We work hard to promote the wonders of Vizcaya in our own community and beyond, in newspapers, magazines, TV and online. Given the fast-paced world in which we live, we take special pride in the many books that capture Vizcaya’s beauty and significance. These, we know, will grace bookshelves and coffee tables of appreciative readers from around the world for years to come.
Most of the books mentioned here are produced by others and are available in the Vizcaya Café & Shop and at the online shop. We invite you to learn more about Vizcaya and the context from which it emerged through this sampler of publications.
Books to Read
Robert Winthrop Chanler: Discovering the Fantastic, by Gina Wouters (Editor), Andrea Gollin (Editor), Joel M. Hoffman (Preface) and Eve M. Kahn (Foreword) with photographs by Whitney Cox, Monacelli Press, 2016. Co-published with Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, this is the first study of its kind in the last 80 years and features all significant new color photography of Chanler pieces housed in private collections throughout the United States.
Big Bosses: A Working Girl’s Memoir of Jazz Age America by Althea McDowell Altemus with informative annotations and afterword by Robin F. Bachin, Associate Professor of History and Assistant Provost at the University of Miami. Published by the University of Chicago Press in collaboration with Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (November 2016), Big Bosses is Altemus’s account of her life as secretary for James Deering at Vizcaya and other prominent employers in Chicago and New York during the late teens and 1920s. As a single mother she faced special discrimination in the workplace; but Altemus emerges as a courageous and optimistic heroine. Her vivid and often amusing stories convey both the excitement of urban America and challenges of working women in the Jazz Age. The manuscript includes never-before-published illustrations by Miami architect Phineas Paist, who worked on the Vizcaya project and design of Coral Gables.
Vizcaya: An American Villa and Its Makers, by Witold Rybczynski and Laurie Olin with photographs by Steven Brooke, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. This 274-page book provides the most definitive history of Vizcaya to date and was favorably and extensively reviewed in The Wall Street Journal.
Palais, Villas & Chateaux, by Henri Stierlin, Gallimard, 2007. This is the quintessential coffee-table book, featuring spreads on 30 of the world’s most intriguing residential projects, each strikingly depicted in oversized aerial photographs. In the company of such extraordinary places as the Alhambra (Spain), Versailles (France), the Palace of the Winds (India) and the Forbidden City (China), Vizcaya is the only residence included from all of the Americas.
Living Architecture: Greatest American Houses of the 20th Century, by Dominique Browning and Lucy Gilmour, Assouline, 2010. This lavishly illustrated book, predominantly about white modern residences, dedicates 14 pages to Vizcaya for establishing “a great and American tradition of self-invention.”
Great Houses of Florida, by Beth Dunlop and Joanna Lombard with photographs by Steven Brooke, Rizzoli, 2008. This book provides a home-state context and features Vizcaya’s East Loggia on the front jacket and its gardens on the title page along with a 10-page spread.
Great Houses of the South, by Laurie Ossman with photographs by Steven Brooke, Rizzoli, 2010. Our former curator authored this compilation of the region’s most distinctive homes and provides her personal insight on Vizcaya’s history and relevance.
Green World, Merce Cunningham, Patsy Tarr editor in chief with photographs by Katherine Wolkoff, editions2wice, 2007. This exquisitely produced book emerged from a daylong photo shoot of the minimalist and modern Merce Cunningham Dance Company in Vizcaya’s lush gardens, and we first learned about it through a compelling review in The New York Times.