The Rubell Museum in Miami, one of America’s most prestigious and influential private contemporary art institutions, expands with long-awaited second location in Washington, DC
Founded by Don and Mera Rubell, the institution is a showcase for their extensive art collection. For emerging artists, Rubell’s patronage (and a coveted museum residency) can be a star: Sterling Ruby, Oscar Murillo, Lucy Dodd, and most recently Amoako Boafo are among the many artists who have benefited from their stamp of approval. .
The couple began collecting art the year of their marriage, 1964. In 1993, they began welcoming the public to the Rubell Family Collection in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami. In 2019, the private museum moved – with great fanfare – to the city’s Allapattah district, renaming itself the Rubell Museum.
The new DC branch will feature paintings, sculptures, photographs and contemporary art installations in the former Randall Junior High School. The property has a long history in Washington. Originally built in 1906, the school operated until 1978, when the city converted it into a men’s shelter and artist studios.
The Corcoran College of Art + Design purchased the building from the city in 2006 and planned to develop it into a luxury campus and condominiums, but the project fell through after the financial crisis. The Rubells, who own the Capitol Skyline Hotel down the street, bought the building from the Corcoran for $ 6.5 million in 2010, according to Art in America.
Plagued by delays and changes in partnership (last year property developer Lowe took over the project), the redevelopment now appears to be back on track. Its opening is scheduled for the end of 2022.
The Rubells will take over the central building and the east wing, adding a glass entrance pavilion designed by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Planners that includes a bookstore, cafÃ© and outdoor dining terrace. The West Wing will serve as office space for a variety of businesses in creative fields such as nonprofits, cultural institutions, and tech incubators.
A spokesperson for the Rubells declined to provide further details on their plans for the museum. The couple’s collection includes many works by Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Catherine Opie, Kerry James Marshall and other famous names.
Lowe, the promoter of the project, is also building Gallery 64, a new 12-story residential building, on 2.7 acres of land. It will house 492 studio, one, two and three bedroom units, 98 of which will be dedicated to affordable housing. The Historic Preservation Review Board and the Advisory Neighborhood Commission have approved the design for the redevelopment of the historic property.
The museum’s 100,000-square-foot Miami campus, designed by Selldorf Architects, includes 40 galleries, a library, and a restaurant located in a renovated food processing complex.
See more renderings from the DC project below.
The Rubell Museum DC will be located at 65 Eye Street, SW, Washington, DC
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