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The Wolfsonian at Florida International University Presents Cigar History Exhibit

The Wolfsonian–FIU, a museum and research center at Florida International University in Miami, presents Smoke Signals: Cigar Cutters and Masculine Values, a cigar exhibit through September 29, featuring an accessory collection that starts in the 19th century. 

Smoke Signals includes 141 cigar cutters from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, shedding light on leisure pursuits and class aspirations. A portion of the installation is displayed in a mid-century Beauty Bar cabinet used originally to display cosmetics, perfumes, and other products associated with femininity.

The exhibit is drawn in part from a recent donation of 361 cigar cutters by Miami collector Richard Kronenber.

“Working with cigar cutters has been both a challenge and a voyage of discovery, as I knew little to nothing about them prior to this project, and very little has been written,” curator Lea Nickless said in a press release. “What I found fascinating is the potential of the most mundane of everyday objects to tell us about the past and about ourselves. They are artifacts embedded with meaning, awaiting decoding.”

The installation will be augmented with select graphic materials from the Wolfsonian’s collection, along with a digital presentation cycling images of the gifted cigar cutters not physically on view in the installation.

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