The Rubell Family Collection has announced a planned move in 2018 to a new 100,000-square-foot museum set on a 2.5-acre campus in Miami’s Allapattah District. The planned move comes after 23 successful years in the RFC’s current, legendary 40,000-square-foot museum space in Miami’s Wynwood District. The new museum is designed by Selldorf Architects and is slated to open December 2018.
The Rubell Family Collection’s move is motivated by the desire to exhibit a greater proportion of the collection and expand the Collection’s programming. Juan Valadez, Director of the Rubell Family Collection, stated, “The new museum will allow us to concurrently present four thematic exhibitions which will highlight historical works from the Collection as well as the Collection’s most recent acquisitions. In the new museum we will also greatly expand our education, research and studio residency programs.” The new museum will include 40 exhibition galleries, a research library, lecture hall, event space, visible storage facility and sculpture garden with plants native to South Florida, plus a restaurant from one of Miami’s most significant food pioneers.
Annabelle Selldorf, the Principal of Selldorf Architects, states, “This project is unique in its collaborative approach between Selldorf Architects and the Rubell family. Our collective goal in the design was to define a space in which proportion and circulation are paramount to the essence of viewing and experiencing art. We strived to create rooms where our collective memory allowed us to say that these are great rooms to view art.”
Mera Rubell states, “As a family, we enjoy the process of discovery, whether it’s new artists or emerging neighborhoods. The Wynwood neighborhood — which was factories and warehouses when the Collection moved here 23 years ago — has become a major cultural destination populated by art galleries and institutions, restaurants and boutiques.” She adds, “It is time for us to reimagine our Foundation in a very exciting emerging neighborhood. We’ve purchased the new property, completed plans, and will begin construction shortly, with the goal of opening in time for Art Basel in Miami Beach 2018.”
The Rubell Family Collection will sell their current 40,000-square-foot building—a former DEA warehouse for confiscated goods—in order to prepare for the move to the future space. The new museum, designed in collaboration with Allapattah-based McKenzie Construction, will act as a catalyst for an emerging cultural, fashion, and culinary neighborhood. “We look forward to working with various stakeholders in the area toward making this an authentic destination that seamlessly integrates into this vibrant community,” states Jason Rubell in discussing the future location.
About the Rubell Family Collection and Contemporary Arts Foundation
The Rubell Family Collection (RFC) was established in 1964 in New York City, shortly after its founders Donald and Mera Rubell were married. It is now one of the world’s largest, privately owned contemporary art collections.
In Miami, Florida, since 1993, the RFC is currently exhibited within a 40,000-square-foot repurposed Drug Enforcement Agency confiscated goods facility and is publicly accessible. The Contemporary Arts Foundation (CAF), a 501c3, was created in 1994 by Don and Mera Rubell with their son Jason Rubell to expand the RFC’s public mission inside the paradigm of a contemporary art museum.
The collection is constantly expanding and features such well-known artists as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Cady Noland, Yayoi Kusama, Cindy Sherman and Kara Walker. In addition to displaying internationally established artists, the RFC actively acquires, exhibits and champions emerging artists working at the forefront of contemporary art.
Each year the Foundation presents thematic exhibitions drawn from the Collection with accompanying scholarly catalogs. These exhibitions often travel to museums around the world. Recent exhibitions have been presented at the Detroit Institute of Arts, San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum, the San Antonio Museum of Art and Madrid’s Fundación Santander, and the National Women in the Arts in Washington DC. The Foundation’s NO MAN’S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection exhibition is currently on view at Washington, D.C.’s National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Foundation’s 30 Americans exhibition is currently on view at the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington state.
The Foundation has been recognized as a pioneer in what has been referred to as the “Miami model,” whereby private collectors create a new, independent form of public institution.
The Foundation also maintains an internship program, an ongoing lecture series and an extensive artwork loan program to facilitate exhibitions at museums around the world. Its ongoing partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools enables thousands of schoolchildren to visit and engage with the Foundation every year. In addition, the Foundation has a public research library containing over 40,000 volumes and a comprehensive contemporary art bookstore.