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The Wolfsonian will Turn the Museum Inside Out with New Digital Displays on Exterior Walls


MIAMI BEACH, FL.- The Wolfsonian–Florida International University (FIU) will use lighting and digital technology to convert the museum’s exterior façades into public exhibition spaces, thanks to a new, $500,000 challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Art of Illumination: Illuminating the Arts aims to expand the museum’s reach and visibility. The concept was developed for The Wolfsonian in 2005 by Herves Descottes and L’Observatoire Internationale, based in NYC.

Emerging from 1,562 applications, The Wolfsonian was one of 20 South Florida cultural institutions and artists to receive the grant through Knight Foundation’s 2009 Knights Arts Challenge, a community-wide contest that aims to bring South Florida’s diverse community together through the arts. “The Wolfsonian's innovative project will not only elevate the museum's status as a civic landmark, but also enhance Miami Beach’s international reputation as a center for art and design,” said Dennis Scholl, Miami program director for Knight Foundation.

“The 2009 Knights Arts Challenge is an extremely important grant for us and we are so grateful for this support. Because of its location in Miami Beach’s historic architectural district, The Wolfsonian is a source of energy and inspiration in the life of the city. The Art of Illumination will help the Wolfsonian tap into this energy,” explains Cathy Leff, director of The Wolfsonian. “The exterior façades of our building will carry digital media, allowing us to enhance the reach of the museum’s presence and elevate the museum’s mission as a public institution that provides opportunities to study, learn from, and appreciate the power of design to influence our daily lives.”

Support from Knight Foundation will enable The Wolfsonian to turn the inside of the building out and use images on the building’s exterior façades, ranging from large-scale digital reproductions of pieces in the museum’s collection, to commissioned contemporary works that convey the museum’s mission, illuminating the active role of design in shaping every day life experiences. The technology will be flexible to allow for displays in a variety of formats, including images, video, film, photography, and static and/or moving text—even interactive mobile technology. Ultimately, the exterior digital media exhibition will allow viewers not only to contemplate the historical significance of the collection, but also understand its relevance to the world today.

The Wolfsonian | The Art of Illumination | Herves Descottes | Observatoire Internationale | Knight Foundation | Dennis Scholl | Digital media exhibition |





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