Fine art may not be the first thing that leaps to mind when you think South Beach, but if you have any cultural leanings (or are simply looking for something to do on a rainy or otherwise non-beach day), you might be pleasantly surprised by the riches harbored here. Its white coral-stone facade fronts a more recently added annex designed by Arata Isozaki, marking its half-century anniversary this year. The permanent collection includes some 3,000 works or objects stretching back to ancient Greece and Egypt (mummy anyone?), including European and American masters such as Rubens, Botticelli, and Benjamin West. Much of the focus, though, is on temporary shows such as one themed on gold (boy, do they know their audience) and a multimedia installation including a mesmerizing live-action recreation of the famous Velázquez painting The Maids of Honor (OMG, was that Peter Dinklage in a dress?). Families who happen to be here on the last Sunday of each month can enjoy IDEA@thebass, a family day that includes children’s art activities, scavenger hunts, yoga, performances, and prizes.
- David Paul Appell