“When It Comes to Contemporary Art, Miami Wants More, More, More”In an article by Brett Sokol, the building of contemporary art museums in Miami Florida is discussed. Irma barman, who is a founder and co-chairwoman of the board of the Institute of contemporary art, Miami discusses museums and her institute which will be opening in the design district this December.
I find it so inspiring how she thought of the idea to start this humungous museum just by her husband saying “I’d love to have a museum; I have this piece of land”. It is inspiring and admiring how one’s dreams could be created so instantly and effortlessly. This woman had dreams to open an art museum and just by her husband casually giving the idea, it started to happen. She states how simple the idea came about and started. It helps that her husband is lucky enough to be wealthy enough to have her dream come true, she talks about how he is a Miami auto dealership magnate and has a net worth in the billions. They are also very good friends with Craig Robins, who is one of Miami’s most respected real estate developers. Having connections like Irma does makes all her dreams and aspirations much easier and quicker, but it doesn’t mean that not having connections makes dreams impossible to happen. It is stated in the article that “Three years after that fateful lunch, and $75 million in cash and donated land later, the ICA Miami and its gleaming new three-story building are a reality.
“Their determination and motivation are clear in this sentence. Their dreams of an art museum were big and because of that it happened three years later. This shows that many aspiring art museum owners have a chance as well. If anyone puts their mind to something and tries hard enough it is able to happen. Aside from trying hard having millions and billions in the bank never hurts.
Some were wondering how this area with the second highest poverty rate in the nation could afford going here, but it is in fact free admission to the museum. I really admire the Bramans decision to make their museum free admission. To me this shows that they weren’t in this for profit, or to make money off individuals.
They were in this to share their love of art with others by creating a museum that they were lucky enough to be able to afford to build. It intrigues me that in such a popular and modern city like Miami, there is the second highest poverty rate in the nation. In my opinion it is because of the fun atmosphere that makes most want to spend money on things and activities, and never spend time working. None of tax payers money was used in the making of this museum, which also shows their devotion to just purely making this for others and not trying to take anyone’s money.
Mr. and Mrs. Barman stated that they believe taxpayers money should be used for the needs of their own community before anything else. It was said in the article that hardly a season can pass without the announcement of a new art museum or expansion. This is largely due to Miami’s excitement and attention surrounding the art Basel Miami beach fair. This is largely focused on Basel-style contemporary art. When looking into the art basel in more depth, I learned that it is an art show, ranging from north America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The art shows significant work from talented modern and contemporary art.
It also gives light to the new generation of emerging and aspiring artists. I find this extremely admirable because Art Basel is giving new artists a chance to have their work viewed and admired. The work ranges from paintings, sculptures,installations, photographs, films, and editioned works.
They have a wide variety of different art for each individual own wants and likes. This is immensely smart to do because every art lover has a different type of art that they would prefer to observe. Art basel takes this into consideration and displays a wide range of every type of art. The world’s most popular galleries draw over seventy thousand visitors each year, and offer an entertaining and beautiful week for artists, collectors, art critics and art enthusiasts. But the big question is if Miami can even afford to pay for all of these art museums.
It is interesting that a city that makes so much because of its popularity still struggles with paying for art museums. Many private museums compete for philanthropic funding alongside the city’s public museums. They are mostly showing contemporary art in these museums today.
I find it sad that the museums have to compete for funding but it is necessary for them to do this in order to stay standing and running. I personally think museums are completely necessary for entertainment and education purposes. I think that the museums should all work together financially because they all have a similar cause and to ensure none of them close down. But these questions still do exist: “Are there enough deep-pocketed donors to go around?” And “Just as important, how many contemporary art museums does Miami actually need?” I believe that a place couldn’t have too much educating and entertainment like museums. Especially because it is good clean fun. No alcohol or anything needs to be involved. People having fun, and enjoying themselves with their loved ones and friends. They all come together for a similar interest and cause, to learn and see art.
Unless all the museums decided to join forces for an amazing cause and come together as one humungous, beautiful museum with aspects from each museum into one. Silvia Karman Cubina, the executive director and chief curator at the bass museum of art explains how each museum is competing or the same money, and people to donate to them. “We’re all looking at the samepiles of dollars, we’re all looking at the same corporate sponsors.” This is extremely hard for them because every museum in Miami is competing for donations from the same people. Silvia Karman Cubina is the executive director and chief curator of the bass museum of art. It is more recently changed to be called “the bass”. What it is, is the joining of two other public art museums which are both founded and partially funded by a municipality.
