South Miami Beach is a tiny gem of Art Deco architecture, warm sun, and cool breezes. It was also the winter destination of choice for Jewish seniors during the 1970s and 80s, including many Holocaust survivors. During the area’s golden age, upwards of 20,000 “snowbirds” (those who fly south for the winter to escape the cold) would migrate to the 2.5 mile stretch of beachfront. The boardwalk overflowed with seniors and the sounds of Yiddish filled the air.
Visual artist Naomi Harris moved to South Miami Beach between 1999 and 2002 to photograph the last remaining snowbirds. Her rich, colorful images from the multi-year pilgrimage are featured in her new book The Haddon Hall, which profiles bubbehs and zaidehs lounging by the pool, doing exercises, playing bingo, at the beauty parlor, and kibitzing on the veranda in the community that she made her own.
Join the Museum for a program with Harris celebrating The Haddon Hall and exploring the lost world she captured with her camera.