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17 March 2022

Inside Iconic Houses Tours Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami

 

Click on above image to watch the Vizcaya intro or watch the recorded tour in our WEBSHOP.

Join us for another Inside Iconic Houses tour! We visited the iconic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a National Historic Landmark, which was the winter home of industrialist James Deering. Completed between 1916 and 1922, Vizcaya was conceived as a modern and subtropical interpretation of eighteenth-century Italian villas found at country estates of the Veneto region of northern Italy. Its designers adapted traditional Mediterranean architectural elements to the subtropical climate with a remarkable sensibility for environmental issues. Artistic Director Paul Chalfin advised Deering on the home's design, while architect Francis Burrall Hoffman executed their vision. Vizcaya’s ten-acres of European-inspired gardens, designed by landscape architect Diego Suarez, are among the most elaborate in the US.

Miami, FL, USA, 1916
Architect: F. Burrall Hoffman
Interior design: Paul Chalfin
Garden design: Diego Suarez

  • View of Main House from Biscayne Bay. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916.
  • View of Main House from the formal gardens. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916.
  • View of Main House from the formal gardens. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: Bill Sumner.
  • Stained Glass Doors in the Enclosed Loggia in the Main House. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: David Almeida.
  • Casino on the Garden Mound in the formal gardens. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: Bill Sumner.
  • The Secret Garden. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: Bill Sumner.
  • Enclosed Loggia in the Main House. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: David Almeida.
  • The Library in the Main House. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: David Almeida.
  • James Deering’s Bedroom in the Main House. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: Bill Sumner.
  • Dining Room in the Main House. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: David Almeida.
  • View of Main House from Biscayne Bay. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: Bill Sumner.
  • Tea House and Sea Arm. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: Bill Sumner.
  • View of Main House from Biscayne Bay. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916.
  • View of Main House from the formal gardens. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916.
  • View of Main House from the formal gardens. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: Bill Sumner.
  • Stained Glass Doors in the Enclosed Loggia in the Main House. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: David Almeida.
  • Casino on the Garden Mound in the formal gardens. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: Bill Sumner.
  • The Secret Garden. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: Bill Sumner.
  • Enclosed Loggia in the Main House. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: David Almeida.
  • The Library in the Main House. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: David Almeida.
  • James Deering’s Bedroom in the Main House. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: Bill Sumner.
  • Dining Room in the Main House. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: David Almeida.
  • View of Main House from Biscayne Bay. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: Bill Sumner.
  • Tea House and Sea Arm. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and Paul Chalfin, Miami, Florida, USA, 1916. Photo: Bill Sumner.

ABOUT VIZCAYA MUSEUM & GARDENS
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a National Historic Landmark that preserves its cultural and environmental resources to engage people in connecting with the past, understanding the present and shaping the future. Built between 1914 and 1922 as the winter home of farming manufacturer James Deering, Vizcaya is one of the most intact remaining examples from this era in the United States, when the nation’s most successful entrepreneur-built estates were inspired by the stately homes of Europe.

Vizcaya’s Main House was inspired by Mediterranean architecture, specifically the great estates of Italy, and is filled with a decorative art collection featuring antiques from all over the world. Completed in 1922, the estate’s formal gardens are celebrating their centennial this year. The gardens 10 acres are modeled after the formal Italian style, focusing on symmetry and greenery while also incorporating elements of South Florida’s tropical landscape, including a rockland hammock (native forest) and mangrove shore.

The estate also includes a historic village that, much like the Italian villas that inspired Vizcaya, made the estate self-sufficient at time when Miami was still in its infancy. The village, comprised of 11 historic buildings, is currently being restored to tell Vizcaya’s full story and provide additional spaces for programs and community outreach, including those on agriculture. Vizcaya has been a community hub since it opened to the public in 1953; it welcomes 300,000 visitors annually.

Check out Vizcaya in our SPECIALS section.

VIZCAYA PRESENTER BIOS

Joel Hoffman, Executive Director
Joel Hoffman has been Executive Director/CEO Vizcaya Museum & Gardens since 2004. He holds doctorate and master’s degrees in art history from Yale University and an undergraduate degree in English from University of Pennsylvania. Throughout his museum career, Hoffman has focused on making visual arts, history and the natural environment engaging to diverse audiences. Under his leadership, Vizcaya’s visitation has nearly tripled and the organization has migrated from a public to a non-profit governance structure. Prior to joining Vizcaya, Dr. Hoffman was Vice Director for Education and Program Development at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Before that, he was associate director at The Wolfsonian-Florida International University in Miami Beach, where he oversaw public, research and membership programs, grants management and administrative activities. Following his departure from The Wolfsonian, Hoffman was guest editor of Design, Culture, Identity, volume 24 of The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, a study of The Wolfsonian’s modern-era collection. From 2011-2017, Hoffman served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Alliance of Museums.

Helena Gómez de Córdoba, Curator
Helena Gómez de Córdoba is Curator at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a National Historic Landmark located in Miami. She oversees Vizcaya’s art collections, which include furnishings, decorative arts, textiles, paintings and sculptures primarily dating from the 18th and 19th centuries¬, and its Contemporary Arts Program. Gómez de Córdoba is an object-lead art historian who studied art history at The Courtauld Institute of Art (London) and Providence College (Rhode Island). Before joining Vizcaya, she coordinated numerous exhibitions for the Museo de Arte de Ponce, in Puerto Rico, and curated Victorian Art (2022), Provenance: The Lost History (2019) and Small Treasures from the Frick Collection (2018).

Ian Simpkins, Senior Director of Horticulture & Sustainability
Ian Simpkins holds a B.S. in Horticulture from NC State University, and his tenure in horticulture extends more than 25 years. He is Senior Director for Horticulture and Sustainability at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, where he responsible for developing and overseeing the Museum’s horticulture, sustainability, and urban agriculture programs, including restoration and interpretation of the gardens and natural areas. Prior to his appointment at Vizcaya in June 2007, Mr. Simpkins held the position of Executive Director at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Philadelphia. Ian has served on the boards of the Tropical Arborist Guild and Greater Philadelphia Gardens. He is a recipient of the Chanticleer Foundation and JC Raulston Fellowships, and is former Chair of the Historic Landscapes Section of the American Public Gardens Association and served on the Horticulture Advisory Committee of The Kampong, National Tropical Botanic Garden.

Your Iconic Happy Hour - Vizcaya Manhattan!
We always try to find a signature drink that has a relation to the house that we visit, either with the architect, the client or in this case because it was a popular cocktail in James Deering’s time.
The cocktail suggested by the Vizcaya staff is a Manhattan:

Ingredients
2 ounces rye whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters
Garnish: brandied cherry or lemon twist

Steps
Add the bourbon (or rye), sweet vermouth and both bitters to a mixing glass with ice, and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a brandied cherry or a lemon twist.

Play this video to see this Manhattan recipe come together.

Updated 21 April 2022