Photographs courtesy of Perez Art Museum Miami

The Perez Art Museum Miami, known as the PAMM, is Miami’s destination for modern and contemporary art. The museum has had several lives in the city evolving from the Miami Art Museum (MAM), which grew out of the Center for Fine Arts, originally opened in 1984. Renamed once the museum moved to Museum Park in 2013, the PAMM has transformed into a cultural institution recognized for both its art and its architecture. Attracting record-breaking numbers of museum goers and critical praise from competing art-centric cities, the PAMM has for its residents and visitors improved the cultural arts in Miami, engaging its residences and visitors.  

Similar to the New Museum in New York or Los Angeles’ LACMA, this Herzog & de Meuron designed building is as much an attraction as the art inside. The anchor for Museum Park is monument-like; its massive scale is striking for its integration of landscaping and vegetation, vibrantly green with columns of succulents, cacti, and wildflowers hanging from the louvered pergola. Only after inspecting the wildlife does one see the museum, cubical and concrete, visually floating among the flora. The effect is at once pleasing and jarring; combined with concrete and blonde wood, it gives the building an environmental effect that feels boundless and modern, forming a strong foundation for the art.

Dedicated to collecting and exhibiting work from the Americas, the PAMM collection focuses on international art from the 20th and 21st centuries that reflect various aspects of Miami. This mission results in a mix of art that emphasizes cultures, economic structures, identities and commodities that identify with the city’s status as a diverse hub on the local, regional and international levels.  

This cosmopolitan view has led to exhibitions from Antoni Tapies, the Sackner Collection, Iman Issa and slew of collective exhibitions grouping artists by a feeling or movement. The PAMM’s latest group show, titled Poetics of Relation, examines Miami as defined by its diasporic communities and aims to explore the works of artists who use historical trauma to inform their global outlook. Add to this rotating exhibitions in  various adjoining Project Galleries and the PAMM has enough art on display for a day-long visit.

For a leisurely afternoon, enjoy lunch or brunch at Verde—the museum’s deliciously satisfying dining space—and take in a cool breeze on the terraced stairs that face the Biscayne waterfront. The view of the MacArthur Causeway over the Government Cut is the picture of Miami’s cross-cultural movement and one can’t help reflect on how the PAMM has positioned itself at the crossroads, both in concrete and in the abstract.

Pérez Art Museum Miami
1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami