“Simon Chaput: Miami Beach Art Deco Architecture” debuts at The Wolfsonian-FIU

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Breakwater Hotel, Miami Beach

A new exhibition at The Wolfsonian-FIU is spotlighting Miami Beach’s Historic Art Deco District.

Simon Chaput: Miami Beach Art Deco Architecture” presented on the occasion of the 16th World Congress on Art Deco, pays tribute to the city’s signature Deco landmarks.

18 black-and-white photographs showcase the stylistic and structural elements of the city’s iconic buildings, built in the 1930s and ‘40s. Many of these were shot during the pandemic as the city was deserted.

Born in France in 1952, Simon Chaput is a fine arts photographer who works mostly in black and white.

His photographs take visitors back to the days when the buildings were in their purest form, without their colorful pastels, and pay tribute to their unique geometric style and architectural features.

Have a look and admire the buildings’ trademark “eyebrows”, ribbon windows, roof terraces, and portholes, which stand out against the artist’s darkened skies.

“Simon Chaput’s photographs call attention to the structural elements and decorative details of Art Deco District architecture,” reads a museum statement.

“Reduced to pure geometric forms on the background of Chaput’s signature black sky, his architectural shots become abstract compositions that emphasize line and shape, giving the iconic structures a special, metaphysical aura.”

Some of the landmarks photographed include hotels like the Breakwater (1939, Anton Skislewicz), the Carlyle (1941, Kiehnell and Elliott), and the Delano (1947, Robert Swartburg), as well as the Beach Patrol Headquarters building at 1001 Ocean Drive (1934, Robert A. Taylor) and the post office at 1300 Washington Ave (1937, Howard Lovewell Cheney).

The exhibition will be on display at The Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave) until May 28, 2023.

This show is organized by The Wolfsonian–FIU on the occasion of the 16th World Congress on Art Deco held in Miami Beach, April 20–28, 2023. 

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