September 2021 – September 2022

CameraWorks Gallery (Concourse D, Post-security, Gates D22 & D25)


October 27, 2022- March 2023

Central Terminal E, 1st floor, by door 11


Gleason Waite Romer

Photographs from The Helen Muir Florida Collection

MIA Galleries in collaboration with the Miami-Dade Library System’s Special Collections & Archives


Gleason Waite Romer (American, 1887-1971) was a prolific photographer documenting Miami, Florida, and the Greater Miami area between 1925 and 1960. Romer arrived in Miami in 1925, and as a freelance photographer, documented residences, people, parties, major events, and places throughout Miami-Dade County, creating a rich body of work said to capture the “changing face of Miami.” This valuable historical record is both an artistic and cultural asset that visually tells the story of Miami’s past. The photographs in this exhibition were taken between the 1920s and 1940s and feature interior and exterior views of hotels still in existence today, such as the Essex House, Hotel Normandie, and the Biltmore Hotel, among others.

About the Miami-Dade Public Library System
The mission of the Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS) is to provide extraordinary services, spaces and experiences that promote literacy and learning, personal growth and limitless opportunities. MDPLS is a multi-award-winning community anchor that provides a broad array of services to one of the largest and most diverse populations in the United States through its 49 library locations, mobile libraries and online library at It is home to several Special Collections, including the Gleason Waite Romer Collection. This physical collection, housed within the Helen Muir Florida Collection at the Main Library in downtown Miami, contains approximately 17,500 images in the form of printed photographs, negatives, glass plates, and postcards documenting the growth and development of all aspects of the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County from the 1880s to the 1950s, and includes images credited to other photographers.


So far, more than 9,860 photographs from the Romer Collection have been digitized – and continue to be digitized – for the global community. They can be seen online by visiting the MDPLS Digital Collections page at