We’ve coined the phrase “Very Vizcaya” to describe an experience or situation that captures the complexity and contradiction of this landmark estate. Vizcaya is beautiful and serene. But it is also a place of intellectual stimulation, compelling us to consider the relationships between native and foreign, old and new, and natural and designed. The curiosity that brought you here today suggests you’re probably already forming your own opinion of why Vizcaya is special and worthy of our efforts to preserve it.
Vizcaya has been described as “the finest private house ever built in America,” “a jewel among Miami’s skyscrapers and subdivisions,” and “some Noah’s Ark of decorative arts,” its exteriors offering the “manic tranquility of the great European folly gardens.” Most of us who know Vizcaya well embrace this place for both its serious significance and its eccentric charm.
Preserving and presenting Vizcaya’s many buildings, diverse collections and extensive grounds require a grasp of the big picture and attention to detail. Over the last decade, my colleagues and our supporters have made immense progress in “restoring” Vizcaya—in terms of its physical plant, its programs and how it is perceived. But our goals are ambitious and much remains to be done.
Whether you are a resident of our community or a citizen of the world, we invite you to experience and enjoy the many facets of Vizcaya as a visitor and as a friend.
Dr. Joel M. Hoffman
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens