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Tuesday October 23, 2012

Miami Science Museum new building fly-through

This is new to me: an architectural fly-through of the new science museum building going up downtown next to PAMM. Pretty awesome. Also: huge, right? The video is silent, so I’m adding a separate player underneath, with suitable rendering fly-through music for you. Hit play on both:

The shark aquarium that the building wraps around is some pretty neat stuff. By the way, remember the park part of museum park? Yeah, well it turns out that’s sort of off for now.

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Monday February 4, 2008

Museum members month

Museum T-shirts

Here’s a good idea, well executed: for all of February, membership at any of nineteen museums gets you free into any of the others.* Simple enough, although they’re also packing the month with special events, parties and the like. I’d say this is a no-brainer, and if you’ve been thinking about joining any of these institutions (the MAM is a particular bargain, having recently raised regular admission rates but not membership rates), well you know what to do. My only gripe is that the Metrozoo isn’t participating.

The oddest aspect, though is the t-shirts: fifteen local artists were commissioned to create a shirt for each participating museum, and the commissions must have been pretty open-ended, because the results range from the literal to the, well, not so literal. The shirts are $25 each, on sale only at a couple of special events throughout the month, so if you want one, you’d better do some planning.

* Actually, a couple of the museums have no admission, some don’t have memberships, and some aren’t really museums, but let’s not quibble.

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Monday November 26, 2007

Herzog & deMeuron’s plans for the new Miami Art Museum building will be revealed during Art Basel.

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Monday July 9, 2007

“Quoting activist/urban theorist Jane Jacobs, Commissioner Sarnoff recently argued (very compellingly) that the problems of the widely disparaged Bicentennial Park stem precisely from the fact that it is a ‘vacuous park.’ Most of the world’s great parks feature additional draws. Art has been a crucial element of great parks since ancient times. I worry that if the park were renovated without the museums, it would eventually fall into neglect once again, and then be turned over for the construction of luxury high-rises.” — In the Diet Newsletter, MAM curator René Morales answers two of the arguments against the new building. (via TnFH)

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Tuesday June 19, 2007

A good discussion about Museum Park has been going for the last couple of days at Transit Miami.

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Monday June 18, 2007

Frank Houston visited Miami Childrens’ Museum and was none too impressed.

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Thursday May 3, 2007

A state panel has selected four companies to build and operate the Port of Miami tunnel. Against all odds, this project seems to be moving forward. Oh, also, Grimshaw Architects will be doing the Science Museum in Bicentennial Park.

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Thursday December 21, 2006

Miami Art Museum and Miami Art Central partnership

MAC Back

When I first heard about the partnership and possible merger between the Miami Art Museum and Miami Art Central (Links: MAM and MAC), I was aghast. I like things the way they are — these are two great institutions with very distinct curatorial and operational philosophies, and (like RL in the comments of the TNFH post) I didn’t see how any partnership between the two would do anything but water down those philosophies, creating a larger but less interesting homogenized whole.

But I’ve spent almost a week thinking about this now, and kicked it around with a bunch of smart and prominent local art people, and I’ve come around. The MAM has a new building to build in Bicentennial Park, and it needs to raise at least $100 million for it. You don’t do that by sending out a solicitation mailing. This deal may not bring Marty Margulies to the table, and ther collectors, such as the Scholls, are already working with the MAM, but the MAC is a gathering place for the hundreds of less prominent South American collectors who live in Miami, and this deal has the possibility of making them feel much more connected to the MAM. And of course Ella Fontanals-Cisneros has enough money herself to make the MAM pay attention when she makes a suggestion. A deal like this puts a lot of important momentum into an important fundraising project.

As for the MAC, well, it’s difficult being an organization that gets the majority of its money from one private source — just ask the once-wonderful PBICA. In a merger, the MAC’s facility becomes a satellite space for the MAC, in return for which the MAC gets . . . a say in the curatorial direction of the MAM? The MAC’s exhibitions have been described as more “cerebral,” and it has a strong inclination to exhibit South American art. But the MAM may already be heading in that direction, what with the new Director, it’s open Curator position, and it’s mission, which is all about art in the “western hemisphere” anyway.

In other words, this may actually be a good fit. The MAC gets absorbed into the MAM, we loose a little bit of a differentiated curatorial philosophy but gain a reinvigorated museum with three(!) significant exhibition spaces. In the more immediate term, have you seen how much programming the MAC does on weekends? It will certainly be great to have some of that thinking trickle to downtown. And as Tyler Green points out, the more distinctive extreme of MAC’s programing may be migrating to cifo anyway. And the permanent existence of MAC may not have been tenable anyway — how long can Fontanals-Cisneros focus on MAC and cifo anyway (and serve on MAM’s board)?

(One interesting side concern is the MAC’s staff? They’re really the ones that really make a museum what it is. If the merger really hits in six months, there are going to be lots of redundant people. When the new MAM building opens, the staff needs will increase again, but there’s probably years between those two dates. What will happen there remains to be seen.)

But so an eventual merger seems inevitable. It seems that there are reasons to be optimistic that this is the best way forward, just not the reasons the Herald article gives. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, all that.

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