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8 Popular Contemporary Art Museums in Miami

Feb 21st, 2022

Miami is a hotspot for art, especially contemporary art, in South Florida. 

From contemporary art to Jewish artifacts to erotic art and more, here are some of Miami’s most popular art museums around.

South Florida’s 8 hottest modern art museums

The Bass

Contemporary art

Location: 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

The Bass Museum of Art started out as a donation of over 500 pieces from the personal collection of John and Johanna Bass to the City of Miami Beach back in 1963. John Bass, the wealthy president of the Fajardo Sugar Company in Puerto Rico, was an amateur artist himself who had a deep appreciation for textiles, sculptures and Old Master paintings. The couple donated their collection on the condition that the museum would forever be open to the public, and since its opening in 1964, it has continued to amaze and impress its visitors through its contemporary and immersive installations.

The Bass features an impressive collection of permanent and temporary contemporary exhibits alongside its more classical pieces. Walking through the spacious interior and sprawling grounds, visitors will find that every space is carefully utilized to display installations that are interactive and thought-provoking and that range from bright pop art to introspective landscaping. 

Institute of Contemporary Art Miami

Contemporary Art

Location: 61 NE 41st St., Miami

Miami’s Design District is home to the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), the city’s favorite free museum.

Here you will find temporary and permanent exhibits that will knock your figurative socks off with their quality and depth, giving the museum a laundry list of fantastic exhibitions one after another that are one-hundred percent free for the public to enjoy. After all, isn’t that what art is all about? 

Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

Jewish Art

Location: 301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach

This history-rich museum paints a bright, colorful picture of Miami’s Jewish population, as well as Jewish culture from around the Caribbean. 

The museum, which is housed in an old SoFi synagogue built Art-Deco style in the 1930s, displays rich exhibitions of history, culture and art, as well as featuring artists and communities specific to Miami. Here, you will find photos, artifacts and pieces that tell the story of Jews in Florida from as far back as 1763, all alongside emerging artists and figures who represent their communities today.

Lowe Art Museum

Historical Art

Location: 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables

Miami is a hub for contemporary art, definitely, but the Lowe Art Museum chooses to look back to the past and the people, cultures and landscapes that shaped not just Florida, but the entire world. 

Tucked away on the University of Miami’s campus is this small but globally renowned collection of historical art from around the world, including ancient pieces from Africa and Asia, renaissance collections from Europe, traditional artifacts from Native American peoples and, occasionally, contemporary works from the region.

Museum of Graffiti

Street Art

Location: 299 NW 25th St., Miami

Having only opened in 2019, this Wynwood museum has made quite the entrance into Miami’s art scene, especially considering Miami’s tense history with taggers and graffiti artists.

Back in the late 1990s, a tagging duo named Crook and Crome made a name for themselves tagging throughout Miami and evading Miami’s finest at every turn. Until, that is, Crook was caught and sent to court with a request for a $1 million bond. The entire case fell through when it was discovered that the authorities had searched the artist’s apartment without a warrant, and the graffiti duo were free to rampage through the city once again. 

Today, the Museum of Graffiti celebrates the contribution street artists have had to Miami’s culture, featuring artists old and new through a one-of-a-kind museum experience right in Wynwood, the heart of street art in Miami.

Wilzig Erotic Art Museum

Erotic art

Location: 1205 Washington Ave., Miami Beach

Just as the name implies, this small museum has more unique and, well, R-rated content than most other museums might. 

This museum certainly packs a punch for its size, however, housing a truly impressive collection of erotic art from around the world. Founder Naomi Wilzig opened the museum in 2005 to display over 4,000 erotic art items she personally collected, with pieces ranging from historic artifacts from Ancient Rome to surrealist pieces by Salvador Dali to props right off the set of “A Clockwork Orange.” 

Whatever type of art you’re into, there’s certainly something for everyone to see here, for sure. 

The Wolfsonian-FIU

Functional art and design

Location: 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach

This unique museum offers a glimpse into the overlap of art and functionality in our world, a field which we often overlook as being art at all.

Think furniture, graphic design, advertisements, propaganda, stairs, book covers, development plans, ships and more, all of which are built to be used but which all have been carefully designed to appease the senses. The museum itself is housed in one of Miami Beach’s famous Art Deco structures on Washington street, further exemplifying how functional art is just as much a part of the art world as any other kind is. 

Young at Art Museum

Children’s art

Location: 751 SW 121st Ave., Davie

What’s a children’s museum, but at the same time, not a children’s museum? But at the same time, is?

The Young at Art Museum challenges artists, successful and renowned for work in all spheres of the art world, to create art that children can interact with. The art must be interactive, must be touched, must evoke a sense of wonder and, maybe most difficult of all, appeal to kids of all ages. 

The result is a museum filled with exhibits that push artists to put their creations into a new perspective and defy what it means to make art, while at the same time giving children an opportunity to interact with art in a way they may have never done before. 

Next time you’re looking for an interesting museum to go to, check out some of these artsy spots close to our luxury South Florida apartments and find something you've never seen before! Miami has such a vibrant art community, and these museums certainly exemplify that to the max. 


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Featured photo courtesy Pixabay/Peggy_Marco 

Author of Article

Colleen Ford is a South African who now lives in Spokane, Washington. She loves to travel, camp (in warm weather) and bake.

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