Dr. Robert B. Feldman, a New York-based art collector, pledged a gift of a major installation by renowned artist Mira Lehr to the Jewish Museum of Florida-Florida International University (FIU). The artwork, titled “Sacred Dreams,” is comprised of 183 aerial sculptures that descend from the ceiling of the museum. The installation is currently on view at the museum as a temporary loan from Feldman, and will become part of the museum’s permanent collection in September 2021. The museum is centrally located in South Beach, in the heart of Miami Art Week and Art Basel Miami Beach. Dr. Feldman previously lived in Florida, and was known for having “one of the most important collections of contemporary art in Florida.”
Lehr’s 183 aerial sculptures are made of burned and dyed Japanese paper, acrylic, ink, and resin. “I am honored to donate this major work by Mira Lehr to the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU,” Feldman. “This large-scale work now has a permanent home in the community for all to enjoy, including the millions of tourists that visit Miami Beach, at this beloved gem of a museum that is of historic importance in the Southeast.”
The museum is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is the only museum dedicated to telling the story of more than 250 years of Florida’s Jewish history, art, and culture with a growing collection of more than 100,000 items.
“Mira Lehr created this stunning installation, ‘Sacred Dreams,’ specifically with the museum in mind as a result of a personal visit here,” said Susan Gladstone Pasternack, the Executive Director of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. “After Lehr spent time at the museum, she reflected upon the emotions and inspiration she felt and created these 183 aerial sculptures to interact with the light they create together with our stained-glass windows. The result is truly magnificent.”
The museum is housed in two restored historic buildings that were once synagogues for Miami Beach’s first Jewish congregation. The original synagogue was built in 1929, and the second, built in 1936, was designed by Art Deco architect Henry Hohauser and features 80 stained-glass windows, a copper dome, and a marble bimah. While reflective of the Jewish experience in Florida, the museum creates understanding of the shared immigrant experience in our multicultural society.