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Title: The Walls of Wynwood: Art and Change in the Global Neighborhood
Authors: Garcia, Alfredo
Advisors: Wuthnow, Robert
Zelizer, Viviana
Contributors: Sociology Department
Keywords: Art Basel
Contemporary Art
Neighborhood Change
Super Rich
Urban Ethnography
Subjects: Social research
Area planning & development
Cultural resources management
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Recent changes in wealth acquisition and global inequality have resulted in the formation of a new class of individuals at the top of the socioeconomic spectrum worldwide. These High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs)—also known as the “super-rich”— hold a larger percentage of global wealth than ever before and shape global trends in culture and leisure as they traverse the world for meetings, events, and parties. Part of this globetrotting has included attending major contemporary art fairs in cities like New York, Berlin, Miami, and Hong Kong. A result of an increased use of contemporary art as a financial instrument, these art fairs have become landmark moments in the calendars of HNWIs and the galleries that cater to them. This dissertation examines how these changes in the global contemporary art market and the cultural consumption of global elites affect small neighborhoods by examining the case of Art Basel Miami Beach and the development of an arts district in Wynwood, Miami. Beginning as one of Miami’s first suburbs and continuing on to becoming Miami’s garment district in the first half of the twentieth century, Wynwood eventually became Miami’s Puerto Rican barrio and one of its most dangerous neighborhoods by the end of the 1990s. The arrival of high-end contemporary art galleries and collections in Wynwood during 90s and early 00s, however, began Wynwood’s change into a center for art and culture and landed it as a stopover during the famous Art Basel art fair in Miami Beach. The resulting flow of the world’s super-rich through the neighborhood, coupled with their desire for the “art lifestyle,” resulted in what I call the formation of a “global neighborhood”: a stopover for the cultural and leisure consumption for the super-rich. Through data collected from three years of ethnographic work, data analysis, and historical research, I demonstrate the changes that have taken place in Wynwood and how these shifts affect the lives of residents, artists, and cultural institutions therein. This study provides an analysis that is useful for other considerations of neighborhood change from global flows of the super-rich.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Sociology

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