The Miami Art Scene: Part 1 - Miami's Art Museums
The Miami Art Scene: Overview
Over the last 20 years, Miami has seen a very rapid expansion of the city's art scene. There has always been a steady and diverse influx of local and international artists settling in South Florida. These artists have been bolstered by an ever-growing representation of galleries, collectors, festivals, curators, and museums.
Miami's status as a world-class art destination truly started to take shape with the arrival of Art Basel in 2002. The world-renown festival grew to hundreds of galleries displaying their art to 80,000 visitors each year. The festival has brought celebrities and art collectors from around the world, and many took notice of the local art scene.
Visitors to Miami started to include art galleries and museums in their itineraries and many begun making trips every season for the festivals alone. As more and more artists made Miami there home, the art ecosystem grew around them.
Art districts have taken root through-out the Greater Miami area. The Wynwood Art District, a globally recognized art destination, began to take shape in 2009 and turned a once run-down warehouse district into an art lover's paradise.
Wynwood has endless galleries, over 200 outdoor murals, hotels, event venues, and a great selection of eateries in a 50-block district. The streets in Wynwood are filled with people popping in and out of galleries and visiting their favorite restaurants. Wynwood's gallery walk is a hugely popular monthly event with art, restaurants, food trucks, and live music.
Art walks and gallery nights are found in various neighborhoods where there are congregations of galleries such as the Miami Design District, Coral Gables, the Bird Road Art District, Wynwood, Downtown Miami, and Lincoln Road.
There are art museums and large art collections such as the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) and the Rubell Family Collection to round out the offerings for art lovers.
In addition, Miami-Dade County's Art in Public Places, a program of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, has contributed to the county's art scene by including a portion of construction budgets for county building project to be allocated for art.
Started in 1973, as one of the country's first such programs, the program has led to artworks being installed countywide at the Miami International Airport, Metrorail and Metromover stations, PortMiami, Zoo Miami, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, parks, fire stations, libraries, police stations, public housing developments, courthouses and community health centers. Find out more about Art in Public Places HERE.
Art in Miami is thriving. Let's look at the Miami Art scene in more detail below.
Miami Art Museums
Local art museums are as varied as the art they showcase. The buildings that house the art, such as PAMM or Vizcaya, are in many cases works of art themselves. Local museums house impressive collections in Contemporary, Latin American, Cuban Exile, Haitian, Graffiti, Old Masters, Graphic Design & Decorative Arts to name a few.
Art museums provide Miami with a variety of options to explore art with displays of permanent collections, traveling exhibits, lectures, workshops, and educational events.
Here are eight notable examples.
Perez Art Museum Miami
The Perez Art Museum Miami - PAMM was designed by Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron. The building itself is quite an achievement both inside and out.
There are three stories with 200,000 sq-ft divided up with 120,000 sq-ft of indoor spaces and 80,000 sq-ft of outdoor spaces and terraces. There is also a large hanging garden under the roof canopy that surrounds the outdoor terraces.
The PAMM houses a wide collection of 20th & 21st century art including Latin America, the Caribbean and the African diaspora. There are a multitude of areas for the art exhibits, educational activities, lectures and events, as well as an auditorium, a museum store, and onsite cafe.
There is an adjacent Miami Metromover station on the north side of the museum for easy access for those in the downtown area or transferring over from the Metrorail. There is also covered on-site paid parking.
When you have finished browsing the amazing art you can then move on to the museum shop and enjoy the cafe with amazing views of Biscayne Bay.
The Port of Miami is directly east in the bay, and depending on the day of your visit, you can sometimes catch the cruise ships turning around in the turning basin just beyond the museum.
The 30-acre Maurice Ferrer Public Park borders the museum to the south and affords you the opportunity for a wonderful bayfront walk along the park with great views of the Miami skyline to your west. The park is often the venue for concerts, festivals, and other large outdoor events. The park also has a dog park, Citi Bike rentals, and several large public sculptures. For more on the Baywalk, check out my photo-filled post on the best Baywalks and the Miami Riverwalk in downtown Miami.
