Squeeze in a visit at these top-tier cultural attractions while you're in town.
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler
Zoom out. What’s this place all about?
After several years in a temporary space, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA) finally opened the doors to its permanent home in the Design District in 2017. The vast, metallic-fronted building, designed by Madrid’s Aranguren + Gallegos Arquitectos, befits the cutting-edge exhibitions and artists inside. And no one will judge you if you bypass the art and head straight for the meditative sculpture garden, which hosts permanent and rotating exhibits as well as special events, including yoga and brunch.
What will we find in the permanent collection?
While the institution is known for its dedication to local, emerging, and under appreciated artists, the collection here also includes the art world’s most renowned visionaries, including Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Rosemarie Trockel, Julian Schnabel, and Yves Klein. While the exhibitions and works are top-notch, they also come together in a such a beautiful, cohesive way that you don’t have to know your Koons from your Kusama to know you’re seeing something special.
How are the temporary exhibits? The museum’s rotating exhibitions are always on point. “All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins,” the current Yayoi Kusama exhibition, is meant to be experienced by one person at a time for exactly one minute—making it the kind of event that gets people talking (and Instagramming).
What did you make of the crowd?
This is one of the city’s see-and-be-seen places—not only for its spectacular art collection, but because also for its regular lineup of events, including art talks, performances, First Fridays (complete with a DJ), and family days. That said, the space rarely feels crowded, thanks to an open, airy design.
Any guided tours worth trying? Tours for 15-plus people are free (just reserve at least two weeks in advance). There are also free daily tours at 1 p.m. But you don’t need an MFA in Art History—or even a proper tour guide, for that matter—to make sense of the museum.
Gift shop: What can we take home? Though small, the gift shop manages to pack in clothing, notebooks, postcards, and coffee table books.
Any advice for the time- or attention-challenged?
Given the museum’s open layout, it’s easy to do a drive-by view of most of the galleries in a pretty short span of time. You will, however, want to keep a good 15 minutes (if not 30) reserved for the sculpture garden.
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