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Carl Fisher’s Miami Beach Hotels

June 12–September 30, 2015
The Wolfsonian–FIU @ 1001 Washington Avenue

Displayed throughout The Wolfsonian’s lobby, reproductions of promotional photographs revealed the legacy of Miami Beach developer Carl G. Fisher (1874–1939)—a self-made millionaire who transformed the city into a winter tourist destination at the beginning of the twentieth century. It was Fisher who built several of Miami Beach’s luxury hotels, all since demolished: the Lincoln (1917), Flamingo (1920), Nautilus (1924), and the King Cole (1925).

In this installation, the original photographs—all from The Wolfsonian’s collection and too fragile for display—were presented as evidence of the hotels’ extravagance, meant to lure the wealthy travelers south with the promise of regattas, gondola rides, poolside models in revealing bathing suits, and even elephant rides.

Carl Fisher’s Miami Beach Hotels was organized as part of a series of programming developed at The Wolfsonian in recognition of the centennial of the City of Miami Beach.