In the 1930s art and national symbolism converged within the Federal Arts Projects, or the WPA Projects, that supported the values of the American Public. The great Depression and these Arts Projects changed the relationship between art and the public and are the harbinger of the relationships of art in the public realm today. Federal Arts Projects aimed to express American civic pride; today there are challenges to those very arts works as values in the public have changed greatly.
This lecture addresses Morris Lapidus’s life-long battle for ornamentation in architecture. The intention is to look at the ornaments, their symbolism, and the lasting quality of the messages in his art pieces for public consumption in his early hotels on Miami Beach, and his lasting contribution to the art experience on Lincoln Road.
Deborah Desilets is a registered architect, curator of the Morris Lapidus Exhibition, and steward of the Morris Lapidus archives.