Architecture & Design

World Congress on Art Deco Lands in Miami Beach

The 16th World Congress on Art Deco will return to Miami April 20-28.
The 16th World Congress on Art Deco will return to Miami April 20-28. Miami Design Preservation League photo
South Florida was treated to a celebration of all things art deco back in January during the annual Art Deco Weekend. Well, get ready to do it again when the 16th World Congress on Art Deco lands in Miami Beach later this month.

The 13-day event will hit multiple locales throughout the Sunshine State, kicking off  April 18 in central Florida before arriving in Miami April 20-28. The event will close in Palm Beach with post-congress happenings April 28-30.

"The idea of a world congress came from the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL), and we, Miami, held the first congress ever in 1991," Jack Johnson, board chair of MDPL, tells New Times. "We are very excited for it to be back and to be hosting this yet again."

"What's a world congress on art deco?" you ask. At its core, the experience includes guided tours of architectural masterpieces, lectures, exhibits, and, in true Miami style, parties. This year's theme is "Modernism – Florida's Hidden Treasures."

The Miami itinerary includes tours of the Collins Park Historic District, the Lapidus District, the Flamingo Park Historic District, and some of the area's most dazzling art deco single-family homes. Lecture topics include Tropical Stucco," icons like Edgard Sforzina and Barbara Baer Capitman, and "The Art of the Neighborhoods of Buenos Aires." According to Johnson, these tours and lectures have been developed specifically for the world congress and are unavailable regularly via the MDPL. A full slate of events — with tickets available for purchase to the public by the event or day — is available via
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Not all art deco is found in Miami Beach, like the Scottish Rite Temple, which is located on the Miami River.
Miami Design Preservation League photo
As for the global flair to all this, organizers expect upwards of 100 guests from across the globe. These attendees primarily stem from the International Coalition of Art Deco Societies' 29 member organizations.

"It's an opportunity for everyone — the public included — to meet people from around the world who share a love of art deco," Johnson says. "In many ways, it's about more than just architecture."

The World Congress on Art Deco happens every two years, with the last occurring in Buenos Aires in 2019. The 2021 event, planned for Singapore, was canceled due to the pandemic. The 2025 world congress is slated for Paris to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, widely considered to have sparked art deco's global appeal.

16th World Congress on Art Deco. Thursday, April 20, through Friday, April 28, at various locations; Tickets cost $35 to $429 via
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Jesse Scott is a Fort Lauderdale-based contributor for Miami New Times covering culture, food, travel, and entertainment in South Florida and beyond. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, among others.

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