Explore: Miami Museums

posted by Rose Mardit on March 15, 2013

Photo: Wynwood, Art Basel Miami 2012 by Oliver Correa

Miami, Florida -- Though not exactly world-renowned for its museums, Miami does have a few gems. If you want to pair your partying with sightseeing, here are our recommendations.

The Wolfsonian
Especially for WMC. The best way to describe this museum is eclectic. In fact, it is also a library and research center associated with Florida International University, so prepare to use your head a little. In short, The Wolfsonian uses art and design as statements, and perhaps questions, about modernism. These items are rooted in cultural and historical times, but feel more relevant than the average art museum. Industrial design, glassworks and metalworks, furniture, drawings, paintings, books, periodicals, and more are on display, all from the late 19th to mid-20th century. If you only go to one museum on this list, let it be this one, and opt for a tour with a docent, if you get the chance.

Opening hours: Daily from 12pm to 6pm (and until 9pm on Fridays,) closed Wednesdays. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students, and free on Fridays from 6-9pm.

1001 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse
Especially for Ultra. Although there is a Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, the space only offers one exhibit at a time, which can be pretty hit-or-miss. This collection, on the other hand, is more likely to please. The Warehouse is comprised of 45,000 square feet of exhibition space and always has several different media on display. Permanent exhibitions include works by Donald Judd, Willem de Kooning, Michael Heizer, Olafur Eliasson, Franz West, and more; the remaining exhibitions change periodically, but there is always something in the categories of sculpture, installation, video, and photography.

Opening hours: Wednesday through Saturday from 11am to 4pm. Admission costs $10, and is donated to a homeless shelter for women and children called the Lotus House.

591 NW 27th Street
Miami, FL 33127

World Erotic Art Museum
Especially for WMC. Probably NSFK (not safe for kids,) unless you’re really progressive. The World Erotic Art Museum features exactly that- erotic art from around the world. Instead of displaying smutty photos and toys exclusively, the museum tastefully boasts a large collection of works from the last few hundred years, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, furniture, and even three of Rembrandt’s famed erotic etchings. WEAM offers an interesting look at the depictions of sexual norms in art and how they have changed over time. The current special exhibition is a collection of German photographer Helmut Newton’s works.

Opening hours: Monday through Thursday from 11am to 10pm. Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to midnight. $15 for adults and $13.50 with a student ID.

1205 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Jewish Museum of Florida
Especially for WMC. Where many Jewish museums seem to serve as Holocaust history museums and memorials, this Jewish museum deals with local Jewish history. It’s as much a cultural museum as a historical one. Housed in an art deco building and a nearly hundred-year-old former synagogue (which are worth visiting on their own simply to enjoy the architectural features), the permanent exhibitions include several hundred photographs and artifacts. Current special exhibitions include Inez Hollander’s portraits of Diaspora Jews and the cultural transformation of Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. Also noteworthy is the Jewish-mother-approved “Project Mah Jongg,” but only through Sunday!

Opening hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Admission is normally $6, but free on Saturdays.

301 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
While not in walking distance of Ultra or WMC, Vizcaya is just a short drive from both (slightly closer to Ultra). It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, and also happens to be really beautiful, which is what earns this historical landmark a spot on the list. The house was modeled after traditional Italian Renaissance villas and existed as the winter getaway estate for a man named James Deering until his death in 1925. It’s definitely a breath of fresh air architecturally, given the art deco buildings and district for which Miami is known. The gardens at Vizcaya include fountains and pools, a “maze garden,” rare orchids, and other flora galore.

Opening hours: daily from 9:30am to 4:30pm, closed on Tuesdays. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 with a student ID.

3251 South Miami Avenue
Miami, FL 33129

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