Skip to Main Content

We're Growing

A Miami Beach cultural anchor is about to transform! With a welcoming entrance, 50,000 square feet of galleries and program space, and countless new opportunities for learning and exploring, The Wolfsonian–FIU will be more deeply embedded into the fabric and character of our community thanks to longstanding support from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, City of Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, and State of Florida.

Commencing in 2021, this project will be jointly shaped by the architect, city governance, preservation groups, and, of course, Miami Beach residents. All plans on this page are conceptual and do not reflect final designs.

Expansion project

A Legacy 25 Years in the Making

The Wolfsonian touches lives, transforms viewpoints, and sparks thought. Through objects and design, we connect yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Game-Changing Gifts

Since Micky Wolfson opened his renowned collection to the public in 1995, numerous donors and collaborators like John S. and James L. Knight Foundation have grown The Wolfsonian into what it is today. Together, these cultural stewards share a singular vision: preserve the overlooked, ask tough questions, and tell stories through objects.

Among those we're thankful to: Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf, Henry S. Hacker and family, Historical Design, Laurence A. Miller, and Vicki Gold Levi

Object storage

World-Class Displays

Exhibitions, installations, contemporary art and architectural activations—our globally known curatorial work turns heads and shifts perspectives. Wolfsonian presentations have been covered in leading publications, traveled to far-flung museums, and earned international accolades.

Notable shows are: Arts of Reform and Persuasion (1996), Weapons of Mass Dissemination (2003), Speed Limits (2010), Julius Klinger (2017), and Deco: Luxury to Mass Market (2018)

Gallery view

Critical Scholarship

Embedded in Florida International University, our museum attracts thought leaders, change-makers, and award-winning researchers. A new cultural hub—The Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab—deepens this commitment to academic excellence and engages FIU students and faculty with the realities and possibilities of civic life.

Research support received from: John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Institute for Museum and Library Services, The Mellon Foundation, Cowles Charitable Trust, and Funding Arts Network

Collections staff member handling a book

Provocative Programs

With a wide variety of audiences and participants, we have carefully considered topics such as racism, propaganda, power, and the effects of modern progress on the environment.

Visitors have enjoyed: symposia + conferences, free family days, curator-led tours, guest speakers, festivals + parties

Party shot from Deco + Drag event

Transformative Partners

Various institutions, grantors, and friends have helped us pave our path. John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, champions of our digital ambitions, and Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, an enduring source of support for our creative team, are just two among many who have been pivotal to our success.

Other recurring funders include: Wolfsonian Advisory Board members, State of Florida, City of Miami Beach, and Bacardi

City of Miami Beach block party

Investing in the Next Generation

The Wolf opens up limitless discoveries for young minds! Our educators have empowered K–12 students to see their world anew through comprehensive STEAM curricula, classroom and gallery visits, and hands-on activities inspired by comic books, gaming, and zines.

Programs supported by: The Batchelor Foundation, The Garner Foundation, Wells Fargo, U.S. Department of Education, and Tobacco-Free Florida

Student at work

Scope + Spaces

The following images are expressions of possibility—they capture the project's intent, priorities, and limits (such as height). Exact design details and characteristics could change.

Conceptual design renderings by Zyscovich Architects (exteriors) and Playard Studios (interiors).

A New "Hello"

Enter The Wolfsonian–FIU through a visionary entrance set off from the bustling activity of Washington Avenue by an airy courtyard. Open and inviting, this revamped introduction to the museum will be a 180° experience from the historic building's imposing, fortress-like facade.

Exterior rendering

Rooms with a View

Two double-height stories of light-flooded galleries connect the world of Washington Avenue with the museum. Passersby will get a peek at the some of our treasures, while visitors enjoy a sweeping panorama of Miami Beach's iconic Art Deco architecture.

Exterior rendering

Sustainable + Seamless

History harmoniously meets contemporary in the re-envisioned Wolfsonian campus. Encounter unexpected green spaces and surprising connections between old and new as you move between the existing building (preserved entirely intact) and the addition through an unobtrusive bridge.

expansion-exterior3.jpg

Immersed in the Art

Explore the modern age in expansive new surrounds showcasing collection light fixtures, 45-foot murals, fireplaces, and shelves of objects echoing the original use of The Wolfsonian's historic building, once the Washington Storage Company.

Interior rendering

Opening the Vaults

We're bringing never-before-displayed, larger-than-life artworks out of storage! With space at last to accommodate our more monumental pieces, the two-story-tall Great Hall Gallery is an ideal blank canvas for exciting stories we previously didn't have the room to tell.

Interior rendering

Flexibly Adaptable

Leave behind stuffy, featureless auditoriums and take in lectures, films, and performances against the backdrop of the collection! The readily transformable Great Hall Gallery is designed to easily and quickly accommodate programs, event rentals, and parties.

Interior rendering

Community Cultivator

The possibilities are endless in our state-of-the-art classrooms, digital lab, and teamwork studios. Engage in behind-the-scenes experiences and open exciting new avenues into lifelong learning in this central hub made for staff, University audiences, and the public alike.

Interior rendering