In South Florida, particularly in Miami, there are a number of top-rated art museums that anyone can visit. Here, we’ll share a few with you so you know where to start on your trip through Miami’s many fine art museums.
Whatever your taste in art, the best museums in Miami have something that is sure to please. From contemporary works to sculptures, historical collections, photographs, and gardens, South Florida galleries have earned international recognition and praise for their varying works representing Miami culture and history. If you are planning a trip down to the southern coast for the happening nightlife and white-sand beaches, make sure you save a little bit of time to explore at least a couple of these top art museums in Miami.
1. Pérez Art Museum Miami
Known to the locals and frequent visitors as PAMM, the Perez Art Museum Miami, located between Arsht Center and the American Airlines Arena, is more than just a gallery of phenomenal modern and contemporary works of art. The facility offers interactive programs for families that include hands-on, art-inspired activities, music, and theatrical performances.
Notable upcoming events and exhibitions at Pérez Museum include:
- May 18: Screening of Haitian film “Liberty in a Soup”
- May 26: Exhibition by artist John Dunkley entitled “Neither Day nor Night”
- June 8, 2017-April 8, 2018: Contemporary Cuban art exhibit of works from the Jorge M. Perez collection
General admission to museum is $16 for adults and $12 for seniors, students, and youth. Every second Saturday and first Thursday of the month, admission is free for everyone. Self-parking is available to guests for $2 an hour in the PAMM garage, or patrons can choose to park in a nearby public lot.
2. The Bass Museum of Art
The Bass Museum is an international contemporary art museum in Miami Beach showcasing established artists who incorporate the local culture into their work. Much of the focus of the museum is education, and The Bass offers a special program teaching young children about creativity and personal growth through art. It opened its doors in 1964, and was the first public art exhibition space in South Florida. The facility is composed of a store, café, educational facility, and multiple galleries, which include temporary exhibits from artists from around the world, as well as a portion of the original Bass collection.
Upcoming events at the Bass Museum of Art include:
- July 17-Aug. 18: Children’s summer art camp for kids ages 4 to 12
- Fall 2017: “Good Evening Beautiful Blue” exhibition by Swiss mixed-media artist Ugo Rondinone
- Fall 2017: Pascale Marthine Tayou presents “Beautiful” exhibit
The museum is temporarily closed for renovations, but will be open to the public again in the fall of 2017. Until its reopening, art enthusiasts are invited to visit the Miami Beach Regional Library on 22nd Street to view a temporary exhibition space.
3. Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
MOCA is located in North Miami and was founded in 1981 to bring the best of contemporary art and its history to underserved audiences. The facility presents work from newly discovered artists, examines the influence of masters in the space, and educates the public on the area’s culture. Eight to 10 exhibits come to the museum each year, including three galleries or multi-media presentations from up-and-coming or experimental artists. MOCA showcases these temporary exhibits throughout the year, as well as about 600 permanent works that live at the museum full time.
Interesting events happening at MOCA in the coming months include:
- June 8-Aug. 6: South Florida Cultural Consortium with an artists reception June 15
- June 12-Aug. 18: Five 2-week sessions of summer camp for children with Dynamic Design and Creative Arts classes
- Sept. 7-Nov. 5: “Caribbean Contempo” exhibit from Edouard Duval-Carrie, with an artist reception Sept. 14
MOCA is open Tuesday through Friday and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, and free for children under 12, MOCA members, North Miami residents, veterans, and city employees. Free parking is offered to the east, west and south sides of the museum, which is located between NE 7th Avenue and NE 8th Avenue on NE 125th Street.
4. Lowe Art Museum
Nestled right in the middle of the University of Miami’s campus, Lowe Art Museum is home to a variety of Native American, ancient Egyptian, Renaissance and Baroque, Asian, and European originals. The facility opened in 1950, when it began as a display crossing three classrooms. It is the oldest art museum in Miami. Top works in the 17,500-piece collection include paintings from Claude Monet, African sculptures from 500 BCE, Asian costumes, medieval manuscripts, and the Samuel H. Kress Collection.
