Art Museums in Miami

Pérez Art Museum Miami

What is it? PAMM is a cultural hotspot in more ways than one. Obviously, you’ll find plenty of stunning contemporary art scattered inside the modern museum. But PAMM’s waterfront steps also serve as a meeting point for Miami creatives, hosting events which range from drag shows to Q&As with legendary artists.

Why go? Because even before you walk through the door, PAMM’s interactive outdoor installations will make the trip worth it.

Bass Museum of Art

What is it? The centerpiece of the Collins Park’s, where you’ll find a recently renovated space that includes more exhibition space, four new galleries, a gift shop, café by Thierry Isambert and a new educational facility called the Creativity Center. Outside, you’ll find Ugo Rondinone’s colorful sculpture, Miami Mountain, one of the coolest pieces of public art in the city.

Why go? For the Art After Hours happy hour, which mixes wine with educational workshops. It goes down on select Wednesday. Check the museums’ events calendar to find the next one.

2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

Open Wed-Sun noon-5pm, Fri noon-9pm.
Admission: adults $8, seniors $6, students with ID $6, members/children under 6 free. Group discounts available. Docent tours by appointment.
Parking: metered lot on site and on streets

With a collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, contemporary photography and much, much more, the Bass Museum draws visitors with appetites for the rare and eclectic. Since its founding in 1963, the museum has brought international fine arts straight to Miami Beach and expanded its historical Art Deco building to more than 35,000 sq. ft. Japanese woodblock prints, Asian sculpture and ceramics, Rococo court paintings, 19th century landscapes, Latin American paintings, 16th century French tapestries, and works by Rembrandt, Daumier and Toulouse-Lautrec are just a few of more than 3,000 pieces that make up the Bass’ permanent exhibits. The personal Austrian art collection of museum founder John Bass, an avid collector of objects from his homeland, is also frequently on display. Don’t leave without seeing the outdoor arrangement of contemporary sculptures in bronze, steel, fiberglass and vivid polyester resin or checking out special temporary exhibits, which, in the past, have featured works by Frida Kahlo, Picasso and Matisse.

Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA)

What is it? A museum a bit off the beaten path and more low key than the museums clustered in downtown Miami. You’ll still find big Art Basel debuts and avant-garde exhibitions from international artists here, though.

Why go? For the free, outdoor Jazz at the MOCA, an absolutely charming affair that takes place on the last Friday of the month and is 100 percent free.

770 NE 125th St., North Miami
Open Tue-Fri 11 am-5 pm, Sat 1-9 pm, Sun 11 am-5 pm

Admission: adults $5, seniors/students with ID $3.

MOCA presents a mix of both local and international artists in its galleries. Local emerging artists, including Jose Bedia, Pablo Cano, Hernan Bas, William Cordova, Robert Chambers and Ruben Torres Llorca have been shown here, with highlights of past exhibits including works by Anna Gaskell, Gianni Versace, Pablo Cano and Salvador Dali.

The art starts at the entrance, where a line of palm trees crosses a round reflection pool, now an interactive wishing well. MOCA’s indoor exhibits encompass 1970s film, Mexican modernism, fashion design, architecture, embroidery, animation and much more. Moveable walls in the main gallery allow curators to tailor viewing space to paintings, photography displays, large sculptures and installations of any shape and size.

Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami

What is it? Hip, trendy, sleek and—best of all—free! ICA Miami presents contemporary works and site-specific installations across six galleries and a 15,000-square-foot sculpture garden. You won’t spend hours and hours here but it’s a perfect dose of wonderfully curated works.

Why go? Because not only is the museum great, but the parking garage across the street is perhaps the funkiest building in all of Miami. You’ve really got to see this thing.


What is it? A cultural island flanked by nightclubs and late-night eateries. Its permanent collections offer a fascinating perspective into various historical events told through elements of design: paintings, graphic designs and advertising. It is the perfect place to put away your phone and appreciate the older forms of human rhetoric.

Why go? Because it’s free every Friday from 6 to 9pm—and in Miami Beach, the word “free” is rare.

