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Art Deco Weekend ‘06 Celebrates Grand Era


By Jeff P. H. Cazeau

Special Correspondent

“Puttin’ on the Ritz”, the theme of Art Deco Weekend 2006, held Jan. 13-15, took the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL) back to its roots.  The organization started the annual Art Deco Weekend 29 years ago to showcase the architecture of flamboyant 1930’s-era hotels in South Beach that were at the time being razed.

This year’s emphasis on 1930s hotel architecture was chosen to complement the exhibition at The Wolfsonian-FIU, a Miami Beach museum of modern art and design.  In November, the Wolfsonian began featuring In Pursuit of Pleasure: Schultze & Weaver and the American Hotel.


The firm of Schultze & Weaver designed many hotels in the 1930s including the Waldorf-Astoria and the Pierre in New York City and the Breakers and Biltmore in South Florida.

This year's festival will included more than 85 events around Miami Beach spanning nearly 10 blocks along Ocean Drive.

Art Deco Weekend 2006 was billed as one of the largest to date, including antiques and collectibles vendors, artists, guided tours, lectures, a free film screening series, musical attractions, a first-ever televised evening parade on Ocean Drive, food vendors, as well as performances and hands-on activities for children.



Poster Captures Art Deco Weekend Theme

By Jeff P. H. Cazeau

Special Correspondent

The official poster for Art Deco Weekend  2006 was unveiled in early December to kick off  the Miami Design Preservation League’s (MDPL’s) promotion of their 29th annual signature event. The poster features six  elegantly dressed couples dancing the night away in an Art Deco-style ballroom. The poster is the work of New York artist Bradley Clark, who drew his inspiration from the “retro-Deco” style of the 1920s and 1930s typified by the covers of Vogue magazine of that era.




The artist was chosen by the MDPL’s Design Review Committee after his work was deemed to most capture the theme of this year’s Art Deco Weekend: “Puttin’ on the Ritz”.


The unveiling of the official Art Deco Weekend poster was held at the National Hotel on Collins Avenue. The exterior of the National Hotel features the post-WWII architecture known as MiMo (Miami Modern), while the interior of the hotel could have been the inspiration for the depiction in the poster, with its Art Deco furniture, lighting and Tamara de Lempicka inspired paintings.


  

The event at the National Hotel set the mood for the beginning of a special Art Deco Weekend that celebrated the pageantry and extravagance of other grand hotels and restaurants of the period. Throughout the weekend, walking tours and bus tours were offered to emphasize the lobbies and ballrooms of Miami Beach’s “Grande Dame” hotels.


 

Jeff P. H. Cazeau an avid Art Deco enthusiast, has spent the past 15 years researching, writing and collecting information about Art Deco furniture and decorative arts. He is a Miami-based construction law attorney specializing in representing architects and interior designers. Cazeau is a Special Correspondent to artdeconews.com and also operates his own Art Deco-related web sites.


The Miami Design Preservation League
(www.mdpl.org) is a non-profit preservation and arts organization founded in 1976. It is devoted to preserving, protecting, and promoting the architectural, cultural, social, economic, and environmental integrity of the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District (Art Deco District) as well as other areas of the city and South Florida, wherever historic preservation is a concern. MDPL is the oldest Art Deco society in the world. MDPL is headquartered at the Art Deco Welcome Center, 1001 Ocean Drive on Miami Beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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