Current Museum Exhibits

ImageMOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida

(Core Exhibit - Ongoing)

More than 500 photos and artifacts depict the Jewish experience in Florida since 1763, reflecting a thematic presentation of immigration, community development, discrimination, earning a living, acculturation and identity. Personal artifacts, films, photos, timeline and contemporary art attract a universal audience by telling the universal story of immigration as the example of the acculturation process of every family and provide an engaging, up close museum experience. The Museum is housed in two former synagogues that served as the first congregation on Miami Beach. The primary building is a restored 1936 Art Deco building with a copper dome, marble bimah and 80 stained-glass windows. The second building is the original 1929 shul. The skylighted Bessie's Gallery connects the two buildings.

Steve Marcus’ creative contributions have spanned multiple mediums and he has been a consistent trailblazer in both popular and underground cultures. The exhibition is accompanied by photos of the artist at work by legendary photographer Sid Kaplan (of “Vanishing New York” fame). The solo exhibition opens March 6, 2019, and runs through May 21, 2019.

Through the Hat: The Art of Steve Marcus

March 6, 2019 - May, 2019

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Through The Hat includes more than 26 wood-carved sculptures and Jewish ritual objects, more than a baker’s dozen hand-drawn works of art on paper, and custom synagogue furniture. Marcus seamlessly weaves his Proustian childhood memories of bagels and bialys, pickles and green tomatoes from the barrel, and paper-wrapped whitefish chubs with his personal journey and passion for his own roots and culture. In Through the Hat, Marcus has created a folk/cartoon world that is the Kosher cousin of those created by artists Alexander Calder and Red Grooms, if seen through the prism of comics. His beautifully crafted renditions of Jewish life in New York City celebrate a culture of orthodoxy and unorthodoxy in all their splendor.

Shtetl in the Sun: Andy Sweet’s South Beach 1977-1980

March 19 until June 23,2019 Image

The national museum debut of Shtetl in the Sun: Andy Sweet’s South Beach 1977-1980. The exhibition celebrates the legendary photographer’s work in the late 1970s capturing the colorful elderly Jewish community in South Beach, before his death at a young age. Taking a cue from the new book from Letter16 Press, edited by Brett Sokol. This is the first solo museum show of Sweet’s work.

The exhibition's debut also coincides with the successful national release of the award-winning new film The Last Resort, directed by Dennis Scholl & Kareem Tabsch that also celebrates Andy Sweet's work. The landmark museum is located at 301 Washington Avenue in the heart of South Beach’s historic Art Deco District, which was ground zero for Andy Sweet (1953-1982). Read more about the exhibition here.

Kaddish for Dąbrowa Białostocka: Images by Mark Podwal

January 3, 2019 - March 31, 2019

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Although for many years I had wanted to visit Dąbrowa Białostocka, the shtetl in Poland where my mother was born, I never planned on creating a series of artworks about Dąbrowa. Ultimately, an incentive to visit Dąbrowa came from its mayor’s invitation to participate in a conference on the history of the town’s Jews. The visit on May 24, 2016 resulted in a series of drawings in acrylic and colored pencil, completed over thirty days following my visit. There are eighteen images, a significant number, meaning chai, or “life” in Hebrew.

In essence, this series is a visual diary of my journey to Dąbrowa. The drawings are based on what I saw in the town and what I heard from elderly residents as they reminisced about their former Jewish neighbors while filmed by Tomasz Wisniewski for his documentary The Absent Family: Reading the Ashes – Following in the Footsteps of the Jews of Dąbrowa. Although Dąbrowa was once 75 percent Jewish, no Jews currently live there.

In 1941, the Germans burned Dąbrowa Białostocka to the ground. Yet the images presented in Kaddish for Dąbrowa Białostocka do not focus on the Holocaust. Like a kaddish – a mourning prayer – they honor something precious that is gone by portraying a vanished world of Jewish shtetl life in pre-World War II Poland. Incorporating themes characteristic of Poland, this series is the unique artistic imaginings of my Polish roots.