Vizcaya Museum & Gardens (ASC & PAC Fall 2018)

Following their visits to Vizcaya Museum & Gardens on November 1st, 2018, the FIU Honors students of Art Society Conflict 2018-2019 and Poetry Art Community 2018-2019 shared their voices and opinions through photographs and personal reflections.

Our Vizcaya: A Transient Permanence
by Michele Khadir @blk9rl of @fiuinstagram at @vizcaya_museum

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, which sits on Biscayne Bay in Miami, seems so elegant in her tree lined, gentle waters.  Her natural appeal drawing you in, only to leave you blankly staring mid-thought, confronting your imagination.  All the chatter of worlds and times traveled in a blink of an eye.  Completed in 1922 by James Deering, an international businessman for his family’s business, the Deering Harvester Company, and socialite.
Was it first Vizcaya or Biscay? Shall we reminisce on the Tequesta; or, the Vizcaynos as they now can be called.  Buried histories uncovered solemnly by a reshaping, some sort of reconfiguring we have learned to craft with our words and images.  With all the splendor that is her fine marbles, fabric lined walls, contorted concoctions of statuesque treasures abound.  What fantasy is relived through her intertwined, intricate gardens and roomy pleasures, promising tomorrows that may never arrive.
Such softness juxtaposed against her tragedies.  How many hostilities raged against her magnificence; sometimes, even the most beautiful of things are accompanied by the trying of times like details lost to hurricanes.  Touched by the sadness that her vastness hides within the lushness of life.  We fell here together, fast and freely, into a paradise only the spirit of life and living could declare upon her coast.

Quinceañera Pictures
by Nicole Patrick @nicoleep___ of @fiuinstagram at @vizcaya_museum

In high school, I heard of this magical place where all the girls, who will soon become young ladies, took their quince and sweet sixteen photos. These photographs typically included a young girl wearing a large, extravagant gown looking dramatically into the distance. I myself never experienced this critical moment in every Miami girl’s life. Instead, I got to experience the structure and gardens for what they are: a piece of Miami’s history. Everywhere you turn, you are amazed by its design and its avoidance of rules. As we learned, James Deering did everything in his power to forget tradition and design his home to his own liking. As a result, he created a one-of-a-kind property that receives over 275,000 visitors per year, impressing all who enter. In the end, I experienced the basic quince pictures because why not.

vizcaya2018-5
Shawnee Obregon of ASC Fall 2018 inside Vizcaya Museum & Gardens © Shawnee Obregon

Vizcaya
by Baylee Sites of @fiuinstagram at @vizcaya_museum

Immediately upon entering the gates at Vizcaya you could tell that this is a special part of Miami. As someone who just recently moved here, I was eager to soak up as much information as I could in the time I was there.

As an architecture major, I was obviously most excited to tour the inside. I was not expecting the merging and sometimes near clashing of cultures i saw upon entering. I found James Deering to be quite an interesting figure according to his decisions. Personally I admire the way that he assimilates various cultures and styles of design into his fantasy; although I recognize where it is problematic, without this we would never be able to experience all of the history in the unexpected way that Vizcaya has to offer.

A few weeks after our visit to Vizcaya, our class was involved in a discussion on finding “truth” in art. I feel that this is a great way to evaluate Vizcaya, as a place where maybe the design and architecture is not completely truthful as far as what was typical for the time and culture of miami at this time, I feel that all of the “lies” in this aspect are reconciled in order to reveal a greater truth about Miami, that it is the place where countless cultures have merged and created something brand new and it’s very own.

Unfortunately I was not able to visit the gardens during my visit since I had to make it back to campus, but this is just another reason for me to return. Landscape architecture is fascinating to me and I would love to see how Deering chose to arrange the gardens to reflect the French precedents.

