The Bass Museum was founded in 1963 through the donation of a private collection of Renaissance and Baroque works of art to the City of Miami Beach by John and Johanna Bass. The founding collection consisted of 500 works, primarily European Old Master paintings, textiles and religious sculptures. Today, the museum’s permanent collection includes European painting and sculpture from the 15th century to present; Seventh to 20th-century textiles, tapestries and ecclesiastical vestments and artifacts; 20th and 21st-century North American, Latin American, Asian and Caribbean art; Photographs, prints and drawings; and modern and contemporary architecture and design with emphasis on the pre and postwar design history of Miami Beach.
A small selection of works in museum’s permanent collection is on view in the Education Department’s Art History Lab.
Milestones in history
1964 Bass Museum of Art opened to the public to house the art
collection that John and Johanna Bass donated to the City of Miami
1980 Diane Camber was hired as Executive Director and for the next
thirty years, she professionalized museum operations, obtained AAM
accreditation, produced scholarly exhibitions and successfully ran a
capital campaign for a building expansion, developing the museum into
a significant cultural institution.
2001 Arata Isozaki- designed Bass Museum of Art building expansion
takes place, opening with the groundbreaking Globe Miami Island
2008 George Lindemann became President of the Board of Directors and
Silvia Karman Cubina became Executive Director. Aligning with
vertiginous urban development of City of Miami Beach, support from the
Knight Foundation and the success of ArtBasel Miami Beach, Bass
Museum undergoes rapid institutional growth, programmatically and in
increased attendance, support and visibility.
2013 City of Miami Beach approves a $7.5 million
grant to support a new wing to enhance education and exhibition programs.
2014 50th anniversary of the founding of the Bass Museum of Art.