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Fall 2017 Lectures

Contemporary Architecture in Ethiopia and Eritrea

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017, 6:30pm

Learn about African modernism from architectural historian David Rifkind. The last two decades have seen an extraordinary amount of experimentation in the built environment of the Horn of Africa, where booming cities like Addis Ababa boast a diverse range of striking new buildings. Rifkind, who is also chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design at FIU, will introduce you to the cityscapes of Ethiopia and Eritrea, which are the subject of his award-winning research.

This lecture is part of MDPL’s Fall 2017 Lecture Series, theme of “International” in anticipation of Art Deco Weekend 2018, Art Deco Around the World. Free admission for MDPL members. $5 general admission.

Watch the lecture recording online: click here.


Tel Aviv – International Style & Preservation in the White City

Wednesday, October 18th, 6:30pm

Tel Aviv contains more than 4000 structures built in the 1930s and 1940s in the International Style, a close cousin to Art Deco, and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Israel has developed a unique approach to historic preservation in modern cities with the dual goals of preserving these structures while minimizing harm and inconvenience to the local population. As a result of this approach, which allows the addition of new floors above the original structure, buildings are renovated, current residents owners are rewarded and the city’s rooftop canopy is transformed. The social, financial and architectural results of this policy will be described and a gallery of photographs will be presented. 

Joel Levine is a Tour Guide and Board Member of the Miami Design Preservation League. For over 30 years he collected and restored radios and wind-up phonographs manufactured from 1900 to 1960, eventually acquiring more than 600 items. While his original interest was in the technical design, Joel’s interests evolved to appreciate the Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern cases and cabinets. Since retiring, Joel and his wife have had the opportunity to visit Moderne buildings in several countries. This presentation is a result of Joel’s interest in both history and design.

View the Lecture recording online: click here.


West Coast Deco: San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle

Wednesday, November 15th, 6:30pm

This lecture is part of MDPL’s Fall 2017 Lecture Series, theme of “International” in anticipation of Art Deco Weekend 2018, Art Deco Around the World. Free admission for MDPL members. $5 general admission.

Jack Johnson is an inveterate traveler, amateur photographer and architecture buff. He has been able to pursue these interests unfettered since retiring in 2002 from a 32-year career in the New York and Miami offices of the US Dept of Housing and Urban Development. He is a long-time tour guide and member of the Board of Directors of the Miami Design Preservation League, a former Chair of the Miami Beach Community Development Corporation, and a former member of the Miami Beach Planning Board.

View the Lecture recording online: click here.


Intercultural Worldwide, Artist Talk

Friday, December 8th, 4pm-6pm

Artist Talk with Sheinina Lolita Raj.

“The intention of INTERCULTURAL is to enlighten cultural ideologies, initiate respect for diversity and unify humanity for a peaceful coexistence worldwide”.


Spring 2017 Lecture Series

All lectures begin at 7pm in the Art Deco Welcome Center at 1001 Ocean Drive

1. Tuesday March 21st

Bill Wisser, photographer, and Frank Andreou, terrazzo craftsman

Terrazzo floors — Ancient Art goes Modern in Miami

This talk will present photographic examples of terrazzo, especially in Miami Beach Art Deco buildings and be accompanied by a discussion of the challenges and benefits of terrazzo installation and restoration

2. Tuesday, April 11th

Professor Rocco Ceo

Color Takes a Number: The early work of Albert Munsell and the foundation of color theory and practice in America.

The talk is a glimpse into the early 20th century history of color theory and practice and will introduce basic concepts of color harmony and balance.

Photo caption: Albert Munsell’s A Color Notation is representation of the Hue color scale

NEW: Watch the Color Theory Lecture video: click here 

3. Tuesday, May 2nd

Lynn Bernstein, Jane Dee Gross, Saul Gross and Mike Kinerk

Leonard Horowitz, Colorist

Leonard Horowitz co-founded the Miami Design Preservation league along with Barbara Capitman. He is credited with creating the color palette that led to South Beach’s revival. Our hope for this discussion is to illustrate the color of Leonard’s personality and his impact on MDPL as well as his ideas about color.

New: Watch the Leonard Horowitz Lecture video: click here



4. Wednesday May 31st

Herb Sosa

Preservation Under the Rainbow

Community activist, historian, preservationist and freelance writer Herb Sosa, explores the contributions of the LGBT community in the Historic Preservation movement – locally and globally. Presented in cooperation with the World Outgames