Coral Gables Museum exhibits and programs are made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.
With the support of the City of Coral Gables.
The Coral Gables Museum is now hosting the following three exhibitions:
An introductory exhibition about Coral Gables' founder and developer, George Merrick, his family and other visionaries who inspired him and helped him turn his dream of a place where "your castles in Spain are made real" into reality. This exhibit addresses local history, including pioneer life, the Florida Land Boom, architecture, urban planning and development.
Curated by Arva Moore Parks, designed by Tom Graboski and fabricated by SFY Architectural Signs and Displays, it is housed in Betty and L.D. Pankey Gallery and Coral Gables Galleries — five rooms that were once the Coral Gables Police and Fire Station jail. Now beautifully restored, the rooms provide an intimate space to tell the story from the beginning.
The exhibition, Coral Gables' Sister Cities: Partners
in Peace, is dedicated to the City of Coral Gables' beloved sister cities and the sister cities movement launched by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. Visitors are invited to learn about the history of this international peace program and uncover the connections between Coral Gables and her sister cities: Aix-en-Provence, France; Cartagena, Colombia; Granada, Spain; La Antigua, Guatemala; and Province of Pisa, Italy. Two cities to be added soon: Quebec City, Canada and Curitiba, Brazil.
Images and text will tell the story of our nation in a Cold War environment and how Eisenhower, with his extensive wartime experience and leadership abilities, rallied the public to reach out to citizens of other nations in an effort to promote cultural understanding and world peace. "I hate war", he said, "as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity." Each of the five sister cities will be represented through photographs, objects, explanatory text, videos, books, maps, and other media. A research library will be available for those visitors interested in learning more about a particular sister city.
In Miami, the turn of the millennium was marked by a construction boom like none before. The skyline filled with tower cranes, their gawky angular forms spelling out a message that was at once promising and disturbing – growth and change, whether for the better or the worse.
Building by building, a new Miami was emerging. We have witnessed a rebirth of sorts with new civic, cultural, educational and commercial buildings that would define public life for this century and beyond with architecture that was both imported and home-grown. Cities are defined by architecture, and Miami is no exception.
This original exhibition features architectural photography, plans, models and videos representing a selection of post-2000 Greater Miami buildings. Presented by the Coral Gables Museum. Curated by architecture critic and author Beth Dunlop, exhibit design by Little Gables Group.
This exhibit of photographs of Pavia from the 19th to the 21st century by six Italian photographers, Fiorenzo Cantalupi, Guglielmo Chiolini, Antonio Manidi, Giuseppe Nazzari , Pierino Sacchi, and Ettore Valli, marks the first cultural exchange with Coral Gables' soon-to-be sister city of Pavia, Italy. Curated by the Civic Museums of Pavia and presented in partnership with the municipality of Pavia and the Italian Consulate of Miami.
A center of art and culture for centuries, the city of Pavia was founded by the Romans on the left bank of the Ticino River. Several times capital city during the Middle Ages (8th - 13th century), it conserves many historical and material traces of Romanesque and Gothic architecture: the massive walls that encircled it, splendid churches with richly sculpted façades (San Michele, San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro), and the lofty towers that overlooked the palazzi and populated the city skyline. The Visconti family took control of the city in the mid-1300s and immediately built an elegant and richly decorated castle, the characteristic Covered Bridge over the Ticino, the majestic cathedral (designed in part by Leonardo da Vinci) and the Certosa, a masterpiece of Renaissance art. The origins of the university also date back to that period (1361), one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in Europe. World renowned literati and scientists taught here in the 18th and 19th centuries, from the physicist Alessandro Volta, inventor of the battery, to the poet Ugo Foscolo, the naturalist Lazzaro Splallanzani and the neurologist Camillo Golgi. For the beauty of its monuments and the wealth of its educational tradition, Pavia is known as the "City of Knowledge."
As part of George Merrick’s plan for Coral Gables, he envisioned an iconic church to serve as a meeting place in the heart of the city, in honor of his father, Solomon, who was a Congregational minister. The Coral Gables Congregational Church was organized in 1923 and initially met at a parsonage on Columbus Boulevard that was donated by Merrick. He hired the famed Pittsburgh architectural firm Kiehnel & Elliott to design the elaborate Spanish-style edifice on DeSoto Boulevard.
After its completion in 1925, the church embarked on community involvement through civic service, Christian education and promotion of music and the arts. One of the city’s first public buildings, the Church served as a hall for city government meetings, educational events and other gatherings.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary, the Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ has built a reputation for an unparalleled commitment to progressive social action and is known for its community arts outreach programs and productions.
This exhibition will feature select photographs, video footage and objects that document the Church’s architectural, social and cultural accomplishments and contributions over nearly a century.
Curated by Marvin J. Aguilar with support from the City of Coral Gables Historical Resources Department, HistoryMiami Archives and Research Center and the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives.