Mera Rubell highlights the Rubell family collection in a talk with art publisher Sarah Harrelson
An iconic art personality gives a walkthrough of the family museum's new 100,000-square-foot location and tells amazing tales about what's on display from the 7,200-piece art collection they've been curating since 1964.
After nearly 30 years in its original Miami space, the Rubell Museum relocated to the Attapallah neighborhood in December 2019, moving into a sprawling, 100,000-square-foot space that showcases even more of the family's world-renowned contemporary art collection.
Recently, Sarah Harrelson, founder and editor-in-chief of Cultured Magazine and LALA Magazine, had the privilege of filming an immersive tour of the new museum guided by Mera Rubell, one half of the couple that's been collecting amazing artwork since 1964.
Back in the 1960s, Mera and Don Rubell could not have imagined that their love of art would lead them to become international art icons with a museum housing more than 7,200 works from 1,000-plus artists, many iconic in their own right. They began their collection just after getting married when they were in their early 20s, devoting a quarter of Mera's modest weekly salary as a teacher to invest in paintings, sculptures, and other eye-appealing art from young, local artists around New York City.
As Don worked a career as a gynecologist and Mera continued to teach, they used their weekly art allowance to purchase art they identified as special, helping to develop some of the most celebrated creators of the 20th and 21st centuries along the way. The Rubells were among the first to discover, recognize, and support talented creatives like Keith Haring, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Mickalene Thomas, and their guidance was never forgotten.
“Art saved my life and continues to save my life.” - Mera Rubell
During the tour and interview with Harrelson, an art buff herself who was deeply inspired by the Rubells, Mera discusses the art currently on display at the museum and shares unforgettable stories about the people behind each piece. Viewers will hear how she and Don befriended these artists when they were young, up-and-coming sensations, and helped boost their careers. They even helped Haring validate his artistic talent to his doubting parents, whose disappointment in him disappeared after being invited to the Rubells' place for dinner and seeing his artwork up on their wall.
Art aficionados who've longed to see something thrilling while staying at home will be amazed by the Rubells's pieces, including Yayoi Kusama's "Narcissus Garden," featuring 700 stainless steel spheres reflecting the room around them. Mera explains how she and Kusama struck up a relationship, and how the artist's unique vision blossomed into the main installation featured in the new Rubell Museum's central spine.
For cardholders seeking more than a virtual trip to this breathtaking new space, the Rubell Museum will be offering private, curated tours where visitors will explore the collection with a Rubell family member to get even more insight on the exhibitions. Plus, the museum also houses one of Miami's best new restaurants, Leku, featuring gourmet Basque cuisine from executive chef Mikel Goikolea. Mastercard cardholders can experience this next-level cooking in the splendor of the Rubell Museum garden, including a $200 dining credit to get the evening going.
Whether it's attending a virtual visit or making way to the new Miami location in person, art lovers won't want to miss out on getting a glimpse of this remarkable museum while hearing from a renowned collector.