Meet the Institutions: The Bass in Miami Beach

The Bass was created through a gift of John and Johanna Bass’s collection
to the city of Miami Beach. And that happened in 1964. So fast forward, we’re here
collecting contemporary art, exhibiting contemporary art, and educating on contemporary art. We’re in a neighborhood
that’s urban, residential, and we’re in the middle of Miami Beach. So it’s a place
where tourists come together with locals come together with people who live here
part-time in a very urban setting. We have a very rigorous curatorial program. It’s really based on a lot of observation and discussions with artists
and collectors and professors. And we have been commissioning artists
to create works for our exhibitions, such as the Sylvie Fleury Eternity Now
that’s outside, the Ugo Rondinone Miami Mountain. He likes to say,
it’s the tallest mountain in Miami. We also commissioned Pascale Marthine Tayou to create the welcome wall for us. I think part of the challenge
of leading a museum is, Miami is such a very young city,
and it’s developing so fast that by the time
you have a plan to fix a problem, you have to create a new plan. So it’s a very fast-paced city
where there is no establishment, no traditions, and basically, we’re creating them as we move. The art scene in Miami is developing, changing, risk-taking, exciting, innovative, and young. And that I think
really feeds into the institutions. I think The Bass has a very special
relationship with Art Basel Miami Beach, because obviously we’re neighbors. Of course we have the Art Basel audience
that comes for roughly ten days. But mainly we have
a year-round audience of residents, that live here and look to our openings
and look to our education programs. Our art is for people
who walk in through our doors but it’s also for people who do not intent
to walk through our doors. They can bump into it
on their way to the supermarket.

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