MIAMI -- The most
immediate medium of culture is the home, and now through Jan. 23,
visitors here can explore a generation of Florida family life by
visiting replicas of their homes.
The Florida Home:
Modern Living, 1945-1965, the current exhibit at the Historical
Museum of Southern Florida (HMSF), shines a spotlight on the design
of single-family homes of the period after World War II.
It was a
tremendously optimistic time period, said Steve Stuempfle, HMSFs
chief curator. The war was over. Before the war, Mediterranean
revival architecture was popular, which looked to the
But this looked
to the future. It was a different mindset and way of life. There
were parallels throughout the U.S., but we had our own subtropical
At the museum,
visitors can enter a house, sit on period couches and chairs and
watch old television footage and home movies.
Theres a sort of
revival of that period going on now, said Stuempfle. But its one
thing to see drawing and photographs; its another thing to immerse
yourself in it.
architects, including Igor Polevitzky, Alfred Browning Parker,
Rufus Nims, Norman Giller, Russell Pancoast and George Reed,
reflected the visions and aspirations of their clients with styles
that embodied their optimism and belief in the future.
in Miami after the war were interested in creating a house that was
very open to the outdoors, so they used a lot of sliding doors;
louvered windows; big, screened-in porches and patios; anything
that would bring in breezes, said Stuempfle. But they did it in a
modernist way, with streamlined surfaces and lines without the
ornamentation of earlier styles.
University of Miami School of Architecture professors Jean-Francois
Lejeune and Allan Shulman, the exhibition includes architectural
drawings, photographs, furniture, appliances and representations of
Florida homes in popular magazines and TV shows.
the museum will conduct a series of related educational programs,
including lectures, slide presentations, panel discussions, family
activity days and tours of postwar neighborhoods and homes in the
In the summer of
2005, the exhibition will travel to the Museum of Florida History
Museum of Southern Florida is located in downtown Miami, within
walking distance of Bayside. For more information, call (305)
reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].