Rosa de la Cruz: Miami Philanthropist Who Championed Contemporary Art

The Miami art scene mourns the loss of Rosa de la Cruz, a Cuban-born philanthropist and art collector who passed away last month at the age of 81. De la Cruz, along with her husband Carlos, leaves behind a remarkable legacy – a vast collection of contemporary art and a museum dedicated to showcasing their passion.

A Miami Powerhouse:

De la Cruz wasn’t just a collector; she was a central figure in Miami’s artistic landscape. Together with Carlos, they established a 30,000-square-foot museum in the heart of the city. This haven for contemporary art displayed their impressive collection, estimated to number around 1,000 works.

A Discerning Eye:

The de la Cruz collection is a testament to their discerning taste. It encompasses a diverse range of artists, from established “blue-chip” names like Wade Guyton and Albert Oehlen to rising stars like Su Su and Christina Quarles. This commitment to both established and emerging talent earned them a coveted spot on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list multiple times.

Championing Ana Mendieta:

One artist particularly close to de la Cruz’s heart was Cuban-born Ana Mendieta. As of 2015, the de la Cruz museum boasted the largest private collection of Mendieta’s work in the world, with a staggering 24 pieces. De la Cruz’s dedication to Mendieta’s art extended beyond mere collecting. She actively championed the artist, ensuring her work received the recognition it deserved.

A Legacy of Generosity:

Isabella Lauria, head of Christie’s 21st-century art evening sales, spoke about de la Cruz’s impact: “Rosa was an extraordinarily generous patron who spent 20 years championing the artists she loved in depth.” This generosity extended beyond individual artists. The de la Cruz museum served as a platform for Miami’s art scene, fostering appreciation for contemporary art within the community.

A Lasting Impact:

The upcoming sale of the de la Cruz collection at Christie’s offers a glimpse into the artistic vision of this remarkable couple. However, their true legacy lies in their dedication to Miami’s art scene and their unwavering support for contemporary artists. Rosa de la Cruz will be remembered as a passionate patron, a discerning collector, and a champion who helped shape Miami’s vibrant artistic identity.

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