If you are visiting Lowe in the next few months, check out the following events and exhibits:
- May 17: Sip & Sketch class with University of Miami professor Jackie Gopie
- June 22: Opening reception for Walter Wick exhibit “Games, Gizmos, and Toys in the Attic”
- Until April 1, 2018: ArtLab @ the Lowe featuring works surrounding a fish theme
Lowe Art Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The cost of general admission for anyone over the age of 12 is $12.50, while students and seniors are admitted for $8. Children under 12, Lowe members, UM students/staff, and military personnel can visit the museum for free. The facility is located about 5 miles south of Miami in Coral Gables.
5. Gary Nader Art Centre
Named for Dominican art expert Gary Nader, the Art Centre has been promoting Latin American artwork since 1985. It is the biggest private gallery in the world at 55,000 square feet of exhibitions, which include Nader’s private collection, Sculpture Park, and the Exhibition Gallery.
Presentations include pieces from renowned international modern and contemporary artists, such as:
- Andy Warhol
- Claude Monet
- Henri Matisse
- Wilfredo Lam
- Fernando Botero
- Pablo Picasso
Gary Nader’s museum is located in Midtown in the Wynwood Art District, just north of downtown Miami. The gallery is open to the public Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free for everyone.
6. Wynwood Walls and Wynwood Art Walk
The warehouse district of Wynwood was revamped into a magnificent street-art display in 2009. All the windowless buildings became canvases for some of the best graffiti artists from around the world. Over 50 artists from 16 countries have created murals on more than 80,000 square feet of the Wynwood Walls. Along with the street art, the Wynwood district is home to more than 60 art galleries. To encourage visitors to discover the many works exhibited, the second Saturday of every month gives people the opportunity to explore the Miami art scene, as well as enjoy food trucks, live music, and local restaurants.
If you are interested in guided tours of the Wynwood Art District, there are a few options at different price points, either by foot or cart. When exploring the art walk on your own, the prime area for viewing is between 20th Street and 36th Street, from NW 2nd Avenue to NE 2nd Avenue. Parking on the street is easiest before 7 p.m., but the best time to walk Wynwood is between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
7. Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
ICA Miami has been delivering unique and exploratory contemporary art to the local community since 2014 through a variety of exhibition galleries. Its permanent collection includes paintings, sculptures, mixed media, photography, and video, among others, from significant artists. The Miami art museum also runs multiple interactive educational programs:
- ICA Ideas: Provides greater meaning to the exhibits on display at the museum while promoting creativity and interaction outside of presentations
- ICA Speaks: Features artists from the museum’s permanent collection of works and encourages exchanging art and ideas
- ICA Performs: Allows performance artists to debut original works and cultivates new creative expressions
- ICA Residents: Makes connections between innovative organizations, artists, and the community to boost public programs and drive new ideas
The museum is currently located in the Moore Building off of NE 2nd Avenue, but will be moving to a new home in Miami’s Design District Dec. 1 of this year. The facility will include more than 20,000 square feet of exhibit space and a 15,000 square-foot public sculpture garden. The next major exhibition at ICA is “The Everywhere Studio,” which is a collection of about 100 pieces from more than 50 artists. The exhibit begins Dec. 1, 2017, and runs until Feb. 26, 2018, at the new location. Admission to ICA is always free.
8. Rubell Family Collection
The types of work on display as part of the Rubell Family Collection include photography, painting, conceptual art, and sculpture. The museum was established in 1964 in New York City, but was moved to a former DEA confiscation center in 1993 by Jason and Jennifer Rubell. It is one of the world’s biggest private contemporary art collections and features work from internationally-known artists, such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Kara Walker, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Schedule your trip to see the Rubell Collection during one of the current exhibitions:
- Until Aug. 25, 2017: “High Anxiety: New Acquisitions”
- Until Aug. 25, 2017: “New Shamans/Novos Xamas: Brazillian Artists”
The Rubell location in the Wynwood Art District is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and offers a free tour at 3 p.m. each day. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and free for military members and children under 18.
With so many fantastic art museums and galleries in Miami, it’s no wonder its art scene is quickly making a name for itself. Visit one of these memorable options on your next trip to South Florida for an experience that is sure to impress.