C U R AT O R ’ S C O R N E R
T H E RUB E L L FAM I LY CO L L E C T I ON A NEW NAME AND HOME I N MI AMI
T he rubell family collection began 55 years ago when Don was in medical school and Mera was teaching at Head Start, and continues to follow the same practices today, now with their son Jason at the helm. They acquired their first work after a studio visit and were only able to do so by paying on a modest weekly installment plan. Art became the Rubells’ passion and, since that first acquisition in 1964, they’ve built one of the most significant and far-ranging collections of contemporary art in the world, now encompassing 7,200 works by more than 1,000 artists—and still growing. The collection is further distinguished by the diversity and geographic distribution of artists represented within it, and the depth of its holdings of seminal artists. In 1993, their passion became their mission with the opening of the Rubell Family Collection/ Contemporary Art Foundation in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, which pioneered a new model for sharing private collections with the public and spurred the development of the neighborhood as one of the leading art and design districts in the U.S. Originally launched as the Rubell Family Collection, the museum has been renamed the Rubell Museum to emphasize its public mission and welcome audiences to see its contemporary art.
they were first emerging (often becoming the first collectors to acquire their work) and those who had been overlooked. The new Rubell Museum is located in the Allapattah neighborhood of Miami, less than a mile from its original home in Wynwood. The new space is closer to downtown and readily accessible via public transportation. The Rubell Museum is housed in six former industrial buildings in Allapattah that have been connected and transformed by Selldorf Architects and unfolds on a single level, without stairs or an elevator, to make it accessible to all. Eighty percent of the 100,000-square-foot campus is open to the public and includes 53,000 square feet of gallery space, flexible performance space, an extensive art research library, a bookstore, and an indoor-outdoor restaurant that opens onto a courtyard garden. Designed by La Casona Garden in collaboration with Juan Roselione-Valadez, the garden was conceived of as a restoration project using plants, many now rare and threatened due to habitat loss, native to the Everglades and the Florida Keys. The garden, with its birds and butterflies, creates a welcoming entry to theMuseum. “For more than 50 years we have been on an incredible mission: searching for new art and art that has been overlooked. Now, with the opening
The Rubell Museum’s new campus recently opened with a museum-wide installation of works that chronicle key artists, moments, and movements in vital arts centers over the past 50 years, from the East Village to Beijing, Los Angeles to Leipzig, and São Paulo to Tokyo. The inaugural exhibition encompasses more than 300 works by 100 artists, providing one of the most far- ranging museum exhibitions of contemporary art ever presented. Drawn entirely from their expansive collection of over 7,200 works by more than 1,000 artists, the exhibition features defining and influential works by artists whom the Rubells championed as
of the new Rubell Museum, we will be able to share the remarkable range of art we fell in love with along the way,” states Mera Rubell. “Rather than presenting a single narrative or survey, we wanted to let the many voices that contribute to contemporary art speak for themselves and with each other. In retracing our steps, we hope visitors will discover, as we did, that creativity thrives where artists energize each other’s practices, and wrestle with shared issues and artmaking in new ways.” 1100 Northwest 23rd Street Miami, FL rfc.museum
TOP TO BOTTOM: MERA AND DON RUBELL IN FRONT OF KERSTIN BRÄTSCH’S ARTWORK WHEN YOU SEE ME AGAIN ITWONT BE ME (FROM BROADWAYBRATSCH/CORPORATE ABSTRACTION SERIES), 2010. PHOTO BY CHI LAM.; KEITH HARING, UNTITLED , 1981, ENAMEL ON FIBERBOARD, EACH 48 X 48 IN. (121.9 X 121.9 CM), ACQUIRED IN 1981. © KEITH HARING FOUNDATION
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