To find beauty in Miami, one has only to look at the sky, or, if you can be discreet, the crowds on the beach. (There’s always the Miami art deco district too.) Yet the Miami gallery scene has far more to offer the amateur aesthete, thanks to its cheery patronage of the fine arts. Every year, hordes of art amateurs, connoisseurs and collectors descend for a dose of the best Miami art they can find—crowding Miami galleries and museums to clap eyes on everything from the Old Masters to emerging artists. Some also venture to community art fairs, boutiques and art stores, or the annual Art Basel Miami Beach, to snap up some oeuvres of their own.
Great places to see art
The Bass is the centerpiece of Miami Beach’s "cultural campus." The core of the building is the old Miami Beach public library, originally built in 1930. After an $8m renovation it now boasts vastly expanded facilities. In addition to pieces from the museum’s own permanent collection (including European Old Masters, rococo court paintings...
The Margulies Collection is a giant of the scene. It showcases contemporary and vintage photography, video, sculpture and installations from prominent Miami collector Martin Z Margulies. A recent airing of his sculpture collection included pieces by Miró, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein; photography features the likes of Cindy Sherman and Walker Evans.Read more
Aiming to be a forward-thinking museum and to discover new artists, MOCA (or, even more cutely, MoCaNoMi) maintains an active schedule, presenting up to ten exhibitions each year in its Charles Gwathmey-designed structure. MOCA's permanent collection now numbers more than 350 works from artists such as John Baldessari...Read more
One of the country’s top private collections of contemporary art, this is a bold assortment of avant-garde work: conceptual art, photography, sculpture and painting are all represented. Owned by brother and sister Jason and Jennifer Rubell, the collection features important works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst. It’s located in a former DEA confiscation center...Read more
Incongruous, unlikely and bizarre, Vizcaya is also an utter delight. An Italian Renaissance-style villa and gardens set on Biscayne Bay, it was built by F Burrall Hoffman, Diego Suarez and Paul Chalfin for Chicagoan industrialist and committed Europhile James Deering from 1914 to 1916. And a wildly extravagant spot it is too. Not only architecturally: the place is crammed with European antiques and works of decorative...Read more
Launched during Art Basel, what began as a few commissioned murals to beautify the area has morphed into the city’s only outdoor street art park, featuring more than 40 murals from a roster of world-renowned artists, including Shepard Fairey, Ryan McGuinness, Kenny Scharf, How and Nosm, Faile, Retna, the Date Farmers and Liqen...
Known for its Latin American and 20th-century American art, FIU’s museum is housed in a striking building designed by Yann Weymouth of HOK, the prestigious architectural firm. An airy, three-story atrium leads to nine different galleries, which show six to eight exhibitions each year, exploring traditional themes from a contemporary perspective. Past exhibitions include a groundbreaking show on Haitian sculpture...Read more
The only museum in the area with a notable collection of Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities, the Lowe also features the Kress Collection of Renaissance and baroque art, plus galleries of pre-Colombian, Asian, African, Native American, European and American work. The European collection includes pieces by Monet and Gauguin; the south-west Indian art collection contains textiles, baskets and other utilitarian objects; and the Art of Asia gallery has objects from China, Korea, Japan and South Asia.Read more
With a collection of works from such artists as Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Frank Stella and Ana Mendieta, not to mention some high-caliber traveling exhibitions, this relatively young museum (formerly Miami Art Museum) is worth a look. Family-friendly interactive programs bring art home: during free Second Saturday (of the month) programs, museum teachers lead families in hands-on activities inspired by the works on display, while Third Thursdays play host to evenings of music and entertainment.Read more