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“Something different in Miami Beach other than the beach. The finest work of the finest stained glass artist of the 20C” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Wolfsonian - Florida International University

The Wolfsonian - Florida International University
1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
+1 305-531-1001
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Ranked #14 of 101 things to do in Miami Beach
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A museum, library, and research center that invites exploration of the persuasive power of art and design.
Naples, Florida
Level Contributor
197 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Something different in Miami Beach other than the beach. The finest work of the finest stained glass artist of the 20C”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We went just to see the Geneva window. Harry Clarke was one of the finest stained glass artists of the 20C and amongst the best of any century. He was Irish. This window was commissioned in 1925 for the League of Nations building in Geneva and depicts scenes from Irish literature.

It is a jewel.

If you have never looked at stained glass before or even been interested you cannot fail to be impressed by this, it is quite simply magnificent.

The window is much smaller than I imagined, but very accessible, you can walk right up to it. The lighting in the museum is subdued, soft, low so that the luminescence comes through. The micro-detail is beautifully done and like all great art works, you can see something new every time you look at it. There is a definite streak of Beardsley type eroticism, indeed, very much so, but also strong, perhaps startling realism. I can see why a newly minted government informed by an idyllic vision of Ireland would not like it.

It is a wonderful piece and Ireland should mourn its loss and Miami celebrate its gain

The museum itself is dedicated to 20C artefacts, lots of posters from the 1920s and 1930s, of all political colours, which I found interesting, almost as an anthropological study, humans do not change much.

There were sadly few visitors, which was great for us. Uninterrupted viewing, no hassle.

There not much proper parking within miles unless you are lucky, which I was.

The staff could not have been more helpful, particularly the receptionist. There is a little cafe in the museum shop.

A very satisfying experience and worth the frustration of enduring the roadworks inspired traffic jam of epic proportions.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian R, Manager at The Wolfsonian - Florida International University, responded to this review, April 16, 2013
Wow! Thank you so much for your amazing review! We are so glad you enjoyed your visit to the museum - and in particular the Clark window. It truly is magnificent. So happy to hear how much you enjoyed your visit. We understand parking is a problem for some people, but are glad that your experience was so fantastic. Come see us again when you are in the area!

-The Wolfsonian-FIU
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366 reviews from our community

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Narberth, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
395 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Oustanding Museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

We toured the museum with an excellent docent. The collections are spectacular with superb displays. The art deco and art nouveaux collections are wonderful. The museum is a real find.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank larryderm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian R, Manager at The Wolfsonian - Florida International University, responded to this review, April 16, 2013
Thank you so much for your review! We are so glad you enjoyed your visit to the museum - especially the art deco and art nouveau objects. Also happy that you were able to tour the museum with our docent and had a great time. Come see us again when you are in the area!

-The Wolfsonian-FIU
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
137 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“A museum that makes you think”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

Look, we are museum hounds...and this was a free for all eye opener. Dedicated to labor and what man makes, it is a decorative arts museum with a twist. Interesting objects, juxtaposed in interesting ways, and never boring. This time we as special exhibits on wiener werkstatte postcards, fabulous, and the other on expositions on labor...hard to describe but interesting. Go...it is a real change from art deco architecture and $25 drinks.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ana-Maria Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian R, Manager at The Wolfsonian - Florida International University, responded to this review, April 16, 2013
Thank you so much for your review! We are so glad you enjoyed your visit to the museum - especially our special exhibitions. So happy to hear how much you enjoyed the change of pace... Come see us again when you are in the area!

-The Wolfsonian-FIU
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton
Level Contributor
152 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“ok .. I didn't get any of it”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

we went to visit this museum based on the review... well... I visited the place in less than 10 min and left running outside! It is contemporary, nothing special except if you want to see Leicester sign, a 1950 table chair... It looked like a collection from someone who loves the early century (20th) items.. but coming from Europe, I'm not getting excited by something that is less than 100 years old!! nothing special unless you are one of those people who loves early century collections :o)
Personally, it wasn't my thing.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Pascal G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian R, Manager at The Wolfsonian - Florida International University, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Thank you so much for writing a review and for visiting the museum. Indeed it is a unique collection -- and with a focus on the time period of 1885-1945, we most certainly love early 20th century objects! Changing exhibitions let us explore new ideas our collection can be interpreted and presented, but we're sorry you didn't enjoy your visit.

Thanks again for visiting,
-The Wolfsonian-FIU
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville, Va
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Tons of great artifacts 1900-1950”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

After you've soaked up some sun, check this place out for some unexpected artifacts. The museum contains everything from Nazi propaganda posters to "state of the art" appliances from the 1900s - 1950s. Guided tours are given for free each Friday evening. We arrived after a quick shower and change from the beach and were greeted with a happy hour until the tour began. Was a nice change of pace from the Miami Beach cliche. The building's content and history are worth an hour of your time, if not more.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank hundredmpg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian R, Manager at The Wolfsonian - Florida International University, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Thank you so much for your review! We are so glad you enjoyed your visit to the museum, and were able to take advantage of free tour and admission on Friday night. So happy to hear how much you enjoyed the change of pace... Come see us again when you are in the area!

-The Wolfsonian-FIU
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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