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Visiting the Bass Museum of Art

The Bass Museum of Art in Miami was originally a private art collection owned by John and Johanna Bass but in 1963 the City of Miami Beach accepted the collection  under the agreement that it would remain in perpetuity and be open to the public. The building that houses the Bass Museum of Art is the centerpiece of the historic Collins Park district and has been on the National Register since 1978.

The permanent collection at the Bass Museum of Art was fastidioiusly collected by John and Johanna Bass throughout their lifetimes. When donated to the city their collection of old masters artwork numbered more than 500 european works from the fifteenth to early twentieth century, 200 of these paintings, textiles, and sculptures form the foundation of one of the most comprehensive collections of European art in the southeast of the united states. Mr. Bass had a definitive love for his home country of Austria and a large number of pieces from the collection come from Austrian master artists. But one of the most popular pieces is an altarpiece by Italian Renaissance masters Botticelli and Ghirlandaio, making it one of only a handful of Botticellis available to the public in the United States. In addition there are a number of renaissance and Baroque paintings, Rococo court paintings, English portraiture, and paintings and sculptures from North America, Latin American and the Caribbean. You’ll also find some contemporary photography, Asian art, European decorative arts, and an intresting collection of works on paper. The collection is rotated regularly through the Taplin Gallery and the Peter E. and Annemarie H. Houghton Gallery.  Another one of the Bass Museum of Art’s highlights is The Tournament, which was part of Henry VIII’s collection at Knole House in England. It then was purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan before finding its way into the John Bass collection. The Hunt by French designer Louis-Marie Baader is another eye popper, these two tapestries fill two of the museum’s walls on the Grand Ramp that was designed specifically to accommodate these works of art and for proper viewing.

In addition to the permanent collection, the Bass Museum of Art keeps a healthy rotating schedule of temporary exhibits featuring a number of different artists, mediums, and forums to expose the public to as much art as possible. Check the schedules as the temporary exhibits come and go at a fairly quick rate and you don’t want to miss a thing.

As part of a community outreach and to educate and entertain the public the Bass Museum of Art offers a variety of programs available to the public.


IDEA@theBass is an in school program that is a cooperative effort between the Bass Museum of Art and Standord University’s “d” school, using art as a way of teaching. This is a pilot program for the Miami Beach public schools but will be rolled out to other schools in the not too distant future.

Family Days

As part of the IDEA@theBass program, parents and other family members of little ones in the IDEA@theBass program are invited to come to the museum, free of charge, to participate in hands on projects that are related to the current exhibits  in the Bass Museum of Art.

K-8 Grade Guided Tours

Miami has a strong belief in the arts and has created the Miami Dade County Public Schools museum visiting program. The Bass Museum of Art welcomes grade school visitors one day a week for guided tours.

Internship Program

The museum gives college and post college students a chance to immerse themselves in different aspects of museum  management in every department. This program also gives new grads that invaluable work experience that means so much when looking for a career position.


The Bass Museum of Art has founded a teen council that meets once a week to develop ways to get people excited about the museum and participating in museum activities. Many art museums around the country have started such programs and the teens get to network with each other to learn and experience more.


What museum can function without their docents. The docents often provide the backbone of the museum, providing tours to the public, serving as guides and experts for regular visitors and giving the artwork a voice.

Lectures and Concerts

And to bring more art to the Bass Museum of Art, every month the museum hosts musicians, artists and arti historians to offer lectures or performances in their Taplin Hall.

In addition to all of the wonderful programs that the Bass Museum of Art offers the public the museum is also available for private use during nonpublic hours. Whether you’re just an individual or an entire corporation, you can schedule almost any event at the Bass Museum of Art and the museum has been used to host receptions, press conferences, award ceremonies, parties, artistic events, and other more interesting parties. The Bass Museum of Art features a number of different spaces that can accommodate groups from 10 to 300 people. Sit down meals can be served for up to 80 people and larger groups of up to 300 can be accommodated for a cocktail or buffet style service. If you’re looking for something a little more along the lines of a lecture hall there is auditorium seating for up to 80 people and projectors, screens, podiums, and a grand piano are all available. If you’re thinking of having a reception that is both outdoors and indoors the Bass Museum of Art will work to accommodate your desires.

For sponsors who donate more than $10,000 to the museum the Bass Museum of Art offers complimentary use of the facility. These sponsors also receive promotional opportunities if they’d like to advertise their donations.

The Bass Museum of Art is a wonderful way to wile away a hot Miami afternoon and soak up some culture and artistic inspiration.

Bass Museum of Art
2100 Collins Avenue,
Miami Beach Fl 33139

Phone: (305) 673-7530

Hours are Wed-Sun 12-5pm

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