Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Who knew?  I mean, probably everyone who's ever been to Miami knows, but it's worth coming to Miami simply for this (for the record, I like Miami much much more than I did on my previous visit, c. 1982, when the Greyhound timetable allowed me just enough time to wash my hair in a basin in the bus terminal.  Don't even ask.  It was a long time ago).  James Deering (made his money in Chicago from agricultural machinery) decided that he was going to import as much of Renaissance Italy as humanly possible - including tapestries that Robert and Elizabeth Browning had in their home.  Unfortunately one can't take pictures inside the house ...

Deering had a thing about galleons, and wrecks;

and mermaids;

and had beautiful gardens constructed, full of water features,

and statues,

and with some very fine - and large - iguanas.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Deering was "a life-long bachelor;" the principle designer of Vizcaya, Paul Chalfin, was, shall we say, less discrete; and Sargent, when staying, painted some portraits of some of the African-American workers on the estate ...

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