark on the city.
He also explores the unique style of Tropical Deco, known for its vibrant pastels, which dominate the Art Deco district. Raynor is a supporter of the Art Deco Societies of New York and Miami.
Nancy Liebman: Another Landmark Bites the Dust: A Preservationist’s Scrapbook
Preservationist Nancy Liebman presents her personal scrapbook chronicling her experiences and memories of the bitter-sweet ups and downs of Miami Beach Preservation. She shares tales of her years as a preservation activist from the earliest days of the Miami Beach movement to today.
Nancy is the author of “Preservation Dreams: Reflections of a Miami Beach Activist”, and “Another Landmark Bites the Dust: A Preservationist’s Scrapbook.”
Jason Katz: Islandia: The Miami Beach That Wasn’t
In 1962, property owners incorporated The City of Islandia into Dade County. Encompassing 33 islands in Biscayne Bay, Islandia had a population in the single digits. Property owners lobbied for multiple different causeways from Mainland South Florida to their island community. They platted subdivisions. Everything seemed to be on track for the major development of these “Pearl Islands” as Ralph Munroe called them. But then, the Federal Government decided to create Biscayne National Park instead.
What can we learn from this rare tale of environmental success in South Florida? Jason Katz, publisher of Islandia Journal, will tell you all about it. Jason Katz is the publisher of Islandia Journal, a (sub)tropical periodical of regional myth, folklore, history, and ecology. He is a contributing editor to Burnaway Magazine. Jason was born and raised in Miami.