ASC / PAC Fall 2018 Student Gallery from Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

BACK TO VIZCAYA AS TEXT

AUTHOR(S) AND LAST UPDATE
Isabella Marie Garcia & John William Bailly 15 December 2018
COPYRIGHT © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

9 thoughts on “Vizcaya Museum & Gardens (ASC & PAC Fall 2018)”

  1. “Perfect Hedonism by the Sea” by Emilio Mayo @emayo007 of @fiuinstagram at @vizcaya_museum

    We took a trip to the Vizcaya Museum this past Thursday. The estate is a massive project by James Deering which he began in 1912. I’ve been here in the past, but only the one time, several years ago. It’s quite a sight on second glance. I had also never been inside to realize the bits and pieces James stole away from the rest of the world and gathered under one roof. I don’t say this to disparage or attempt to shame him in any way. I’d likely do the same if I had the resources. In fact, I know I would.

    There are a few things I can name off the top of my head that I admire about James, in his quest to make the place truly his own. For one, he gave many people jobs, whether they were involved in construction, or maintaining the place later. He also knew how to get the message across that he only wanted people over when he liked, through the construction of a cactus-filled moat. This fact in particular was very amusing, to say the least.

    One thing that caught my eye however, could be considered extremely controversial: the painting of the Holy Family from the 1600s that he cut in half to fit his doorway. While some may find it extremely offensive (or may have decades ago), I think it’s extremely bold. At the end of the day, if you pay for something, you should be able to do what you wish with it. It’s yours. An exchange was made, and you gave something in return for this thing you now own. I think that simply cannot be overstated. Besides, he merely cut it in half, he didn’t attempt to desecrate it or be disrespectful in the treatment of it. Aside from the line down the center, the painting remains intact.
    Finally, there’s his famous wave-breaker of sorts. That ship in the backyard. The tiny one. If that doesn’t scream “I have ‘fuck you’ money!”, I don’t know what will. Imagine finding yourself in a position to say “Well, the ocean is simply pushing too many waves in the backyard, and I need to make space to park the yachts when they swing by to pick people up or drop them off. Let’s fix that by making a caravel-inspired ship and lay it down right there. Easy.” I don’t think I’d know what to do with that kind of money, but James Deering sure has inspired me enough to give me a start if I ever find myself so lucky.

    Like

  2. “Sugar, Spice, and Everything Saucy”

    by: Isabella Marie Garcia @isamxrie of @fiuinstagram at @vizcaya_museum

    The laziness of a European summer. It’s a contradiction of moving limbs that don’t know what rush hour is, that don’t feel that a rush even exists. A languor that hits you most when you’re laying outside, sweating but cooled down by the breeze that shivers your skin and picks up displaced blades of grass. We are so far away from home. Would you like to be my home?

    The summer of European laziness. Vizcaya and its lack of labels. It’s an estate. It’s a villa. It’s history. It’s future. It’s Spanish and French. It’s Italian and Bahamian. It’s gay billionaire vibes. It’s policing the borders of a female stone body. It’s pretending to have your shit together. It’s knowing you don’t. It’s j’ai dit and yo digo and I said this so why are you challenging me? Everyone knows about it. Nobody knows a thing about it.

    One April night, you’ll sit on the steps of this estate speaking to a woman who’ll become one of your close friends. You’ll be crying about a close friend who’ll become a stranger, and the life in the evening will continue on. There’s families and singles and couples and whole groups sitting, standing, walking, pacing. You’ll think of the lack of labels you felt in that moment, where do you go when you don’t fit anymore, when the puzzle piece’s edge has been chewed off and doesn’t mold to the group? You’ll feel a sense of peace for this European villa and its creeping beauty, it’s saucy bitch and her resistance to the waves of a tempestuous bay.

    Everything and nothing all at once.

