Deco: Luxury to Mass Market

The seeds of modern design, developed in America during the 30s and 40s have been the focus of several exhibitions and publications in recent years. Now, the Wolfsonian is opening an exhibition “Deco: Luxury to Mass Market,” examining the modern’s triumph in it hometown, Miami Beach. I was thrilled to learn about this exhibition because the collection of the Museum in this area is not only strong, but also unique, reflecting the personal taste and discovery of its founder Micky Wolfson. The exhibition, which will be of a great interest to design devotees visiting Miami for the Design Miami show in early December, tells the story the roots of Art Deco in Paris, how it was brought to the US by American designers visiting its great exposition of 1925, and ultimately, the way in which the ‘modern’ was shaped in a unique vernacular form in South Beach, preserving the local spirit of the place. In Miami, it was particularly represented in hotels such as the Essex House, Kent, and New Yorker, which attained the city and its touristic experience a distinctive flavor. The contribution of this exhibition to the study of American modern design of this period, is in resurfacing the unique design culture developed in South Beach. 

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