Garden Centennial Brings Back Lost Elements

Before and after picture of Marine Garden

This is a landmark year for Vizcaya. The museum is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the formal gardens, which were completed in 1922. While Vizcaya’s gardens are known to be among the most elaborate in the United States, this is not only due to their natural wonders.

These exemplary green spaces also hold historic significance due to the many architectural and artistic treasures they house. In line with the garden centennial, the museum is undertaking a series of conservation projects that honor Vizcaya’s original design and James Deering’s patronage of contemporary arts.

The estate will revive three elements that have been lost through the ages and bring them back for visitors to enjoy.

To make this dream a reality, we need your support. Consider making an online donation.

Watch the video below or read on to learn more about these projects.

The Peacock Statues

Arguably one of the most exciting of these undertakings is the return of the Gaston Lachaise peacock statues to the Marine Garden after a 17-year hiatus. The four coral limestone statues and their respective columns were removed in 2005 and placed in storage.

This move proved fortunate, saving the iconic sculptures from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

While the original statues will remain in storage for safe-keeping, replicas will be created to take their place. These will be made using the original plaster models created by Lachaise over 100 years ago, which are part of the Lachaise Foundation collection.

A black and white photo of a bridge and statues.
A black and white photo of a gate to a park.

The Marine Garden Fence

Visitors often have trouble finding the Marine Garden and its no wonder. The fence that surrounds it was put in place in the 1980s and obstructs the view of the space.

The plan is to replace the current fence and gate with one that is faithful to the original creation by Samuel Yellin. The recreation will be produced using architectural drawings from the office of Paul Chalfin, Vizcaya’s Artistic Director, which now reside in the estate’s archives.

The new gate will be made using the same metal work methods used by Yellin to ensure authenticity.


The Casino Ceiling Mural

The Casino and its notable ceiling mural are no doubt a visitor favorite. After one of the mural panels became detached, the remaining panels were removed to examine the substructure in January 2022.

This gave Vizcaya’s Collections Care team the opportunity to service the mural itself as well as the Casino roof and ceiling. The mural will be sent to Artcare Conservation in Miami for treatment as well as to reinforce the posterior structure that attaches to the ceiling.

A key aspect of this project will be the creation of added ventilation once the mural is reattached, which will lessen the effects of the elements.

Support Conservation at Vizcaya

The goals for this Garden Centennial campaign are ambitious and we need your support.

If you are just as excited as we are to see these staples return to their rightful places in Vizcaya’s gardens, consider donating online. Any amount is welcome and very much appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your help. Continue to check back on this page to see the latest on these projects and any related updates.

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