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Mera and Don Rubell
Mera and Don Rubell
Photo by Chi Lam

Rubell Museum to Open in Allapattah in December

When the Rubell Family Collection left its longtime Wynwood home of 26 years, it marked the end of an era.

This coming December, a new era begins for the family of art collectors when the Rubell Museum opens in Allapattah.

The Rubells announced today that the new home for their 7,200-work collection will open just in time for Art Basel. The Selldorf Architects-designed space at 1100 NW 23rd St. is a significant size upgrade from the former Wynwood location and spans 100,000 square feet.

"The Rubell Family Collection has formally been renamed the Rubell Museum to emphasize its public mission," a statement explains, "and welcome audiences to see its contemporary art."

That welcoming mission is reflected in the new museum breakdown. Eighty percent of the Rubell Museum, containing 53,000 square feet of galleries, will be accessible to the public. Slightly more than half of the exhibition space will be devoted to long-term installations, and 35 percent will be dedicated to special exhibitions. All work on display will be drawn from the Rubells' collection, which the family has been building since 1965.

Also included is an art research library billed as "the most extensive in South Florida," comprising 40,000 titles. The museum will also host performances and special events in 8,700 square feet of customizable spaces. Following trends in contemporary art museums, the Rubell Museum will also offer a retail store and an indoor/outdoor restaurant overlooking a garden courtyard.

The former home of the Rubell Family Collection in Wynwood.
The former home of the Rubell Family Collection in Wynwood.
Rubell Family Collection

Don and Mera Rubell began collecting art 54 years ago and relocated to Miami in 1990. Three years later, the family opened the Rubell Family Collection in a former DEA warehouse at 95 NW 29th St. in Wynwood. They used the space to house the collection of works they'd amassed over 28 years. Today the Rubells' collection includes works by artists with household names such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman, Keith Haring, and Jeff Koons, many of which were acquired early in the artists' careers. The Rubells continue to support emerging artists, including many Miami natives.

Coinciding with Miami Art Week, the December 4 opening of the Rubell Museum will take place just one day before Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 opens. The Rubells' annual openings ranked among Art Week's most compelling events when they were held in Wynwood, showing exhibits such as a Purvis Young retrospective and "No Man's Land," an exhibition of artwork created exclusively by women. With a new museum to debut and more than 8,000 square feet of space to put on a show, this year's opening is poised to one-up them all.

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