While everyone is thinking about parties, installations and fun goings-on for Art Basel, one of Miami’s most serious art patrons announced this week via the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) that business leader and long-time museum supporter Jorge M. Pérez will continue his patronage of the museum with a new $15 million donation. The contribution, which will be gifted over the next 10 years, will consist of $5 million in funds for the acquisition of works by Latin American artists, $5 million in endowed funds for procurement of additional works and an immediate bestowment of over 200 pieces from Pérez’s personal collection of Cuban artworks. The donated works will be featured in an exciting new exhibition celebrating this momentous donation in the fall of 2017.
“This tremendous gift is another affirmation of Jorge and Darlene Pérez’s commitment to Miami’s museum,” said PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans. “This gift significantly improves upon the museum’s holdings and adds depth to a vitally important area of the collection that Pérez has always championed since coming on as a board member more than 20 years ago.”
Pérez has been one of the city’s leading advocates for contemporary art. This new gift will make PAMM home to one of the largest collections of contemporary Cuban art in any American museum. Earlier gifts by Pérez have included work by Cuban modernists Amelia Peláez, Wifredo Lam and Mario Carreño along with works of other Latin American modernists.
As Miami’s flagship contemporary art museum, collecting the work of Cuban artists and documenting the Cuban Diaspora fits with PAMM’s mission to represent its place in the world—geographically, conceptually and intellectually. Cuba, equally a part of Latin America and the Caribbean, has been an area of sustained interest at PAMM going back to its beginnings as a presenting institution. Over the years, the museum has presented solo exhibitions and projects by many Cuban artists such as Amelia Peláez, Wifredo Lam, Ana Mendieta, Glexis Novoa, Enrique Martinez Celaya, José Bedia and Quisqueya Henriquez.
In addition to the Cuban art collection, which will be supplemented by the first million dollars to augment the gift with new acquisitions of Cuban art, PAMM will spend $1 million a year in the four successive years to acquire works by Latin American artists to further buttress that aspect of the collection.
As an international museum of modern and contemporary art, which seeks to be the leader in archive for the study of art from Latin America and the Caribbean, the PAMM collection embodies much of the museum’s philosophy to lead the discussion of contemporary art outward from its home in Miami. To complement this philosophy, the first half of the gift will focus on collecting the works of regional artists, and the remainder of the gift will be used to acquire international contemporary art in perpetuity.