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About

The Vasari Project is a library collection dedicated to documenting, collecting and preserving Miami‑Dade County's art history from 1945 to the present. It is a living archive that grows through contributions from artists, art professionals, exhibition spaces, galleries, institutions and private donors.

The Vasari Project is a resource for ongoing research, scholarship, publications, artists' projects, exhibitions and events. The archive collects documentation, rather than original works of art, comprised primarily of printed matter: correspondence, press clippings, photographs, posters, books, exhibition catalogues, artists' files, oral histories and other ephemeral materials.

Art critic, historian, and writer Helen L. Kohen and the library’s long time Art Services Manager Barbara N. Young conceived the Vasari Project in 2000. The collection is named for Giorgio Vasari (1511‑1574), the artist and historian whose book, Lives of the Artists, shaped the discipline of Western art history. Made possible by a partnership between the Library and the County's Department of Cultural Affairs, the archive's purpose is to preserve and build upon Miami's transformation into a major hemispheric art center.

Using the Archive

Reference Questions
You can e‑mail or call us with your reference questions about art or artists in Miami.

Visiting the Archive
Plan to conduct all of your research in a designated area at Main Library. The collection is open to the public Tuesday and Thursday, 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. by appointment only. Call or e‑mail for more information.

Items in The Vasari Project may not be checked out of the library.

Searching for Items in the Collection
You can browse The Vasari Project's collection records in the Miami‑Dade Public Library System's online catalog.

To search The Vasari Project collection in the library catalog by keyword:

  1. Go to the Library Catalog.
  2. On the top left, click the Search tab.
  3. From the Collections section, select Vasari Collection and click Set Search Options.
  4. Type in a keyword in the search box and click Go. An example might be the last name of an individual (i.e. an artist, a curator, a collector) or the name of a gallery or institution.
  5. To view descriptive information and details on the contents of individual records, click Full Display.
  6. To view a record's call number, click Availability.

To browse through The Vasari Project collection’s over 300 archival cartons:

  1. Go to the Library Catalog.
  2. Type “Vasari Collection” in the search box and select Go.
  3. To view what artists, museums, curators and collectors are represented in the archival carton, click Full Display.
Collection Policy & How To Contribute

The Vasari Project welcomes materials donated by members of the arts community and the general public. Donations are accepted based on their relevance to the purpose of the archive and the library's ability to accommodate special conservation and storage space needs.

For galleries, museums, organizations, and artists with mailing lists, the easiest way to contribute is to add The Vasari Project to your mailing list, email or otherwise. You may also make an appointment to bring in materials.

Collection Highlights

Volunteer Button
A volunteer button and swatch of pink fabric from Christo and Jeanne‑Claude's Surrounded Islands, 1983. Fabric for the project was tested on the roof of the library.
Surrounded Islands
Photograph of Christo and then‑Library Director Edward Sintz at the opening for an exhibition of Christo and Jeanne‑Claude's earliest Surrounded Islands sketches and proposals at Main Library, 1982.
Artmobile
Photograph of Barbara Young, then Artmobile Librarian, in front of the Artmobile, ca. 1976. The Artmobile was the Miami‑Dade Public Library's mobile exhibition space from 1976 through 1992.
Cuban Performance Art
Detail, page of mimeographed catalog for Cuban Performance Art of the 1980s at Miami‑Dade Community College's InterAmerican Campus, 1998.