The arts and the people who contribute to them in every medium are the most vibrant expression of how Miami celebrates and views itself. While the city has seen the growth of a major collection of venues for that cultural expression in downtown Miami, the arts and artists in every shape and form also remain a vital element in the communities beyond. Large or small, national in outreach or just locally based, they all provide an access point to the many and diverse creative influences that continue to shape Miami.

The Bass Museum of Art

The Bass Museum of Art is home to a year-round calendar of exhibitions that connect contemporary art and its classic collections.

City to World, Contemporary to Classic

It may not always be so apparent, but Miami is truly home to a phenomenal range of old and new world legacies – in its architectural landscape, in its dining and entertainment diversity, but also in the variety of its curation of the arts. In the latter category, nowhere juxtaposes the old and new through some of the finest examples of each than does the Bass Museum of Art.

Stretching across two city blocks just a short walk from busy Collins Avenue, the Bass Museum of Art offers a dynamic year-round calendar of exhibitions exploring the connections between contemporary art and works of art from its permanent collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture, textiles, Apulian Vessel Gallery and Egyptian Gallery. The activity that happens under the Museum’s roofs is multi-faceted: artists’ projects, educational programs, lectures, concerts and free family days complement the works on view. Founded in 1963 when the City of Miami Beach accepted a collection of Renaissance and Baroque works of art from collectors John and Johanna Bass, the collection was housed in an Art Deco building designed in 1930 by Russell Pancoast. Architect Arata Isozaki designed an addition to the museum between 1998 and 2001 that doubled its size to 35,000 square feet.

Most recently, the museum selected internationally acclaimed Oppenheim Architecture + Design to lead its first phase of design and renovation tied to the 2010 completion of Miami Beach’s Collins Park. Oppenheim redesigned and relocated the museum’s arrival area to flow from and into the new park on Collins Avenue.

New at the Bass

Along with the excellent variety of permanent works of both New and Old World origin on display here, the Museum has a number of visiting exhibits at any given time that make more visits here always worthwhile. Its latest exhibition, Erwin Wurm: Beauty Business, making its debut during Art Basel Miami Beach 2011 with art and sculpture by artist Erwin Wurm. Wurm, an artist living and working in Vienna, combines various art forms: sculpture, photography, and performance into a uniquely personal view of the everyday world. Drawing on history, humor, and philosophy, Wurm creates light-hearted artworks with at times serious messages. His new sculptural works which have a grand theatrical scale and were created specifically for this exhibition, invite the viewer to interact and participate. Wurm’s smaller-scale Drinking Sculpture series asks the audience to engage and they literally do; it is a bar. The viewer can open drawers and interact with the piece.

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The Rubell Family Collection

An expansive yet intimate collection of contemporary art in a mid-Miami arts neighborhood proves both a pleasing and provocative encounter.

The Wolfsonian-FIU Museum

The Wolfsonian is a museum, library, and research center in Miami Beach, home to objects that illustrate the persuasive power of art and design and tell the story of social, political, and technological changes that transformed our world.