Miami Beach is famous for its historic Art Deco District, where nearly 1000 buildings highlight the best of the best when it comes to this early 20th-century design style. Right in the center of this incredible section of the South Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach is the Wolfsonian-FIU, a museum that is home to more than 200,000 objects that will enliven your imagination as well as your connection with history.
One of the best things about the Wolfsonian Museum is that it highlights a period of history that is incredibly relevant to our own time. Focusing on the time period from 1850 to 1950, this is an incredible opportunity to get a greater understanding of the transition from agrarianism to urbanism, colonial empires to the emergence of Cold War superpowers, and the technologies that changed the world forever.
The Wolfsonian FIU is perfectly situated for a full day of cultural enrichment in Miami Beach. Close by to the Art Deco Museum, the Jewish Museum of Florida, The Bass Art Museum, ARTECHOUSE Miami, and hundreds of examples of Art Deco architecture, you’ll find that there is no limit to the depth of exploration possible in this section of Miami Beach.
Wolfsonian FIU: Location, Parking, Admission Info, and Hours
Located in the heart of the Art Deco District in Miami Beach, the Wolfsonian-FIU is a museum, library, and research center that is a division within Florida International University. Conveniently located in Miami Beach at 1001 Washington Avenue, this is a must-see destination when you’re exploring this historic South Beach neighborhood.
Parking at Wolfsonia-FIU Museum
There are a number of city parking garages that are conveniently located to the Wolfsonian including:
- On 12th Street between Pennsylvania and Washington Avenues
- On Drexel Avenue at 12th Street
- On Collins Avenue at 7th and 13th Streets
There is also metered street parking along Washington Avenue and an open lot next to the Washington Park Hotel.
Admission for the museum is free for members, Florida residents, and children under six. Students, faculty, and staff of Florida’s State University System also benefit from free admission, in addition to visitors with disabilities and their caregivers.
General admission for adults to the Wolfsonian FIU is $12, while children between the ages of 6 and 18, students with ID, and seniors enjoy a reduced ticket price of $8.
The Wolfsonian FIU is open from Wednesday through Sunday between 10 am and 6 pm, except on Fridays when the museum stays open until 9 pm. In order to use the reading room at the Wolfsonian FIU library, you’ll have to make an appointment ahead of time. This library is open from Monday through Friday between 9 am and 5 pm and on Saturdays from 11 am to 5:30 pm.
The Wolfsonian Museum Collection
There are two permanent collections at the Wolfsonian FIU that comprise about 180,000 pieces that hail from the peak of the Industrial Revolution until the end of World War II. Including works in a variety of media including works in glass, ceramics, industrial-design objects, paintings, ephemera, and much more, this museum focuses on art objects from the period of 1885 to 1945.
The two collections of the Wolfsonian Museum are the library collection and the object collection.
The library collection is where you can find tens of thousands of smaller-format works on paper, while the object collection includes large-format works on paper and three-dimensional objects. The massive collection of this Florida International University-affiliated museum was largely donated by Mitchell Wolfson, Jr., a Miami Beach native and expert on modern architecture, decorative arts, and design. The Wolfsonian FIU is a dream come true for anyone who is fascinated by the tremendous changes that the western world went through during the end of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century.
Wolfsonian FIU in Miami Beach: What You Won’t Want to Miss
If you only have a brief period of time to explore the Wolfsonian FIU, you might feel a bit overwhelmed by just how many different objects and artworks are on display. While there was a pause on their major exhibits due to the coronavirus pandemic, they are now back up and running. There are currently three exhibits and installations that are in place until the Spring of 2022: Aerial Vision, Shameless, and Sustainability- People, Planet, Prosperity.
The Wolfsonian also hosts lectures, arts events, and films regularly that help to situate their countless art objects within a larger historical and cultural context.
If there are specific historical time periods you are interested in focusing on during your visit, it’s a good idea to explore their online Wolfsonian digital collection that currently includes nearly 130,000 images from both the rare books library and the objects collection. This can help give you a sense of the areas of the museum that you won’t want to miss while you’re there.
Also worth a walk-through is the Wolfsonian FIU Design Store. Practically a museum of its own, you’ll find that the museum takes its theme of “good design is everything” quite seriously. You’ll find a variety of artful and well-designed kitchenware, games, books, toys, jewelry, trinkets, and much more at this lovely gift shop. Also housed in the Design Store is a coffee bar, where you can enjoy a latte, find a place to sit, and take a moment to regroup before continuing to explore the museum or moving on to your next adventure.
Is the Wolfsonian-FIU on Your “Must-See” List?
Whether you’re a history buff, an appreciator of early 20th-century architecture, or simply a curious person, the Wolfsonian-FIU won’t disappoint. With hundreds of thousands of art objects spanning the century between 1850 and 1950, you can immerse yourself in the western world’s transition from farm to factory and beyond.
If you’re searching for the best things to do in Miami, you’ve come to the right place. Be sure to check out the rest of our blog for everything you could ever need to know about visiting this beautiful city!