Picture Perfect

Featuring never-before-seen images of our own state’s particular past, the newest exhibition at HistoryMiami Museum provides an expertly curated portrait of 1980’s Florida through the lens of a tantalizingly talented Miami native.
Text by Ryan Jarrell | October 30, 2018 | People

A member of the National Geographic staff from 1972 to 1991, Miami native Nathan Benn is set to unveil a staggering array of photographs and artifacts documenting Florida in general and our own Magic City in particular in A Peculiar Paradise: Florida Photographs by Nathan Benn, running at our own HistoryMiami Museum. Eminently talented and unafraid to document all aspects of our state as aesthetically as possible, the photographer’s work documents everything from Dundee’s 5th Street Gym to the stress and strain of an international narcotics crisis, all available to any attendee of this institution entirely devoted to educating Miamians about the city they love to live in. “For those who reside in Florida, this exhibition is certainly a walk down memory lane and offers an unusual look into what shaped the state into the eclectic makeup we enjoy today,” says Jorge Zamanillo, Executive Director of HistoryMiami Museum. “If you’re not from Florida, you are sure to be fascinated by the stories of our past that have molded this peculiar paradise that we call home.” The exhibit runs from Nov. 9 to Apr. 14;

Workers from Jamaica wait at Miami’s airport for the airplane that will take them home after the sugarcane-cutting season in Florida. Having being paid for their strenuous work, the men are proudly wearing cool new clothes for their return to family and friends in Jamaica. They each wear two hats, since that tis the most sensible manner to safely carry new hats for the travelers. Miami International Airport. 1981.
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Tourists to the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida posing with a pretend astronaut in an Apollo spacesuit. Administered by NASA, KSC is a major tourist attraction for tourists to the Orlando area. Two million people visited in 1981, making KSC the fourth most popular destination for Florida tourism. 1981.

Haitian refugees in small wood boats sailing into Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida attempting to immigrate into the United States. They are picked up in the Florida waters by the Coast Guard and taken into detention for processing, where they are considered illegal immigrants. Some of the people will be deported back to Haiti, and others allowed to immigrate. Many boats of desperate refugees attempted to sail to Florida and many died in the effort. Over 40,000 Haitian boat people sought refuge in Florida by 1981.