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You can now virtually tour these Miami museums for free

Virginia Gil
Written by
Virginia Gil

If there’s one thing we’ve learned while social-distancing is that we don’t visit Miami’s cultural institutions enough. Right now, we miss the days we almost went to PAMM, or drove by the Bass but wound up at Sweet Liberty instead. We’re lucky our cherished local museums don’t hold grudges and continue to welcome us back, albeit virtually, to entertain and educate us while we’re home. Ready to explore? Just follow the links below.  

Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami

MOCA goes virtual with two exhibitions by female artists: Cecilia Vicuña’s “Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen” and French-Mexican Surrealist Alice Rahon’s “Poetic Invocations”. Browse the full collections on a guided walk through the virtual exhibition space, featuring 360-degree scans of all the works and object labels. Plus, each week, MOCA highlights a past show on social media with original images, videos and texts. Be sure to check out MOCA on Instagram and Facebook for the latest.

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Institute of Contemporary Art

The Design District museum has always been free and it’s always put its best content online, we were just too busy to notice. Browse through a treasure trove of digital media, dating back to its very first exhibition when ICA opened five years ago. There are behind-the-scenes footage, performance recordings and audio files that take you inside years of curating and collating. A must-see according to artistic director Alex Gartenfeld: new videos following Guadalupe Maravilla’s project, which show the artist engaging with the complex issues and identities of immigrants in the US. This week, the museum introduces a free online arts education program, featuring videos, DIY crafts and art lessons based around real works at the museum.

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Frost Science

Frost Science@Home is the museum’s digital platform, offering visitors access to educational materials, DIY science activities and behind-the-scenes content. Frost’s rehabilitated loggerhead turtle, Miko, even makes an appearance online. Parents looking for more informative resources to keep their kids busy will want to dive into the museum’s extensive programming.

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The Bass 

The South Beach museum parties on, taking its beloved workshops and current exhibitions online with virtual tours and classes. Parents, peep the Bass’ online Art Camp From Home and stay tuned to its new Instagram account, @TheBassCreativityCenter, for daily streaming educational content. The museum’s latest exhibition, "Montages: The Full Cut, 1999–2015," is on view at @TheBassSquared and features eight films by Tracey Moffatt and her longtime collaborator, Gary Hillberg. Shown for the first time digitally, the videos highlight themes of childhood trauma and early life memories. 

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Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Miami’s most popular mansion is closed temporarily, but you can still experience its sights and sounds at home. Both on Instagram and on Vizcaya’s website, guests can embark on virtual tours, watch past performances and browse previous exhibitions. Looking for something more hands-on? Download the Vizcaya coloring book and bring the museum to life your way.

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Perez Art Museum Miami

PAMM’s new digital space operates much like the museum IRL, offering lectures with art critics and people in the community and virtual tours with artists. Plus, its beloved Free Second Saturday event goes online with family art activities to keep your little ones busy and engaged. Lectures and tours are broadcast on PAMM’s Facebook page while Second Saturday goes down on Instagram.

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The Downtown institution launched an on-demand program to showcase its range of mixed-medium projects and exhibitions. Listen to local residents tell fascinating stories about life in the 305, scroll through endless black-and-white photos of a bygone Miami and engage in talks, tours and digital scavenger hunts on its HistoryMiami's Instagram and website.

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Deering Estate

No word yet on when the Deering Estate’s grounds will be open for strolling, but you can virtually visit its famed mansion right now. Behind Closed Doors is the museum’s Facebook video series that takes viewers through Charles Deering’s former home. Hosted by one of the property’s guides, each episode focuses on a different area of the home and Deering’s life in Miami, from the cellar he kept during Prohibition times to the art he collected.

Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

The museum’s new exhibition, "Judith Leiber: Master Craftsman," gets the virtual treatment with an immersive online experience that takes visitors through the designer’s decades-long career. Featuring ornately beaded bags on loan from South Florida socialites and vintage pieces from the Leiber Collection in New York, the collection spans from the 1960s with the designer’s first creations through 1993, when she sold the company to a private equity firm and later retired in 1998. Private and group tours of the virtual exhibit are available.  

Judith Lieber at Jewish Museum-FIU
Photograph: Courtesy Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

Bonnet House

Suddenly going somewhere in Broward isn’t as a hassle after all. Take a stroll through this vintage beauty tucked away in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District, exploring its first floor while learning about the 100-year-old estate’s former tenants, the Birch/Bartlett family. Enjoy a delightful viewing experience of history, architecture and art on this virtual tour.

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