Nestled within the University of Miami’s campus, the Lowe Art Museum stands as a testament to the enduring power of art, education, and community engagement. Established in 1950 as the “University of Miami Art Gallery,” it has since evolved into a prominent cultural institution, owing much of its growth to the generosity and vision of Miami philanthropists Joe and Emily Lowe.
The Lowe Art Museum found its initial home in the Merrick Classroom Building in 1950. Recognizing the need for a dedicated space to accommodate its burgeoning collection, Joe and Emily Lowe funded the construction of a standalone facility, officially known as the “Lowe Art Gallery,” in 1952. This marked the beginning of a rich history dedicated to fostering artistic expression and cultural appreciation.
Beaux Arts and Community Outreach
In 1952, the Beaux Arts organization was founded, playing a pivotal role in the museum’s development. This non-profit group, led by Ann Atkinson, initiated the first Beaux Arts Festival of Art. Providing a platform for emerging artists to connect with the public. Over the years, Beaux Arts continued to contribute significantly, funding the construction of the Children’s Pavilion at The Lowe in 1953. This space evolved into a hub for art classes, benefiting countless children in the community.
Programs and Endowments
Beaux Arts’ commitment to enriching the Lowe Art Museum extends beyond exhibitions. In 1974, they spearheaded the opening of the Museum store, a financial success managed by the Docents of the Lowe Art Museum. In 2014, Beaux Arts made a landmark donation of $1.5 million to the University of Miami, creating an endowed position—the Beaux Arts’ Director of the Lowe Art Museum. This endowment ensures sustained support for programming, community outreach, facility upgrades, and more.
The Lowe Art Museum remains a dynamic cultural hub, showcasing a diverse range of exhibitions. One such landmark exhibition is “Radical Conventions: Cuban American Art from the 1980s,” curated by Elizabeth Cerejido. This exhibition offers a critical exploration of Cuban diasporic work during a pivotal decade, challenging identity-focused narratives and placing the artists within broader socio-economic and cultural contexts.
The Lowe Art Museum continues to engage the community through various programs. The “FORCE OF NATURE” exhibition, featuring highlights from the Myrna B. Palley Art Jewelry Collection, pays homage to collectors and artists alike. Additionally, the “Coral City Camera” project, a collaboration with Coral Morphologic, provides a unique underwater perspective, streaming live images of an urban coral reef community.
Free Admission and Future Initiatives
Thanks to the generosity of Beaux Arts, admission to the is free for all in 2021, reflecting a commitment to making art accessible to the wider community. Looking ahead, the museum has exciting events lined up, such as “Lowe Ignite – A Celebration of Order Up! the Pop Art of John Miller,” scheduled for January 12, 2024.
As the Lowe Art Museum celebrates its rich history and looks toward the future. It remains a beacon of artistic expression, education, and community engagement. Through the collaborative efforts of the University of Miami, Beaux Arts, and the wider community, the Lowe Art Museum continues to fulfill its mission of enriching lives through the celebration of art and culture.