Drive by the Wolfsonian on Washington Avenue in South Beach, and you’ll see something unusual. The typically plain, sleek façade of the Mediterranean-revival-style building is covered with colorful patterns that are nearly psychedelic but ordered with geometries, representative of Dutch artist Christie van der Haak’s signature tapestry and batik-style work. Walk inside the museum’s lobby, and you’ll be enveloped by these same patterns covering the walls, the floor, and the ceiling. It’s overwhelming. And it’s wonderful.
Van der Haak, a contemporary
More Is More, van der Haak’s
Located on the museum's sixth floor, "Modern Dutch Design" presents more than 200 works, including furniture, glassware, architectural models, metalwork, posters, and drawings, all revealing how artists and designers responded to radical shifts in social and political life. The exhibition greets visitors with a monumental wooden door from circa 1900, designed by Theo Nieuwenhuis, an
Wolfsonian curator Silvia Barisione explains why the museum decided to show its collection now in Miami: “We thought it was good to do it during Art Basel because Dutch designers and contemporary art designers are
"Modern Dutch Design" is drawn from the collection of the founder of the Wolfsonian, Mickey Wolfson, a Miami Beach native whose 180,000 objects from the 1850s to 1950s make up the bulk of the museum’s exhibitions. “Dutch design is the origins of
The first Dutch object that Wolfson collected was a key from the ship the New Amsterdam and is displayed in the exhibition. “Holland was the first European country I ever visited when I was 12. And I went on the Dutch ocean liner called the New Amsterdam. So I have been very engaged in all things Dutch. When I discovered Dutch decorative and applied arts, I was fascinated because I had never seen anything like that.”
Wolfson proudly says, “This is a singular exhibition of material that has never been seen in the new world. So you can imagine my excitement and my pleasure in seeing the American curators, the participants from the Netherlands, the Dutch government itself, and the American government supporting such an initiative. This is an exhibition that can be well understood and appreciated by Miamians because it’s a great composite of many identities.”
"Modern Dutch Design"
$5 for Through June 11, 2017, at the Wolfsonian, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Admission costs $10; students and seniors pay $5; and members and State University System of Florida students, faculty, and staff get in free. Visit wolfsonian.org.