Welcome to the Wolfsonian Library Weblog = Wolf-lib-log

Welcome to the wonderful world of the Wolfsonian-Florida International University-a museum and research center located in the heart of South Beach’s historic Art Deco District. The Wolfsonian promotes the study and appreciation of the persuasive power of art and design, looking at how design both reflects and shapes the world in which we live. Founded by Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. in 1986, The Wolfsonian first opened its doors to the public in November 1995, and has been a part of Florida International University since 1997. The Wolfsonian’s collection is an incredible treasure-trove of objects, mostly from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. Our rare book and special collections library houses more than 80,000 items–rare books, periodicals, and ephemeral items (advertisements, postcards, and other promotional materials in the small print format) originally designed to persuade viewers to do, buy, or believe something.

As the chief librarian, I am responsible for both preserving the patrimony, while making our rich resources available to global audiences for study and appreciation. I am starting this blog to initiate an informal conversation with all of you who have a particular interest in the propaganda arts–one of the strengths of our vast holdings. Two to three times a week I will be blogging to let you know what’s happening at the Wolfsonian library, to update you on the comings and goings of our visiting scholars, to highlight some recent donations, and to provide you with a glimpse into some of the thought-provoking (or just plain provocative!) materials in our growing collection. Most of all I hope to provide a forum in which some of you might be enticed into sharing your thoughts and observations regarding the materials in our collection.

— the “Chief”


In honor of Styled for the Road: The Art of Automobile Design, 1908–1948, an exhibition opening at The Wolfsonian to the general public on October 16, I have uploaded this advertisement in the library collection for the 1927 Studebaker. I just love the way the ad juxtaposes an image of a traditional Native American family marveling at the modern American sightseers driving up in the latest technological “wonder.”

~ by "The Chief" on September 30, 2009.

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