Rosa de la Cruz Bashes MOCA, Bass and PAMM: "Why Is It That Miami Museums Are Becoming Places Just For Parties?"

Categories: Upper Class

De_la_Cruzes.png
delacruzcollection.org
Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz
Rosa de la Cruz has been on a bit of a tear lately. On Thursday, she sent the Miami art world into a mid Basel tizzy with an interview claiming that the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) was moving.

Now she's not only doubling down on her remarks but also sounding off on the city's other art museums, including the just opened Perez Art Museum Miami and the Bass Museum in Miami Beach.

"Why is it that Miami museums are becoming places just for parties?" she told New Times. "It's embarrassing that in our city these things are happening."

De la Cruz began the interview by repeating her claim that MOCA -- the North Miami museum to which she and her husband Carlos have donated scores of contemporary artworks -- will soon be shuttered.

"We have been told -- and this is not a rumor -- that this museum is closing," she said. "And that MOCA is working to give everything to another museum, and it's the Bass museum."

As in other interviews, De la Cruz declined to name her source other than to say that "the person who told me knows what they are talking about."

MOCA interim director Alex Gartenfeld denied that the museum was closing but did not rule out a move or merger with the Bass or any other institution.

"There have been longstanding conversations on the part of MOCA's board of trustees on how to best serve our mission," he said. "There are ongoing internal discussions. They include lots of things including the scope of the collection and its location."

Gartenfeld emphatically denied other rumors, such as that MOCA had gambled on a $15 million North Miami bond issue to expand the museum -- it was rejected last year by voters -- or that it had overspent on its recent Tracy Emin "Angel Without You" exhibition.

"There is not a budget shortfall," Gartenfeld said. "And the Emin show was well budgeted, I can say with perfect certainty. It was an ambitious undertaking for the museum and you can see that in the show. In fact, the exhibition is a real tribute to the strength of the institution."

But De la Cruz brashly says the young interim director either doesn't know the whole story or isn't being honest.

"Alex is saying what they are telling him to say," she says. "I have nothing against Alex. But he just got here."

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33 comments
frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

............so when an "insider" makes observations that "outsiders" have ALL ALONG either suspected or knew first-hand NOW it can be exposed how the MIAMI art scene really is down here

the "museums" have been "showrooms" for various name brands and products as far as i can remember while the "art" has played only as a backdrop excuse to assemble a crowd that is "sold" something to

maybe the "people" of MIAMI know better than to "support" fake and or pretentious "art"

i once had a red-neck neighbor here in DAVIE who to my surprise was very up on BROADWAY theater productions since he and his spouse would take a block of time in NY and see a play every day for a week or ten days - by going to the source = period = as his red-neck observation was everything down here was amateurish and NOT worth supporting (now he would go to the NASCAR car races at homestead but NEVER to a production of any kind in MIAMI or BROWARD)

sandy_lazzar
sandy_lazzar

It's true! Miami Art scene is "fun, sun, party and light weight" because the institutions, local media, collectors, artists and community support that type of behavior. There are no critical art programs in any local or Florida Universities. Yes, art party scenes do exist in other cities but they are not the focal point and do not dominate. Miami lacks any critical perspective and places like Locust, Cannonball, Fountain Head, De La Cruz, PAM, MOCA, and so many Universities often settle for mediocre guest speakers and feather weight local or national artists like "fun" Kenny Scharf , TM sisters or Naomi Fisher. Personality does not equal criticality but in Miami it is a welcome mat for all to enter. 


"Do you think that people in New York who give to the Met want it to end up at another museum?" she scoffs. "


True, again, but the difference is that MOCA is not the MET and the MET does provide community programs for various communities while MOCA never did.. it catered to its board of directors who at one time included the De La Cruz's. 


It's also true that Rosa De La Cruz opened her own museum as did every other high profile collector writing off their private art collections with pseudo no-prifit status. Their programs are pretty lack luster and focused on supporting their collection only which is pretty Aristocratic.


MOCA should represent its community of tax payers and function like COCA once did. It isn't appropriate for it to try and be elitist and compete with NY, LA or Europe because its got local, Southern, Caribbean and Latin America as a source of rich culture to draw from. 

