Destination Directory

The Queen of Lincoln Road

The Jewish Museum of Florida – FIU is commemorating a colorful character and local South Beach icon in a summer pop-up show.

Every workday for more than 40 years, Irene Williams dressed in one of her vibrant fashions from her collection of more than 100 handmade hats and outfits, and walked to her small office on her Lincoln Road runway in Miami Beach, Florida.

The "Queen of Lincoln Road" made a fashion statement with her outfits crafted from unconventional materials including fake-fur toilet seat covers, bath mats and towels—and she turned the heads of locals and tourists alike. (Even some celebrities.)

In 1995, Williams caught the attention of Eric Smith—a New York City designer, entrepreneur and founder of E.G. Smith Socks—during one of his quick weekend getaways to South Beach. Over the next decade, he and Irene became close friends, and he captured their rapport, her outsider couture and her profound wisdom in his award-winning documentary, Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road.

the-queen-of-lincoln-road-web2

Williams passed away in 2004, but she is remembered fondly.

"She was a survivor who found creative ways to make life thrive," Smith said. "I believe her legacy encourages us to be independently true to our nature, to find and explore our own passion and creativity."

In celebration of what would be her 100th birthday this year, the Jewish Museum of Florida – FIU is commemorating Irene Williams in a summer pop-up show. Borrowing its name from Smith's documentary, Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road will feature 33 of the local fashionista's original handcrafted hats, as well as historic photos and letters.

Smith, who was willed Willams' original pieces, donated the objects to the museum's permanent collection.

"Our museum's collection of more than 100,000 items includes a treasure trove that celebrates the heart and soul of Miami Beach," said Nancy Doyle Cohen, the Membership and Programming Director for the musem. "When Eric Smith came to use with his donation of Irene William's hats and memorabilia, we realized that her centennial was cause for celebration. This summer pop-up show honors the individualism and character of the personalities that define South Beach's enduring spirit and tenacity."

The opening reception of the exhibition on July 13 will feature a showing of Smith's documentary, with Smith in attendance to introduce his film and discuss some of the items in the show. The exhibition will remain on view through November 5.

Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Groups Today.


Tags

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Recent Blogs

Lessons Learned During 2017

Once again, the travel and tourism industry faces both new and ongoing challenges. Travel and tourism cannot be separated from the world context in which they operate. Be that context political states of war, or one of health issues or of economic undulations, what occurs throughout the world touches every aspect of tourism. It is for this reason that every once in a while, it is good for travel and tourism professionals to take a step back and to review at least some of the basic fundamentals of their industry.

Tour Planner Versus the Internet: Why (and How) the Travel Planner Will Win

We are in the midst of a digital transformation. More and more, travelers use the Internet to find travel inspiration and information. They can easily book flights and hotels—now more than ever, thanks to Google. There are apps to hail transportation, book table reservations and more.

10 Key Travel Moments from 2017

Each new year brings an air of hope. When the Trump administration instated the first travel ban in January, however, it looked like 2017 was off to a turbulent start for the travel industry. This year definitely had its rough patches, yet there were good things, too.

With each setback, the travel industry rallied together and proved that the industry isn't just an industry—but a community determined to change the world through remarkable destinations and extraordinary experiences.