Place
Bass Museum
museum in Miami Beach, Florida
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Bass Museum
museum in Miami Beach, Florida
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2100 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida
United States

soesterling's picture

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The Bass Museum of Art houses everything from Renaissance to Contemporary art and it's just a few blocks from Miami Beach. 

The museum was founded in 1963 when just two people, husband and wife John and Johanna Bass, donated their collection to the City. With over 500 pieces the collection is one of the most comprehensive gifts of European art in the region. Sounds impressive right? Well, what sounds awesome to us art plebs started as a bit of a joke. I guess in their eagerness to put together a comprehensive collection the couple may have bought and thusly donated a few pieces of questionable origin. When the place opened they proudly displayed the Mona Lisa… yeah, THE Mona Lisa along with a few obvious fakes “by” El Greco and Botticelli just to name a few. How these fakes got past the Basses AND the museum curator I have no idea, but luckily they have been pruned out and visitors can be assured that anything on display is genuine. 

Though the museum got a bit of a rocky start it is now a staple of Miami Beach. In 2002, it doubled in size, adding large park areas and exhibition spaces. Rumors abound of a merger with North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art but legal issues and push back from the public have stalled negotiations. Until the merger you’ll just have to content yourself with the museum’s awesomely low admission ($8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $0 for kids and students), free lectures, free family days, symphonies, and educational programs. The museum itself will be closed until Fall of 2016 for renovations to make it even more fabulous, but they are still hosting a bunch of cool stuff around the community! Check the calendar on their website to get up to date info on all the cool activities at this Magic City museum.  

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Bass Museum

The Bass Museum of Art is a contemporary art museum located in Miami Beach, Florida in the United States. The Bass Museum of Art was founded in 1963 and opened in 1964.

History

Early years

John Bass (1891-1978) and Johanna Redlich (m. Feb. 21, 1921) were Jewish-immigrants from Vienna, Austria who resided in Miami Beach. As President of the Fajardo Sugar Company of Puerto Rico, John Bass was also an amateur journalist, artist (namely painting and etching) and composer of published music. Mr. Bass collected both fine art and cultural artifacts, including a sizeable manuscript collection that now lives in the Carnegie Hall Archives. In 1963, the couple bequeathed a collection of more than 500 works, including Old Master paintings, textiles and sculptures to the City of Miami Beach, under the agreement that a Bass Museum of Art would remain open to the public in perpetuity. The museum opened its doors on April 7, 1964. John Bass directed the museum from its founding until his death in 1978.

Expansion

In 1980, art historian Diane Camber was hired as Executive Director of the museum. For the next thirty years, Camber worked to professionalize museum operations, obtain AAM accreditation, produce scholarly exhibitions and successfully run a capital campaign for a building expansion, developing the museum into a significant cultural institution. Renovations took place in 2001, and the building expansion was inaugurated with the exhibition Globe Miami Island in 2002.

Current Leadership

In 2009, George Lindemann, Jr. became President of the Board of Directors and Silvia Karman Cubiñá was appointed as Executive Director. Aligning with rapid urban development of City of Miami Beach, support from the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation and the success of Art Basel Miami Beach, the museum converted to a 501c3 non-profit corporation.

In 2013, the museum announced a $7.5 million grant from the City of Miami Beach to begin a second phase of transformation and expansion. The museum closed for construction in May 2015 and re-opened on October 29, 2017.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Bass Museum.