Luis Amato
Luis Amato

What a load of crap! Party in a Museum? So what!!!! In the past 35 years I've been to parties in museums in New York, Paris, LA, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Río de Janeiro, London, etc. Museums all over the world have parties. They are held outside Museum hours, so it doesn't interfere at all with their educational programs. Not only Art Museums, ALL museums have parties (the American Museum of Natural History in New York, is one of the most popular museums in that city for events). These parties does not take anything away from the art, only enhances the experience. They are usually held in beautiful environments, they attract and expose new people to art (people that in many cases haven't ever been in a museum), and they get a very important and needed income from the rental space and new memberships, so they help them depend less on tax payers money . They also play an important social role connecting artists, curators, collectors, students (I started as one!) and regular people that just have an interest in art. I've seen and experienced many business, art, and scientific projects that came out of discussions held in these parties. I've met many people with my like mind and common interest, that in several cases became close friends. If do you think that these parties are just get together events to have a good time and get drunk....well, think again. p.s. I do not have enough info about the Moca situation. Regarding about the racial acotacions she made, they are plenty of Haitians and Hispanics (me included) both in the Moca and the Pamm, as guest in the parties, members, artist represented in the collections and in the temporary exibits, and IN the Board of Directors of both institutions. I think that she is going senile!

ms.skyebird
ms.skyebird

As a professional food caterer, I have worked At am these venues, for events both public and private. I have to slowly shake my head and sadly agree.

Miami has refined pimping so skillfully it masterfully madqueades as fine art.

is Miami just a place to be a philatropist , long as : the right:: somebody is looking?

Somewhere Sarah mclachlan is plaintively crooning in the background of a none too subtle psa soliciting dollars to keep the arts afloat.

WhyNotNow
WhyNotNow topcommenter

Actually, this could be just what moca needs. If de la Cruz, Braman, et al, get it together they could create a space either downtown, on Biscayne in the 20's or the design district. Moca has only about 23000 sq ft. Craig robins would definitely see the benefits of having it in his hood. Tony Goldman could have come up with that amount of space in a day. Too bad he isn't around to step in and quell the fighting. Let moca leave north Miami. The powers that be, tondreau, Pierre, etc. have no appreciation for what they have in moca. So be it.

boohooyoutoo
boohooyoutoo

There are a lot of reasons why museums should not rely on parties and open bar events to generate interest. How many people do you think show up to the museum when there isn't alcohol or a World Red Eye photo op? Very few. These museums are also banking on Art Basel being here forever. If the fair were ever to leave, I can bet Miamians would be moving on to the next big party. Most people now have museum memberships in order to gain access to the fairs and parties. Remove that from the list of museum benefits and watch the membership numbers drop. If museums want to stir some interest, they should do so by creating relevant and engaging programs and exhibits that benefit the communities they are meant to support. Also, putting on these events is incredibly costly to a nonprofit. It's not as easy to get every single little thing sponsored, so in the end, the "fundraiser" can cost a lot out of pocket, just to "stir some interest". As far as renting out the museums for special events, while it is encouraged for museums to seek revenue through means other donations/grants/gov't funds, it's important to set limits. You can't destroy the buildings or damage the collections just because someone waves a few extra 0s, which is very much Miami's style.  

jordanservice
jordanservice

This is so awesome! Haha, I was so ready to hate on this. But I think it's well said. 

However, it is not just Miamians who treat's it's institutions as glorified banquet halls and party destinations. IT'S THE ENTIRE ART WORLD. What do you think Art Basel is?

(ps. New Times this commenting system is terrible.)

jordanservice
jordanservice


This is so awesome! Haha, I was so ready to hate on this. But I think it's well said. 

However, it is not just Miamians who treat's it's institutions as glorified banquet halls and party destinations. IT'S THE ENTIRE ART WORLD. What do you think Art Basel is?

Lourdes Diaz
Lourdes Diaz

I dont know why people insist on comparing Miami to NY, Paris, London or other cities that have had hundreds of years to cultivate collections. If the De La Cruzes are so enamored of the MET and NYC museums in general, they should give them their art collections. Of course, these choosy museums probably dont want it. And a note to this seemingly clueless couple - just about every museum on the planet HOLDS EVENTS on their site. There is nothing wrong with mixing a good time with art and a beautiful space. PAMM looks like its going to be a huge success regardless of this couple's jealousy.

Antonio De Gaetano
Antonio De Gaetano

So now it's "embarrassing" for a museum to have classical art in its collection? I like the Bass specifically for that reason. It's an oasis of a little traditional art in a desert of contemporary garbage. Maybe the modern art scene doesn't get much respect because the art sucks and no one is willing to say it.

Deathray Jones
Deathray Jones

the rich collectors in miami (and elsewhere) use museums to house their collections in a tax advantaged fashion.

proptart3331
proptart3331

My God! How much negativity can one person see in the normal ebb and flow? I grew up in Miami circa. 1964. I can tell you, without hesitation, that the availability of experiencing art (and scope of those who are opening themselves up to the experience) has grown beyond any of our predictions. If you wanted to have control of where your "donated" art ended up then you should have loaned it out with stipulations. And I, for one, feel that however the arts are experienced.....it's a good thing. Some folks like to feed themselves in a quiet, serene setting (museum) and some in a cacophony of stimulation (museum party). As long as they are present and gain sustenance.....then who cares!

