Art Basel Miami Beach is nearly upon us, and there is plenty going on at The Wolfsonian during and leading up to the December 4–7 international art fair. This year marks the thirteenth time Art Basel has set up shop in Miami, bringing with it scores of satellite festivals, exhibitions, and activities. Anyone who has survived a previous Art Basel relatively intact knows that highly strategic planning is involved. Our suggestion? Plan to be at The Wolfsonian! We’ve got new exhibitions and installations to explore, great events, and our Museum Shop and Café is home to a fun pop-up shop during Basel week.

The museum is open daily on December 1–7 from 10am–6pm (9pm on Thursday). The exhibitions on view, several of which are discussed in this newsletter, are Myth and Machine: The First World War in Visual Culture; Art and Design in the Modern Age: Selections from The Wolfsonian Collection; Pose and Propaganda: Political Posters from the Contemporary Middle East; Boom, Bust, Boom: Downtown Miami Architecture, 1920s–1930s; and a library exhibition on children and propaganda in the First World War.

We’re changing our look just in time for Art Basel, with an exterior treatment that ties to our First World War exhibition. Beginning in late November, we’ll be sporting a mural on our façade and south-facing wall. Intricate Pattern Overlay, by Miami-based artist Michelle Weinberg, is a gray-and-pink patterned design inspired by the dazzle camouflage paint treatments developed for American and British warships during the First World War. Weinberg’s mural design incorporates the striping and irregular patterning that was intended to disorient German U-Boats.

Art Basel week kicks off for The Wolfsonian on the evening of Monday, December 1 with a very special fundraiser generously presented by Van Cleef & Arpels and hosted by Leonard and Jayne Abess and museum founder and advisory board chairman Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. The event is chaired by advisory board member Ashley Melisse Abess and Matthew Vander Werff. The elegant evening begins at the Olympia Theater at Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, continues at an undisclosed location, and includes several truly spectacular surprise features. While most aspects of the evening are under wraps, we can reveal two major highlights: cuisine by superstar chef Daniel Boulud and what promises to be an incredible premier performance from Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project, titled “A Premier of Gems Part II”—Millepied has recently become director of dance for the Paris Opera Ballet. This year marks the second time that Van Cleef & Arpels has presented a major fundraiser for The Wolfsonian—in 2011, the extraordinary Mirror Ball raised five hundred thousand dollars for the museum. The Wolfsonian is grateful for the continued support and looks forward to an intimate and unforgettable evening. For table sponsorships and ticket purchases, please contact Michael Hughes, development director at The Wolfsonian, at or 305.535.2602. 

On Friday, December 5, The Wolfsonian hosts a party in honor of Art Basel and celebrating our current exhibitions, featuring Phenomenal Amarante, an artist collaboration between Brazilian musician Rodrigo Amarante de Castro Neves and Miami-based Phenomenal Experience Agency with Eric Cade Schoenborn. The artists are transforming the museum into an immersive performance installation that thematically complements our First World War exhibition. They’re bringing together music and technology by visually scoring and projecting Amarante’s music—think living, animated GIF. As for what that will look like, feel like, and be like, you’ll have to attend to find out! The event is open to Wolfsonian Diplomat-level members and above, donors, and Art Basel and Design Miami/ VIP cardholders.

The Wolfsonian traditionally hosts events during the week of Art Basel. One of the standouts is the American Museum Network Conference MUSCON on Wednesday, December 2, co-presented by The Wolfsonian, Vitra Design Museum, and Design Miami/. The conference is a networking and exchange platform for museum professionals and includes roundtable discussions at which museums present traveling exhibitions and future projects to colleagues.

Throughout the month of December, The Museum Shop is home to DesignPOP Pop-Up Shop, inspired by Lisa S. Roberts’s new book DesignPOP. The book surveys contemporary design with a focus on game-changing products by leading designers—The Wolfsonian has gathered a selection of the featured items for sale in the pop-up shop. The author, designer, and architect, whom many know as the host of the reality television program My Design Life, is going to be at the museum to sign books during the Art Basel party on December 5. 



Intricate Pattern Overlay 9/14, 2014
Michelle Weinberg (American, b. 1961)
Gouache and stamps on paper
40 x 60 in (101.6 x 152.4 cm)
Courtesy of the artist

Bottom (click to enlarge):

Still from “Hourglass” video, 2014
Amarante Bros.
Courtesy of the artist

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