Swarovski chandelier
Swarovski chandelier

Museum Empire

Known for its vast collection of cool ephemera, intriguing exhibitions, and engaging presentations that appeal equally to the upper crust and the common man, the Wolfsonian-FIU museum will celebrate itself all over town with A Very Wolfsonian Weekend, seven events designed to raise funds for exhibitions and public programs. And whether you consider yourself a member of the hoi polloi, bourgeoisie, or the imperial court of royals, you're invited to partake.

Friday evening at the mysterious Scottish Rite Temple, New York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp will kick off the festivities with an oddly titled talk: "The Good, the True, and Latin Music." The next evening, a former World War II military warehouse plunked in the heart of Miami hosts the Imperial Propaganda Ball, which pays tribute to the last emperor in the Americas, Brazil's Dom Pedro II. At that bash, folks will party with the great-great-grandson of Dom Pedro II himself under sparkling artist-designed chandeliers provided by Swarovski. A Sunday brunch at the history-filled Freedom Tower, built in 1925, follows for a select few. But those of Cinderella-ish means, who couldn't afford a glass slipper, let alone a pricey ticket to the ball or brunch, need not despair. The "Crystal Palace" of chandeliers will be on display for everyone Sunday afternoon. Other low-cost options are available that day: The museum will present Muschamp again (discussing the World Trade Center plans), plus open an exhibition by millinery artist Victoria DiNardo in its Bridge Tender's House, and preview a fifth-floor installation of Cuban graphic arts from 1900 to 1950.

Of course you can always stop by the museum on an ordinary day and see the inspiration for the extraordinary weekend of events, "From Emperors to Hoi Polloi: Portraits of an Era, 1851-1945." On display until Tuesday, June 24, the exhibition features more than 100 pictures of people like you and me.


A Very Wolfsonian Weekend

Various locations. See "Calendar," page 34, for details.

Runs from Friday, March 7, through Sunday, March 9, Admission varies. Call 305-535-2631.

See "Calendar" for details.


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