PAMM is located on the east corner of Museum Park. If you are looking to make a day of it, then the Frost Science Museum borders to the west and is just a short walk away across Knight Plaza. Between the two museums, the park, Citi Bike rentals, nearby restaurants, the Baywalk, and the nearby Metromover stations you'll have plenty of options for a great day.
1103 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33132
Monday - Wednesday closed
Thursday - 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday - Sunday - 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Free for members
Seniors (62+): $12
Students (with ID): $12
Youth (ages 7-18): $12
Children under 6: Free
Active US Military and Vets (with ID): Free
Health Care Professionals and First Responders (with ID): Free
Florida Educators (with ID): Free
Disabled Visitors and one Caregiver: Free
Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum
The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum is found on the campus of Florida International University in west Miami-Dade.
The 46,000-sq-ft Museum was designed by Yann Weymouth and opened in 2008. There are nine galleries totaling 9,000-sq-ft. Three of the nine galleries showcase the museum's permanent collection. The other six galleries feature temporary exhibits. The museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Affiliations program so items from the Smithsonian's vast collections are periodically on exhibit at the Frost.
The Frost Art Museum’s permanent collection houses over 6,000 objects including American printmaking, photography, pre-Columbian objects dating from 200-500 AD, rare Japanese Netsukes, ancient bronzes of Asian and African cultures, as well as works by contemporary artists with a focus on Latin American and Caribbean artists.
The FIU campus is also home to the Martin Z. Margulies Sculpture Park which is on long term loan. It is found throughout the campus and there is a self-guided tour available. There is no charge to see the museum or the sculpture park. If you ask me, free is pretty affordable.
The museum is home to the popular Vicky Bakery right on the building's first floor, and there are endless food options all over the FIU campus. So, enjoy the museum and then take a tour of the sculpture park while exploring the campus.
10975 SW 17th St Miami, FL 33199
Tuesday - Sunday
11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Closed Mondays & Most Legal Holidays
Free for everyone
The Bass Art Museum
The Bass, in Miami Beach, is housed in an Art Deco building from the 1930s that recently underwent a two-year, $12 million renovation. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. After its recent renovation, there are eight galleries for a total of 12,800-sq-ft of exhibition space, a cafe, and museum store. The museum is small but has a well curated collection of international contemporary art.
Included in the museum's collection are European paintings and sculptures from the 1400s to the present. Also found are 7th to 20th-century textiles, tapestries, ecclesiastical vestments as well as prints, drawings, and photographs from the Americas and Asia.
2100 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Wednesdays-Sundays: 12:00pm - 5:00pm
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Seniors (65+) $8
Students (with valid college/university ID) $8
Youth (7 – 18) $8
Children (6 & Under) Free
Miami Beach Residents & City of Miami Beach employees (with valid ID/proof of residence) Free
Active-duty and retired military personnel including one guest* Free
SNAP EBT cardholders (up to 3 guests)** Free
Persons with a disability protected under the ADA (and one caregiver) Free
*The Bass also participates in the Blue Star Museum program in collaboration with the NEA.
**The Bass is a member of the Museums for All program, initiated by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS),
providing free admission to families receiving food assistance benefits.
The Rubell Museum
The Rubell Museum is one of the world’s largest privately owned contemporary art collections. The museum is housed in a 100,000 square-foot building with over 50,000 square-feet of gallery space. There are 36 galleries with 65% dedicated to long-term installations and 35% focused on special exhibitions.
The museum includes public spaces for performances and events, a 40,000-volume art library, and a museum store. Enjoy the culinary talents of Chef Mikel Goikolea in Leku, an indoor and al fresco restaurant open for lunch and dinner.
The over 7,000-piece collection includes works by Haring, Basquiat, Hirst, Koons, Sherman, and Warhol. It also boasts an art research library holding 40,000 volumes.
1100 Northwest 23rd Street, Miami, FL 33127
Sun, Wed & Thurs 11:30 am - 5:30 pm
Fri, Sat: 11:30 am - 7:30 pm
Closed on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
Museum Members: Free
Seniors (65+ with ID): $12
Students (with ID) & Youth (7-18): $10
US Veterans: Free
SNAP EBT cardholders plus 3 guests: Free*
Persons with a disability protected under the ADA and one caregiver: Free
*Rubell Museum is a member of the Museums for All program, initiated by the institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), providing free admission to families receiving food assistance benefits. For more information, please visit www.museums4all.org.