    Like

  3. “Together Again”
    by Katerina Cutie
    @katecutie1 of @fiuinstagram at @vizcayamuseum
    Dear Vizcaya, we meet again
    Our original encounter, untraditional to most
    Not for photos in dresses, but to listen to young poets
    Speak about themselves, speak about you
    How their experiences with you made them feel
    How your aesthetic invoked in them
    What they did not know was there
    And I heard, and I listened
    But I did not appreciate you myself
    Almost a year ago.
    Dear Vizcaya, we meet again
    Our second encounter, untraditional to most
    Not for cocktails or for celebration, but to hear about your history
    To learn about your origins, to try to understand
    How you came to be this great structure, this mighty symbol
    Of my city, of our city
    And I heard, and I listened
    But I did not appreciate you myself
    Half a year ago.
    Dear Vizcaya, we meet again
    Our third encounter, untraditional to most
    Not for tours or for field trips, but for poetry about zip codes
    Giving my spare time to you, sharing myself with others
    And I heard, and I listened
    But I did not appreciate you myself
    Less than half a year ago.
    Dear Vizcaya, we meet again
    Our fourth encounter, untraditional to most
    Not for any other reason, than the same as our second encounter
    To be taught about your past, while taking in your presence
    But this time was different, I felt a change
    And I learned and I listened
    And I got to appreciate you myself
    Not even a week ago.
    So dear Vizcaya I await the moment,
    When we will be together again.

    Like

  4. “Appearances” by Julia Abreu @julia_cavati ,of @fiuinstagram, at @vizcaya_museum

    People like to feel important. That is a universal truth. Everyone seeks for significance, in one way or another, including presenting an unrealistic image of oneself. Nowadays, this event is increasingly common, as people create their own reality to present in social media. I believed this behavior was a result of the modern era, but Vizcaya showed me that people have been distorting the truth for much longer than I believed. James Deering mastered the art of self-presentation over 100 years ago. The Vizcaya house is masterfully crafted to show the greatness of its owner, highlighting his attributes, existent or non-existent. A prime example of such is the book collection found in Deering’s office room. The majority of the books are not real, just a cover, giving the impression that he was an intelligent, well-read man, regardless of whether it was true or not. Another great example seen in the house is the portrait of children, which were not his, but gave the impression he was a family man, and the portrait of his “ancestors,” which had no relation to him other than name. The grandiosity of the house immediately creates an impression in the guests, as if James Deering tried to rub in everyone’s face his own greatness. And if the message was not clear enough by then, the writing on the stairs settles it : J’ai Dit.

    Like

  5. “The Great Deering”
    By Emily Baragar @embaragar of @fiuinstagram at @vizcaya_museum

    Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the best night of your life in the roaring 20’s in Miami. Imagine, like in the novel The Great Gatsby, as Gatsby greets guests at the door with synchronized dancing flappers in a can-can line to create a lively entrance into the mansion; only, it’s not Gatsby, it is James Deering welcoming you. In this vision, James Deering and his brother welcome the lovely women and distinguished guests into their new “bachelor pad.” Guests enter in Italian peasant outfits, pulling up in their vehicles in the round about before the steps of the estate doors. The landscaping thoughtfully crafted by Saurez where the branches arc over one side of the driveway to the other, making it difficult to distinguish which side they belong to. The jumping water trickles down the long walkway to show the guests where their new temptations and excitement await. I see myself walk into the estate, in a dress that is way too fashionable to be comfortable, greeted with a glass of champagne from the servants who are living on the other side of the moat. I walk through the mob of guests as women fan their painted on make-up and men chatter with cigarettes in one hand and a drink in the other. Looking at the wave of guests entering by boat, I see James Deering standing on his balcony, yelling out, “J’ai Dit!” I never want to leave a Deering party.

    Like

  6. “Vizcaya” by Baylee Sites of @fiuinstagram at @vizcaya_museum

    Immediately upon entering the gates at Vizcaya you could tell that this is a special part of Miami. As someone who just recently moved here, I was eager to soak up as much information as I could in the time I was there.

    As an architecture major, I was obviously most excited to tour the inside. I was not expecting the merging and sometimes near clashing of cultures i saw upon entering. I found James Deering to be quite an interesting figure according to his decisions. Personally I admire the way that he assimilates various cultures and styles of design into his fantasy; although I recognize where it is problematic, without this we would never be able to experience all of the history in the unexpected way that Vizcaya has to offer.