Sounds like snobbery and the illusion of control to me. I read many opinions about the travesty of having mega developer Perez's name on PAMM. If one child has their world opened up or one adult feels something stir in their heart....then I don't   care if it's got Mickey Mouses name on it!  Let go! It's really all amazing as it expands and lives. 

MiamiBeachCrack
MiamiBeachCrack

Single family homes and museums in Miami are used for event and banquet space.   All for the party crowd and corporate events.  Not the best of situations.  

Jayan Bertrand
Jayan Bertrand

I can't remember the last time I could agree with people this old lol. I hate that everything's a "party" out here. And the loss of MOCA is unbelievable :/ I used to visit that museum a lot as a kid.

George I'doccupyThat Owen
George I'doccupyThat Owen

"The drug industry brought billions of dollars into Miami, which were quickly funneled through front organizations into the local economy. Luxury car dealerships, five-star hotels, condominium developments, swanky nightclubs, major commercial developments and other signs of prosperity began rising all over the city."

Shawn O'Brion
Shawn O'Brion

Because the average Miamian is a ghetto fabulous, ignoramous vapid twat.

George I'doccupyThat Owen
George I'doccupyThat Owen

^the people in the 80s were not into art. they were into cocaine and really irrational purchases across the board. Don't confuse money with culture because that's like saying Adventura is a cultural paradise... There isn't a solid museum culture so they have to ship in talent... but it takes a rare breed to give up better art connections for zany art hijinks in a sub tropical wonderland.

Jasmin M Augustin
Jasmin M Augustin

the masses of South Florida USED to be cultured... back in the 80s. all of those party-goers had money coming out of their asses so they were able to make things into a party and still be into things like art. those times/people are clearly out the window. current miami is a disgrace to anything cultured! ie - Art Basel is a damn party.

Kristofer Jesus Castellar
Kristofer Jesus Castellar

Wow because the mass's of South Florida are cultured, Right!? Grow up, be realistic, & stop being a tool

Alexander Fernandez
Alexander Fernandez

It is quite possible that museums such as PAMM have to engage and creative ways to stir interest and procure monies because Miami's leading art families (rubells, Delacruz, and many others) treat their collections as private museums and don't get behind public projects. And my understanding is that there are tax breaks for these people on the real estate that houses said collections. It's not as simple as she's making it out to be.

jimmyjam
jimmyjam

And who cares, exactly, what this one old woman thinks about anything? 


Top notch reporting again, New Times.

sandy_lazzar
sandy_lazzar

Yes, if you include the Haitian security guards at MOCA or PAM. Miami's always discriminated towards the Black community in general. 

Adler Guerrier and Edouard Duval Carrie are the only two Haitian artists represented by all local South Florida institutions as if there were no other. Its lazy directors, curators and media.


Cuban's dominate not Hispanics or latinos but Cubans. When was the last time you saw a Puerto Rican or other Caribbean artist that wasn't Jose Bedia or part of the Cuban elite? You cannot understand the complexity of polarized politics in South Florida until you actually spend time and look at everything in South Florida from all sides not only from a familiar perspective. Till then everything will look as it should be from a single perspective

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.............well here is another first-hand "inside" observation that tells a story that the "outsider" can probably recognize.....it is as hard to fake art as it is to hide PIMPing it which is degrading to MIAMI as well as the artist(s) here

sandy_lazzar
sandy_lazzar

Yes, there was the cocaine money that sponsored or was laundered through art collections in south florida.. look up the Cen Trust Bank Tower and all its million dollar art collection purchased with drug money in the 1980s. Yes, culture was purchased not cultivated or created in South Florida.. big difference when you look at it critically. If you like culture it won't be in a museum its living in North, South, West and East Florida. It's not packaged nor is it often pretty... culture isn't a magazine called Ocean Drive or Deco Drive. 

JoseDuran
JoseDuran moderator communitymanager

@jimmyjam Collectors like her are vital to the health of our museums. And where there is usually one unhappy collectors, there are a few more. Collectors usually donate large amounts of artwork, and considering the endowments at our local museums, they depend on those donations.

Get your head on straight.

sandy_lazzar
sandy_lazzar

@JoseDuran everyone has an agenda and De La Cruz definitely approaching this in an elitist manner. I wish I had access to speak out via New Times article about the concerns of my art collection at MOCA but I don't have that clout. I don't have my own Museum nor can I write off my art collection. Yes, collectors of her pedigree do donate artwork or funds to local institutions but they can also pull them out or take their money back. They can also dictate what is shown or who doesn't get shown. Abusive powers are no strangers to South Florida. There are always more than one way to look at these donors and their agendas are often more bombastic than their subtlety.

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