« Back to March Events

Lecture: The Persuasive Power of Ordinary Objects
Lecture: The Persuasive Power of Ordinary Objects

Note: This event has already taken place. If you are interested in learning about current and upcoming Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Events, click here.

When: Thursday, March 15, 2012 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Cathy Leff of the Wolfsonian-FIU museum will present a lecture on The Persuasive Power of Ordinary Objects.

The Wolfsonian-Florida International University was set in motion by a big vision: to illustrate the nexus between material artifacts and society by looking at the arts and design of everyday life. Join Wolfsonian director Cathy Leff as she explores what it means for a museum to collect, display, and investigate “ordinary objects.”

Since 1996, Cathy Leff has served as Director of The Wolfsonian–Florida International University, an internationally recognized museum and research center in South Miami Beach. The museum promotes the examination of modern material culture to enhance the understanding and appreciation of objects as agents and reflections of social, political, and technological change. The organization focuses on its extraordinary collection of North American and European decorative, design, propaganda, and fine art of the 1885-1945 period, donated to Florida International University in 1997 by Mitchell Wolfson, Jr.

Leff was responsible for negotiating the gift agreement with Florida International University and worked with the university to secure annual recurring support from the Florida Legislature. She is responsible for the successful transition of what was a privately owned collection into a publicly owned one. The Wolfsonian-FIU is now a reputable cultural and educational resource. 

For the past 16 years, Leff served as Publisher and Executive Editor of the critically acclaimed Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, which fosters scholarship in the same pivotal period as the Wolfsonian collection. This publication was founded by Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Now in its twenty-first year, it is published by The Wolfsonian-FIU.

Prior to joining The Wolfsonian, Leff was Vice President of The Wolfson Initiative Corp, and from 1976-87, assistant director of the City of Miami Community Development Department. She received her B.A. from Sophie Newcomb College, Tulane University, and studied one year at the University of Madrid.  She did graduate coursework at the University of Miami School of Business, and has taken executive education courses at both Harvard and Stanford University’s Graduate Schools of Business.

Ms. Leff speaks Spanish, French, and Italian, and studies Japanese. She is currently a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and the International Conference of Museums.

Upcoming Thursday Nights Include:

March 22, 7:00 p.m.
Florida Icons, Fifty Classic Views of the Sunshine State,
Roger Hammer, Author and Naturalist

March 29, 7:00 p.m.
An Intimate Look at the Rubell Family Collection
A lecture by Donald and Mera Rubell of the Rubell Family Collection

April 5, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Moonlight Tour 

April 12, 7:00 p.m.
Conservation and Research at Fairchild
Melissa Abdo, International Conservation Officer, FTBG

April 26, 7:00 p.m.
Getting to Know the Everglades,
Dan Kimble, Superintendent, Everglades National Park

Admission is Free for Fairchild Members, Wolfsonian-FIU Museum members and children 5 and under.

Become a sponsor today!

Non-members: $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up and $12 for children 6-17. 

Eco-discount: If you walk, ride your bike or take public transportation to Fairchild, receive $5 off admission for adults and $2 off admission for children. Members, remember to bring your Rewards Card to earn your gift passes! 

Military Discount: We are pleased to offer active military personnel free admission. In addition, admission for spouses is $20 and children $10. Please present Military IDs.

Events Calendar

Loading events...

To go directly to Fairchild's Events section, click here.

Discounts for Members
Discounts for Members
Fairchild members receive discounts on products and services from over 200 local partners through our Branch Out Program. More