The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse
The Margulies Collection is housed in a 50,000 sq-ft building in the Wynwood Art District. The collection showcases photography, videos, paintings, and sculptures from the 20th and 21st century.
The Margulies Collection features works by contemporary artists including Willem de Kooning, Ernesto Neto, Jon Chamberlain, William Eggleston, Cindy Sherman, and many more.
Being located in Wynwood means you'll have murals, galleries, and dining options galore after you've finished your visit to the Margulies.
591 NW 27th St
Miami, FL 33127
October 20th- April 30th
State of Florida students with ID: Free
All other students: $5
de la Cruz Collection
The de la Cruz Collection is housed in a 30,000-square-foot building in the Miami Design District. The collection showcases international contemporary art exhibits and public programming including lectures and artist-led workshops.
The de la Cruz Collection features works by contemporary artists including Patricia Ayres, Mark Bradford, Agustín Cárdenas, Salvador Dalí, Peter Doig, Mark Grotjahn, Rachel Harrison, Shara Hughes, Wifredo Lam, Chemu Ng’ok, Paulina Olowska, Manfred Pernice, Sterling Ruby, Diego Singh, Su Su, Ilona Szwarc, Rufino Tamayo, Kyle Thurman, Jonas Wood, and Christopher Wool.
23 NE 41st St
Miami, FL 33137
1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Wednesday–Sunday: 10am–6pm (Friday 9pm)
Holiday closings: New Year's Eve at 6pm, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day,
Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving,
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day
Florida residents: FREE
Visitors with disabilities and their accompanying caregiver: FREE
Children under 6: FREE
Students, faculty, and staff of the State University System of Florida: FREE
Seniors, students with ID, and children 6–18: $8
* Free Fridays, 6–9pm every week
City parking between Washington and Pennsylvania Avenues on 12th Street
Collins Avenue at 7th and 13th Streets, and Drexel Avenue at 12th Street
A lot on Washington Avenue at 10th Street next to the Washington Park Hotel
Metered street parking is available along Washington.
Gary Nader Art Centre
The Gary Nader Art Centre in Wynwood is a 55,000 sq-ft contemporary art showcase that over the years has included works by Basquiat, Bermudez, Botero, Goldin, Hirst, Lam, Lichtenstein, Manet, Matisse, Miro, Monet, Picasso, Warhol, and many others.
The exhibition spaces are divided into three distinct parts: Gary Nader Private Collection, the Exhibition Gallery, and the Sculpture Park. This is the largest private gallery in the world.
Mon–Sat: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
There are many wonderful museums in the South Florida area. The following is a small list of other popular museums to consider visiting. They cover a varied subject matter from contemporary, Cuban, Haitian, graffiti, decorative arts, and much more.
This post is part 1 of 4 on the Miami Art Scene. The following parts of this series will explore art galleries, art festivals & events, art districts and their related art walks and gallery nights. If you love art, Miami and South Florida have endless options for year-long discovery. Comment below with any of your favorites that we may have missed.
Archbishop John C. Favalora Archive & Museum
ICA / Institute of Contemporary Art
Lowe Art Museum
Museum of Art and Design / Miami Dade College
Museum of Contemporary Art / MOCA
Museum of Graffiti
Norton Museum of Art (West Palm Beach)
NSU Art Museum (Fort Lauderdale)
The Cuban / American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora
Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts / WMODA (Dania Beach)
Haitian Heritage Museum
MAC Art (Fort Lauderdale)
Boca Raton Museum of Art (Boca Raton)
Center for Visual Communication
Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation
Doral Contemporary Art Museum - DORCAM
Remember: The dates, times, and information presented are accurate as of the date the post is written. We advise that before you visit any museum, make sure to visit the location's website or call for current information. Museum hours, exhibits, opening & closing dates, etc. may change.