The Barcardi Buildings

The dominant architecture style of Miami Beach is usually recognized as Art Deco, but there are a few Modernist gems such as the old Bacardi Rum headquarters. The complex located at 2100 Biscayne Blvd, consists of two structures; an 8-story tower built in 1962-63 and a 2-story cantilevered building built in 1973.

The 2-story building, coined the "Jewel Box on a Pedestal", was designed by architect Ignacio Carerra-Justiz of Coral Gables, Florida. The 2nd story cantilevers out 24' from its central core on all sides and is completely wrapped with 1" thick hammered glass mosaic windows. The windows, fashioned after a painting by German artist Johannes Dietz, were produced by stained glass artists Gabriel and Jacques Loire of Chartes, France.

Photo: Adam Mizrahi
Note the signature of ceramic tile muralist Francisco Brennand in the upper left corner. Photo: Mizrahi
Photo: Saikofish
Photo: Jeroen Bosman
Photo: Robin Hill
Photo: Adam Mizrahi
Photo: Adam Mizrahi
The Loire's- 3 generations of stained glass artists, c . 1989. L to R: Bruno, Jacques, Gabriel, Hervé.
Architect Ignacio Carrera-Justiz, c. 2010. via

The 8-story Bacardi Tower, designed by Cuban architect Enrique H. Gutierrez, was constructed in just over a year and was formally dedicated on January 25, 1964. The north and south facades of the tower are adorned with "azulejo" murals designed by Brazilian artist Francisco Brennand. The murals consist of 28,000 6" x 6" hand painted tiles which were fired in Brazil and hand numbered for proper installation on site. It took over 6 months to complete the installation process alone.

Photo: Adam Mizrahi
Photo: Life Pilgrim
Photo: Dan Macy
Photo: Adam Mizrahi
Photo: Adam Mizrahi
Photo: Adam Mizrahi
Brazilian ceramic artist Francisco Brennand (b. 1927). Image via

Clipping about Cuban architect Enrique H. Gutierrez, from Life Magazine, Dec. 10, 1971

Links of Interest:
Go to- Historic designation report on the Bacardi Buildings from the City of Miami, 2009
Go to- Article about the buildings in Dade Heritage Trust's Preservation Today. April 2011, pg 30.
Go to- Video tour of the Bacardi Buildings with Tito Bacardi
Go to- Video of opening of Bacardi's new headquarters in Coral Gables, Florida

Mosaic Wall Panels

Here is a selection of mid-century mosaic wall panels that I have come across while auction-mining. Enjoy!

Brass bordered mosaic panel, 4' x 1'. via End of History

Geisha girl brass border mosaic on raffia grass ground, 52" x 19". Etsy available at time of post.

Harlequin smalti mosaic by Romanos, 31.5" x 15.75"

Faceless portrait mosaic titled Gabi, by György Hegyi, 79 x 62 cm. 

I get the feeling someone may have been inspired? The tapestry is by Ross Littell.

It is pretty obvious that the mosaic artist was inspired by the gravel art piece.

Again these look suspiciously similar. The gravel art is Craftmaster Mosette design 1395-11-X  from 1962

Bird mosaic created from Linoleum flooring

Gravel mosaic; no cording is used in the design, so I assume this is a "custom" piece and not from a kit. via

Stanley Stubenberg Hawaiian Illustration

Commercial artist Stanley B. Stubenberg was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 8, 1925. During his career he created illustrations for various hotels and restaurants in Hawaii including; Hilton Hawaiian Village, The Reef Hotel and The Tropics. He also masterfully illustrated the 1965 book, Young Folk's Hawaiian Time. He passed-away in September 2001 in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, he was 79. If you are interested in seeing more of his work, I hear the book Tiki Modern is a good resource; in fact, his art graces it's very cover!

Menu cover art for Ale Ale Kai Restaurant at the Hawaiian Village Hotel, c. 1960's.

The 3 images above are from a 1960's Hilton Hawaiian Village room service menu. Arkiva Tropika

Left: 1950's wine list cover from The Tropics. Right: Art from a 1957 Reef Hotel menu. Arkiva Tropika

1960's menu cover for The Reef Hotel's,  Beneath the Reef restaurant. Arkiva Tropika

1960's promotional table card from Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki, HI. Arkiva Tropika

The 5 images above are from the 1965 book, Young Folk's Hawaiian Time. via here and here

Cover for December 1963 issue of the Japanese design magazine, Idea.

My Dibs: Paintings

Today I thought I would post some of my favorite paintings currently available on the 1stDibs marketplace.

Artist unknown, russian constructivist sailor portrait, c. 1910-1940. Anne Hauck Art Deco

Vicente Sandoval, harlequin boy, 1966. La Moderne

Vladimir Vasilievich Lebedev (1891-1967), cubist figure drawing. Douglas Rosin

Irene Clark, african abstract portraits, c. 1950's. Douglas Rosin

Ted Bredt, The Clansmen, 1963. Vintage à la Mode

Stanley Mitruk, Quince, 1960. Douglas Rosin

Lerche, Strings, c. 1950. Anne Hauck Art Deco

Robert Franquinet, Abstract Rouge, c. 1959. Le Trianon Gallery

MacDonald Smith, Still Life with Pomegranate, c. 1950's. Lobel Modern

John Saccaro, Prism #9, 1955. 20th Century Interiors

Sid Maurer, untitled abstract expressionist painting, c. 1960's. Irwin Feld Design

Glickman, untitled, c. 1960.  M.S. Antiques

Ricardo Santamaria, abstract relief painting, c. 1950's. Off the Wall Antiques

Meyer Tannebaum, Color Abstract #6, c. 1970.  M.S. Antiques