Explore the Bass Art Museum

Lawn and Miami Mountain sculpture at The Bass

The Bass

Front entrance of The Bass

The Bass

Ugo Rondinone's Miami Mountains

Ugo Rondinone's Miami Mountains

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By: Shayne Benowitz

The Bass returned to South Beach’s Collins Park after a two-year, $12 million renovation in 2017. The Bass, Miami Beach’s longtime contemporary art museum, has re-opened after a two-year, $12 million renovation. Set inside a landmark Art Deco building from the 1930s on the National Register of Historic Places, it was originally the Miami Beach Public Library & Art Center designed by Russell Pancoast. The museum opened in 1964 thanks to a donation from the private collection of John and Johanna Bass to the City of Miami Beach. The latest renovations by architects Arata Isozaki and David Gauld expand the building’s internal structure to create nearly 50 percent more programmable space while maintaining the building’s exterior footprint.

New Acquisitions

Guided by Silvia Karman Cubiñá, Executive Director and Chief Curator, and George Lindemann, Board President, The Bass launched a ten-year initiative to grow the museum’s permanent collection holdings of international contemporary art. The initiative was inaugurated by the acquisition of two public art pieces currently on display in the museum’s adjacent Collins Park. The works include Rondinone’s “Miami Mountain (2016),” a totem of five massive, limestone boulders, each painted a different neon color - blue, yellow, orange, red and pink, and Sylvie Fleury’s “Eternity Now (2015),” a neon sign on the building’s facade. Most recently, The Bass also acquired “Petrified Petrol Pump (Pemex II) (2011)” by Puerto Rico-based duo Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, which will be on display in a new gallery when the museum reopens in October.

The New Space

With 12,800-square-feet of exhibition space, the renovated Bass presents four new galleries for a total of eight. Six galleries are located on the first floor and two on the second. They will display temporary exhibitions, artist projects and works from the permanent collection. The museum will boast a new café and museum shop, as well as updates to the courtyard, restrooms, stairways and elevators. There’s a new 5,200-square-foot Creativity Center wing designated for educational programming. This full-service wing boasts two classrooms, a multimedia lab, outdoor terrace, as well as administrative offices and a reception lobby. When The Bass reopens in October, it will be greeted with great fanfare by delighted patrons eager for this Miami Beach institution to take its place once again in South Beach’s beautiful Collins Park.

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