Housed on the Modesto Maidique Campus of Florida International University, The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum (formerly The Art Museum at FIU) opened in 1977. Initially a small gallery of less than 3000 square feet, the Museum grew to achieve local, national and international recognition as one of South Florida’s key cultural institutions. The Frost Art Museum’s extraordinary programmatic growth during the 1980s and 1990s, qualified the Museum for designation as a Major Cultural Institution by both the State of Florida and Miami-Dade County. Grants from both sources, complimented by endowments, membership and private and corporate giving, provide stable funding for annual programs. In 1999, the Museum received accreditation from the American Associations of Museums (now the American Alliance of Museums) and reaccredited in 2011. In 2001, the Museum became an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
Following the groundbreaking for its new facilities in 2003, the Art Museum at FIU was officially renamed The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum. The museum gained a respected reputation for its innovative exhibitions, outstanding lecture series and educational outreach programs for South Florida’s diverse audiences. Through generous support from private donations as well as state and local government agencies, the Frost Art Museum is able to offer free admission to all exhibitions and public events.
The Museum’s growing collection has several notable donations of important groups of work. In 1989, the FIU leadership and the board of the Metropolitan Museum and Art Center in Coral Gables, ensured the intact survival of this important collection by transferring its ownership to the Frost Art Museum when the private museum closed.
As the preeminent institution devoted to the art of the United States, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents the full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists. The Whitney is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting American art, and its collection—arguably the finest holding of twentieth-century American art in the world—is the Museum’s key resource. The Museum’s signature exhibition, the Biennial, is the country’s leading survey of the most recent developments in American art.
Innovation has been a hallmark of the Whitney since its beginnings. It was the first museum dedicated to the work of living American artists and the first New York museum to present a major exhibition of a video artist (Nam June Paik in 1982). Such figures as Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, and Cindy Sherman were given their first museum retrospectives by the Whitney. The Museum has consistently purchased works within the year they were created, often well before the artists became broadly recognized. The Whitney was the first museum to take its exhibitions and programming beyond its walls by establishing corporate-funded branch facilities, and the first museum to undertake a program of collection-sharing (with the San Jose Museum of Art) in order to increase access to its renowned collection.
Designed by architect Renzo Piano and situated between the High Line and the Hudson River, the Whitney’s new building vastly increases the Museum’s exhibition and programming space, providing the most expansive view ever of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art.