Touring Miami’s Fall Art Scene

HistoryMiami Museum

It’s been a rough year for Miami sports, but that doesn’t mean fans can’t reminisce about past accomplishments. Like when Dan Marino broke the career passing-yardage record. Or when Jason Taylor reached double-digits in sacks for the sixth time in his tenure with the Miami Dolphins. Opening on September 28th, “Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame” will showcase all that and more. It’s billed as the largest and most comprehensive exhibition on America’s favorite sport, with more than 200 artifacts, rare photographs, and interactive displays.

The “Miami, the Magic City” exhibition inside the HistoryMiami Museum.

Faena Theater

Check your morals at the door, advises the Faena Theater. That’s because you’ll be playing a part in an interactive version of The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, a play about lust, barbarism, and bad table manners. But that’s not all. The show, a Sleep No More–like version of Peter Greenaway’s acclaimed film, also highlights the basic weaknesses and strength of the human soul. Here, however, the cook actually serves up dishes from a menu created by James Beard Award Winner (and South Florida native) Michelle Bernstein. And after the meal, the plot thickens. What’s real? What’s fake? Well, that’s for you to decide.

A scene from The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover.

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

No matter where you stand on maximalist design—whether, in your estimation, it is garish, situation-appropriate, or sublime—let’s all agree that Miami is the perfect backdrop for the style. At Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, a place that has been described as “the finest private house ever built in America” and “a jewel among Miami’s skyscrapers,” opulence rules. It is lavish, excessive, and wonderful. And the serenity of its gardens—all surrounded by a verdant tropical forest—offers harmony to grand style of the main house. If the Palace of Versailles had never existed, James Deering (the industrialist who once inhabited Vizcaya) would have crafted the next-best thing without ever leaving America.

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Rubell Family Collection

The constantly expanding Rubell Museum is almost ready to move into its new home. Mera and Don Rubell have operated the private collection for nearly 55 years, and it is better than ever. What originally started in New York has now become a large part of Miami’s art vocabulary, a collection that is rich and deeply personal. And it’s about to get even more exciting come December 4th when it opens in its new space on Northwest 23rd Street. The new 2.5-acre space will offer a sweep of contemporary art that cannot be found anywhere else.

An untitled 1978 painting by Cindy Sherman.

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

Hanging green gardens, an expertly curated selection of modern and contemporary art, and stunning views of Biscayne Bay: Welcome to the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the city’s most-treasured art destination. In beauty, significance, and even controversy—the museum once lost some funding for a show featuring artists still living in Cuba—PAMM is unrivaled. Its exhibitions are original. And visionary. (Be sure to see Teresita Fernández’s “Elemental,” on view through February 9.) Plus, PAMM’s obsession with South Florida traditions is bold and wide-ranging, not limited to art. It encompasses many elements of the city’s unique culture, including books, furnishings, and the waterfront restaurant, Verde.

Pérez Art Museum Miami at dusk.