The Brothers Josephu

The Brothers Josephu
Young Josef at work...circa 1917

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Very Recent Discovery

What has been a challenge is locating public works by Josephu. He photographed at lot of his sculputres but kept little or no records. This is even more difficult when looking for American based works (he arrived in Sept 1939, and had his first showing in 1940). Using Google to search has been effective, but results vary. Two days I did a search with a pleasant suprise with a twist.

My mother's first husband was Benjamin Chaves, a builder in the Miami area. One of his hotels was the Mimosa Hotel, which still stands a short distance from the famed Fountainbleu Hotel. My mother later divorced and married my father. Ben's son, my half-brother (estranged) Jerry Chaves, was for a while intrigued about our grandfather's history. Jerry visited Vienna and found several pieces - long before my mother and I made our visit.

A Google search yesterday found a Blog listing about Miami Beach talking about the destruction of the Americana Hotel - on collins Avenue, not far from the Mimosa - for the new Sheraton Bal Harbor Hotel. Apparantly, the Americana had many items of art on display and their hotel brochure listed the artists' biographies...and there was Josephu. So, all these years - so close to the Mimosa, built by the father of my brother Jerry, stood a Josephu statue...and no one knew until now. Unfortunately, the wherebouts of that piece are unknown, it may have been destroyed, auctioned off, or incoporated into the new hotel.