They both rely on a mixture of private donation and tax dollars for funding and annual budgets. There are also many collectors run private museums in Miami. “Not to be forgotten are Miami’s four collector-run private museums, each focused on their owner’s contemporary acquisitions rather than underwriting other art institutions: The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, the de la Cruz Collection, the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse and the Rubell Family Collection. (A fifth is in the works, courtesy of Bruce Berkowitz, the hedge fund owner and devotee of James Turrell.) Each contains works that rival the permanent collections of any of Miami’s public museums” (Sokol2017).
Many are concerned that Miami’s public museums seem to be arguing over any left money or funds that taxpayers possess. “Public transit advocates were left fuming this past September when $500,000 from a legal settlement with Uber was earmarked by Miami-Dade County commissioners for a new group seeking to build an African-American history museum — one whose supporters seem especially interested in showcasing contemporary artists.” Individuals are believing that museum builders and funders are especially and only targeted to help art museums.
Quickly following this event, the new founded museum, American museum of the Cuban Diaspora was founded and mainly focuses on contemporary art. I would be concerned if I was a taxpayer in Miami as well. I believe art is extremely important but I believe every place deserves an equal chance and funds as well. There is also an extreme situation regarding tax money and these Miami museums. “This may be more thanscaremongering: PAMM’s 2015 tax return, the most recent period publicly available, shows it ended that year with expenses exceeding revenue by nearly $5 million.
(The museum, while not disputing the tax return, says the numbers do not reflect the full financial picture.) Many see all this mishap and believe individuals should see this as a warning, to be reminded to keep things modest. Ms. Cubina believes that individuals would be a lot more into funding the bass because of its location. The museum is a block from the ocean and it is continuing to foster a connection with Miami residents because they believe and see it as a museum in their back yard. “Ms. Cubiñá said she hopes the museum’s location, a block from the ocean, continues fostering a connection with potential Miami Beach donors looking to support a museum in their backyard.
And there’s a built-in audience: “Here we have so many people already visiting, going to the beach, or just taking a walk and they bump into us!” (Sokol2017) I agree with this reasoning. A lot of the time when people see something apart of their home or apart of where they hangout or even grow up, they have an attraction and connection to it. This will definitely make individuals want to fund the museum. They do not want the art museum to be seen as theirs though, it’s the community’s museum,” Mr.
Braman states, “It’s just not our style to put our names on the philanthropy we’ve done. It’s not in the Jewish tradition of tzedakah,” of civic responsibility. I think that is very selfless and thoughtful that they want the people to see the museum as one of their own. To feel comftorble enough and that it is not something of someone else’s that they pay for but in fact it is theirs too.
To enjoy and hangout at, to see beautiful art and share common interest with loved ones, family and friends. It is very evident from this article about Miami museums and art basel that Miami deeply values culture. It is very nice to see the owners of these art museums and others involved not doing such actions to take money from tax payers and the individuals who reside in Miami. I think it is amazing that all these people share a commoninterest and whether they are the ones behind making, building, owning or working at the museum, or just people going to enjoy it they all share one thing. The thing these individuals have in common is their interest and deep love for modern contemporary art. A quote that demonstrates this is at PAMM, Mr. Sirmans who stated “We’re a city that values culture,” he said, “What better way to demonstrate that than to make temples to culture?” This is an interesting but accurate way to describe these art museums in my opinion.
Whether a person is coming to Miami for the famous art basel, or to any of their other amazing museums to see a different kind of art, they are going for a reason, their love and desire to see art. What is a better way to show and value this culture than to make museums for it, or “temples” like Mr. sirmans called it. If it wasn’t for these places, Miami would not be the amazing, art culture filled place that it is known for today. Without these art temples a big piece of Miami would be missing, and it would lose a lot of visitors in my opinion. There is no better way to bring people together than doing so by having art and admiring art.
Overall these articles gave great information about detail about Miami’s art culture, and some behind the scenes looks at what it takes to show the amazing art in this city. I hope that one day our communities will realize that education and the spread of art is more important that wasting money on politicians and wasted creations by the government. One thing that I did learn from all of this is that it may not always be easy, but it is definitely worth it.Works Citedhttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/arts/design/institute-of-contemporary-art-miami-miami-