Bass Museum of Art

The Bass Museum of Art, located at 2121 Park Avenue (between 21st and 22nd St), in Miami Beach, was established in 1963 with the extensive art collection given by John and Johanna Bass. The original building, designed in 1930 by Russell Pancoast, grandson of John Collins, was designated a historic landmark by the National Register in 1978, as an integral part of the formal gardens of Collins Park. Through permanent and on loan exhibitions, the Bass Museum is now a popular cultural destination in art appreciation and education for the residents and tourists in the Miami area.

Ongoing exhibitions include the Bass collection of Asian art, ceramics, and bronze, with semi-precious stones, from China, Japan, Nepal, and India. Tapestries from the 19th century Italian Renaissance period are also on display, featuring the unique altarpiece by Botticelli and Ghirlandaio. Another gallery at the Museum houses Austrian art in a collection of 18th and 19th century paintings, textiles, and embroidered ecclesiastical needlework. A portrait of Helene von Racowitza, The Valkyrie, by Hans Makart, as well as paintings by Clotaire Bazile, Mestre Didi, Jasmin Josef, and Audes Saul, are among the artwork at the Bass.

The Museum has featured other exhibits such as the Five Fridas, five works created from 1928 to 1951 by Frida Kahlo, and the 16 geometric abstracts of digital photography by Miami’s Tom Schmittt. A display of contemporary art, Constructing New Berlin, which can be viewed through January 2007, has art, photography, painting, sculpture, and film by 18 different artists including Janet Cardiff, George Bures Miller, Thomas Demand, and Frank Thiel.

The Bass Museum, in conjunction with various community and public relations organizations, along with curators and educators, sponsors special events, people, and programs throughout the year, many with a unique, international flavor. The majority of these events are free with museum admission, and only a very few charge an additional fee. Some of the special programs have included foreign language film screenings such as Run Lola Run, from the Sundance Film Festival, and Wings of Desire, a portrayal of the divided city of Berlin by Wim Wenders in German, with English subtitles.

Various additions and renovations have been made to the original building in recent years including modern sculpture terraces surrounded by water, a museum lobby, and museum shop. Some of the most interesting objects d’arte at the Bass are in the outdoor sculptures such as Standing Flower, by Joseph Surls, The Marriage Tree by Dennis Oppenheim, A Perfect Place by Jose Bedia, and War Hero by Carlos Luna.

In addition to individual and family memberships, the Museum also offers an artcrowd membership for the young crowd interested in art, culture, and social gatherings with other professionals, all eager to be a part of the Miami Beach art scene.

Admission: Adults – $8.00, children & seniors – $6.00, members and children under 6 free.
Hours: Tuesday — Saturday, 10:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m., Closed Mondays & Holidays. Docent tours — Saturdays 2:00 p.m. Metered parking on site; discount parking nearby. Wheelchair accessible.

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