The museum shop is expanding—beginning in mid-August, it is opening a pop-up shop in FIU’s bookstore, located on the Modesto A. Maidique campus. The pop-up shop will carry several museum publications including exhibition catalogues and issues of The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts. “We see the pop-up shop as another way to familiarize FIU faculty and students with The Wolfsonian. Because we are located at such a distance from FIU’s campuses, many students have not visited. By bringing our publications to them, they’ll be able to browse the catalogues and journals and learn more about the museum,” explains Paola La Rivera, The Wolfsonian’s bookstore and shop manager. The FIU bookstore is a hub of campus activity, and The Wolfsonian’s pop-up shop will have a noticeable presence, with two tables and a bookshelf dedicated to the museum’s publications and information. Among the materials available will be Designing Modernity: The Arts of Reform and Persuasion, 1885-1945 ($35) the award-winning catalogue for the inaugural exhibition and a comprehensive introduction to the collection and its themes. Several issues of The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts ($25) will be available, such as issue 24, “Design Culture Identity: The Wolfsonian Collection,” the first journal issue published under the auspices of FIU and an in-depth and wide-ranging exploration of the collection by several scholars. “We’re so pleased that the campus bookstore is giving us this opportunity,” La Rivera says.
Change. Expansion. Evolution. Transformation. Now is an exciting time of growth at The Wolfsonian. What does this mean for you and for the museum? In one word, it means more. Through the expansion of both our physical presence to downtown Miami and digital spaces we plan to make more of the collection accessible to more people in more ways. To accomplish these goals, we are asking for your support.
The challenge: come up with a design for a table for The Wolfsonian’s lobby. The small print: the table design must be based on Thonet’s iconic 214 chair. The Wolfsonian table must accommodate twenty-four Thonet 214 chairs and, in keeping with the chair, have six components, use only a handful of screws, be easily assembled, and be composed of eco-friendly sustainable materials. The end result: The Wolfsonian will build the table and display it in the museum lobby.
“This was the first open call we’ve done for something like this. The designs were all very well conceived and carefully considered,” says Mylinh Trieu Nguyen, The Wolfsonian’s art director. Three finalists were chosen and those designs were presented to the public to vote on the winner—voting could take place either online or in person, in the lobby. Voting is now closed and the results will be announced in August.
Considering that the designers all had the same constraints, the table designs created by the finalists are remarkably varied.
A post about South African library holdings spurred by Nelson Mandela’s ninety-fifth birthday. An overview of materials about Native Americans written on the occasion of a visit to The Wolfsonian by staff members from the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum. An exploration of representations of labor history in the garment industry prompted by last spring’s tragic building collapse in Bangladesh and the May Day protests in Seattle.
The above are topics of posts published in The Wolfsonian’s library blog. The blog provides a fascinating glimpse into the library’s holdings, as do the library’s other digital projects, including its exhibition website and the online catalogues.
“Putting these materials online so the public can access them is a great way to promote the library collection,” says Francis X. Luca, The Wolfsonian’s chief librarian. “The blog is essentially a behind-the-scenes tour where we can showcase specific materials.” The blog got its start in September 2009 and has been going strong ever since, with posts at least once a week. The posts are written primarily by Luca, supplemented with contributions by library staff members Nicolae Harsanyi, Rochelle Pienn, and Michel Potop.
More than three dozen new objects, along with two new special installations, are part of the recently updated Art and Design in the Modern Age: Selections from The Wolfsonian Collection (ADMA). The updated installation retains the exhibition’s core themes and overall structure while refreshing its graphic identity, refining the exhibition design, revising text panels, and introducing new material.
ADMA showcases approximately three hundred American and European items from the museum’s collection period (1885–1945) in a wide range of formats, including decorative arts, furniture, industrial objects, paintings, sculptures, books, posters, and postcards. The exhibition reflects and explores this time of rapid change in the human environment due to industrialization, urbanization, advances in transportation and communications systems, and related developments. In the words of the introductory text panel, “The works on display in these galleries reveal how people living in this tumultuous period viewed the world and their place in it.”