    A few weeks after our visit to Vizcaya, our class was involved in a discussion on finding “truth” in art. I feel that this is a great way to evaluate Vizcaya, as a place where maybe the design and architecture is not completely truthful as far as what was typical for the time and culture of miami at this time, I feel that all of the “lies” in this aspect are reconciled in order to reveal a greater truth about Miami, that it is the place where countless cultures have merged and created something brand new and it’s very own.

    Unfortunately I was not able to visit the gardens during my visit since I had to make it back to campus, but this is just another reason for me to return. Landscape architecture is fascinating to me and I would love to see how Deering chose to arrange the gardens to reflect the French precedents.

    Like

  7. “Our Vizcaya: A Transient Permanence” by Michele Khadir @blk9rl of @fiuinstagram at @vizcaya_museum

    Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, which sits on Biscayne Bay in Miami, seems so elegant in her tree lined, gentle waters.  Her natural appeal drawing you in, only to leave you blankly staring mid-thought, confronting your imagination.  All the chatter of worlds and times traveled in a blink of an eye.  Completed in 1922 by James Deering, an international businessman for his family’s business, the Deering Harvester Company, and socialite.
    Was it first Vizcaya or Biscay? Shall we reminisce on the Tequesta; or, the Vizcaynos as they now can be called.  Buried histories uncovered solemnly by a reshaping, some sort of reconfiguring we have learned to craft with our words and images.  With all the splendor that is her fine marbles, fabric lined walls, contorted concoctions of statuesque treasures abound.  What fantasy is relived through her intertwined, intricate gardens and roomy pleasures, promising tomorrows that may never arrive.
    Such softness juxtaposed against her tragedies.  How many hostilities raged against her magnificence; sometimes, even the most beautiful of things are accompanied by the trying of times like details lost to hurricanes.  Touched by the sadness that her vastness hides within the lushness of life.  We fell here together, fast and freely, into a paradise only the spirit of life and living could declare upon her coast.

    Like

  8. “Quinceañera Pictures”
    by Nicole Patrick @nicoleep___ of @fiuinstagram at @vizcaya_museum

    In high school, I heard of this magical place where all the girls, who will soon become young ladies, took their quince and sweet sixteen photos. These photographs typically included a young girl wearing a large, extravagant gown looking dramatically into the distance. I myself never experienced this critical moment in every Miami girl’s life. Instead, I got to experience the structure and gardens for what they are: a piece of Miami’s history. Everywhere you turn, you are amazed by its design and its avoidance of rules. As we learned, James Deering did everything in his power to forget tradition and design his home to his own liking. As a result, he created a one-of-a-kind property that receives over 275,000 visitors per year, impressing all who enter. In the end, I experienced the basic quince pictures because why not.

    Like

  9. “Mary, did you know?”
    By Shalenah Ivey @ivy__angel of @fiuinstagram at @deeringestate

    I think one never grows tired of visiting the Miami marvel known as Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. The muted clementine walls that wait outside. The way that archaic touches lining the street only hint at the grandness awaiting within. Walking the shadowy path amongst the forest on the way to the mansion. Hearing the sound of traffic die down within the breaths of the trees. Perhaps there is a transcendence or perhaps the allure of grandeur can simply overwhelm the senses. Gold and silk and ancient objects adorn the walls and spaces of Vizcaya. For James Deering, the estate’s owner, there was truly no limit. There is no other option but to be in awe of his creation. Yet, despite the many times I have been to Vizcaya, I have never noticed the statue of Mary that sits almost discreetly in the formal dining room. Her face is pained with sorrow. Her countenance concentrated with the softest of melancholy. What is it Mary? What has you so troubled? The word decadence embellishes my mind. Decay beyond what can decompose, beyond what can tarnish… Oh, but the sky is so blue across the bay. The manatee swims so near. What shines will rust and what stands will fall. Bacchus calls. The grapes will rot with tenderness. The waves will hum to you if you let them. A baby’s coffin is in the room with Mary. I wonder what she could say if she could speak.

    Like

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