Address: 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
Phone: 305-531-1001
Web site:
Hours: Daily 10am-6pm (open at noon Sun); until 9pm Thur; free 6-9pm Fri
Admission: adults $7, seniors/students with ID/children 6 -12 $5, Free after 6pm Fridays, members/Miami Beach residents/ children under 6/students, faculty, and staff of the State University System of Florida free
Parking: garages at 7th and 13th streets and Collins Ave ($1/hr) and parking meters along roadsides.

Amid the sun and clamor of South Beach lies the Wolfsonian, an oddball sophisticate among neon clones. Modern-age eclecticism is the museum’s focus, and both permanent and rotating exhibits make use of the Wolf’s vast collection of American and European objects and art produced during the height of the industrial age (1885-1945). Exhibits here examine art and design as they relate to political, social, and technological issues. According to the Wolfsonian, anything from propaganda posters and books to toasters and clocks, is a commentary on, and a product of, the times. Sit down to lunch or dinner at the museum’s cafe and shop, which offers everything from art books to Bush Administration finger puppets.

Lowe Art Museum

What is it? A museum courtesy of the University of Miami. This place was actually the first art museum in Miami (opened in 1950) and paved the way for a number of newcomers and introduced the city to international artists thanks to a number of traveling exhibitions it welcomes annually.

Why go? To stroll Lowe’s lovely sculpture garden on UM’s campus while reminiscing about your own college years.

University of Miami
1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables
Open Tues-Sat 10 am-4 pm and Sun noon-4 pm
Admission: adults $10, students/seniors/adult group tours (10+) $5, student groups (10+) $3, children under 12 and UM students, faculty and staff free
Special days: Lowedown Happy Hour is the first Thursday of each month throughout the academic year. It’s designed to enhance visitors’ appreciation and understanding of the visual arts through thematically-driven programming. Admission to these events is free for members and $10 for non-members. Parking is available at the Pavia Garage.

Founded in 1950, this museum started in three classrooms at the University of Miami. Since then it has amassed over 15,000 pieces of art and moved into its own 2,100-square-foot gallery, serving both the university and the general public. Lowe dedicates itself to education – students and faculty have annual exhibitions and tours engage visitors with questions and open dialogue. But this is more than just a student gallery. Five thousand years of art adorn the halls from the museum’s permanent collection, which boasts Greco-Roman marble statues and painted pottery, Mayan and Incan carvings, Baroque and Renaissance oil paintings, African textiles and an expansive Asian art collection – the baby of museum director Brian Dursum, who is also an Asian curator. There’s also a smaller modern and contemporary collection, including work from American pop artist Roy Lichte nstein and printmaker Frank Stella. Monthly happy hours sponsored by Bacardi offer special tours of exhibits, live music and international cuisine.

Frost Art Museum at FIU

What is it? The Frosts sure like their museums. This one (the only Smithsonian-affiliated art museum in Miami) is on the FIU campus. Permanent collections include African artifacts, pre-Columbian art and a substantial collection of American prints from the 1960s

Why go? Because admission is always free and open to the public.

Coral Gables Museum

What is it? A place where you can learn all about Coral Gables history. The historic building is the former site of the city’s old fire and police stations and will give you some perspective into one of Miami’s most lavish areas. The museum also offers waterway canoe tours on the last Sunday of the month.

Why go? Coral Gables Museum is smack in the middle of the neighborhood’s most vibrant area, which means you can make an afternoon out of the trip.

Address: One E. Las Olas Blvd.
Phone: 954-545-5500
Web site:
Hours: Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Open till 8 p.m. on Thursdays
Admission: Admission $10 for adults; $7 seniors, military and students. Free admission for college students with valid ID and students with a Broward Library card. Free admission the third Thursday of each month with 2 for 1 wine and beer specials. Prices may vary for special exhibitions.

With a collection of more than 6,000 international works and more than 21,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, this museum is one of the most visited art centers in Fort Lauderdale. Its focus is 20th century contemporary art, and a large group of paintings, photography and sculpture by more than 100 Cuban artists flavors the collection with the culture of South Florida and the Caribbean. The museum also boasts ceramics of Pablo Picasso, works from the European CoBrA movement and realist paintings of William Glackens. Highlights of past traveling exhibits include Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, plus works by the legendary Renoir, Manet, Van Gogh and Degas. For a little drama, check out performances by the resident theater company Inside Out at the Horvitz Auditorium, or get some hands-on training in painting, drawing and design through the Studio Arts Program and workshops with professional artists.