×
Download our app and take culture in your pocket
Get cultureOwl on the iOS App Store for free Get cultureOwl on the Google Play Store for free
Museum Month May/June 2021 - CultureOwl
NSU Art Museum
The fast-paced improv show, “Zoetic Schmoetic,” takes place at the Arsht Center’s outdoor Thomson Plaza. (Photo courtesy of Eyeworks Production)

Learning Curve

What COVID-19 Taught Museums That Will Carry Them Through

By Michelle F. Solomon

While it wasn't an easy adaptation, it had to be done, and quickly. When everything shutdown mid-March 2020 because of COVID-19, museums, already trying to stay relevant in the 21st century, found themselves at a crossroads.

Adapt to a new normal or wait it out? "Waiting it out wasn't an option," said Silvia Karman Cubiñá, the Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach. "Going digital was a new skill that we had to learn." Cubiñá said the experience in hindsight ended up being as philosophical as it was logistical.

"It was looking at a new way of running a museum and a new way of conceiving of what the museum can be. How do you reach people and how do keep the spirit of the museum alive using technology in any means that you can?" she said.

"It was looking at a new way of running a museum and a new way of conceiving of what the museum can be. How do you reach people and how do keep the spirit of the museum alive using technology in any means that you can?" she said.

Many museums are keeping some of the discoveries made during the pandemic as part of their forever repertoire – while not exactly hybrid, museums have found that many of the virtual offerings conjured during COVID will remain vital to their operations in a post-pandemic world.

Interestingly enough the pandemic opened doors for museums to attract new audiences. They discovered that by using virtual platforms, there were people eager to log on and, in some instances, money to be made.

Case in point: The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU discovered a new niche in the midst of the pandemic. While launching one of its biggest exhibitions, "Judith Lieber: Master Craftsman," about the late A-list handbag designer, which opened March 4 and was to remain on view at the museum through Sept. 6, when the museum shutdown in mid March, it also had to cancel group tours already booked for the show. Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU museum manager Nancy Cohen said that members of the Greater Miami Jewish Foundation were booked for April 1. "I received a call from them asking if there was any way we could do a virtual tour instead," said Cohen. It just so happened that they had done a video recording of the exhibit.

Bass Museum
Judith Leiber Exhibit JEWISH MUSEUM

They put together a Zoom program for the group, who liked it so much they spread the word to organizations across the country.

"We have now done more than 75 tours in the U.S. and all the way into Canada," Cohen said, and it's not letting up. The museum already has plans to create the same kind of virtual program for their October exhibit, "Hello, Gorgeous," a tribute to Barbra Streisand.

While Cohen said they didn't plan on charging for the virtual tours, organizations contributed money for the programming. "So, yes, we've made money, which we obviously need," she said.

Museums found expansions on digital platforms to keep revenue flowing. In October of 2020, just before the holidays, The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach opened a virtual store as a way to keep money flowing into the museum during the shutdown.

The online version of its popular shop had always been on the museum's to do list, but the store's director of retail operations, Kristen Cahill, told the Palm Beach Daily News that the downtime during the shutdown gave the museum the ability to research the store and set it up. "Online is really important because it's all the time, 24 hours a day, forever," said Bruce Gendelman, board chairman and acting CEO.

Summer art camps, an in-person windfall for museums, had to be adapted for a COVID-19 world, and, in turn, participation came from outside of the usual local draw.

“We shifted our education, public programming and summer camp online, which has significantly improved our engagement, reaching people in places that we wouldn’t have been able to reach in the past," said Chana Sheldon, executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami.

Museums are businesses, too, so with the help of Paycheck Protection Program, Small Business Administration, government loans, along with private donations, the Tampa Museum of Art kept full-time staff employed. Despite being closed to the public, they kept busy, said Michael Tomor, the Penny and Jeff Vinik executive eirector of the Tampa Museum of Art. "They created Museum from Home, a new online art education program for our members and the public. This is our way to continue to provide the highest quality art programming to the Tampa Bay community and across the globe," said Tomor.

Bass Museum
Bass Museum

Virtual offerings are seeping into many aspects of the commercial visual arts world, too. Consider what's happening this month at Art Basel Hong Kong to maybe get a glimpse of what Art Basel Miami Beach might look like in the near future. Of the 104 exhibitors confirmed for the May 2021 edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, 56 galleries will participate remotely through "ghost" booths, which, for now, keeps aligned with any travel restriction issues, while also saving galleries big bucks – no shipping of art, no sending of staff. The fair will also be streamed in its entirely for live online viewing, and virtual walkthroughs will be set up for VIP guests, many of whom wouldn't mind staying home and buying art online.

While nothing can replace the up close and personal experience of being in the presence of great art, digital has found a place in museums, which have easily adapted. While the pandemic caused immediate concerns, forward thinking shows that they were able to expand on what their missions have always been –preserve and document legacies, become more accessible, and enhance their abilities to enlighten and educate audiences for years to come.

Spring Exhibitions

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

By Jessica Graves

NSU Art Museum is the hub of the South Florida Art Coast, situated midway between Miami and Palm Beach in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale, one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S. Its distinctive modernist building, which opened in 1986, was designed by the renowned architect Edward Larrabee Barnes.

Located in Fort Lauderdale’s active Arts and Entertainment District, the Museum is a short walk to the shops, restaurants and galleries of vibrant Las Olas Boulevard and the picturesque Riverwalk waterfront promenade.

The Museum's 83,000 square-foot building contains 25,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 256-seat auditorium, Museum Store and Cafe.

With the announcement of the new Spring exhibition line-up, as well as the current blockbuster show, The World of Anna Sui, everyone is sure to find something that will take their breath away.

The Carter Project Photos by Steven Broke
The Carter Project Photos by Steven Broke

The Carter Project: This multi-media exhibition explores the home, studio and exhibition space created by Miami artist Christopher Carter that serves as both a residence for his family and living laboratory for artistic pursuits. The largest, most comprehensive structure that Carter ever dreamed to make, the eco-conscious design challenges traditional materials in innovative ways. Integrated in the carbon footprint-reducing structures are repurposed shipping containers that house some of The Carter Project's living areas and art production studios. View More

Thomas Bils: Still Cheaper Than Paying
Oil on Miami Dade Parking Citation - Jeffrey Noble (left & bottom right), Laura Novoa (top right)

Thomas Bils: Still Cheaper Than Paying The first solo museum exhibition of Miami artist Thomas Bils highlights his ongoing series, Still Cheaper Than Paying, in which Bils transforms artifacts of his financial obligations like parking tickets, into unique artworks which he then crowdsources for sale on social media or by commission, thereby transcending their original monetary status and bringing himself closer to his goal of living a net-zero lifestyle. View More

Bass Museum
Artwork By: Simphiwe Ndzube (left), Jared McGriff (center), Reginald O'Neal (right)

Lineages: Works from the Collection Lineages brings together works from NSU Art Museum's permanent collection, which have been selected to act in conversation with the current exhibition, Eric N. Mack: Lemme walk across the room. Mack collaborated with Museum curators to cull together works that highlight some of his predecessors and abstract painters who have influenced him. The exhibition also features contemporary artists whose works share affinities with Mack’s poetic arrangements and themes and celebrates recent acquisitions. View More

ALSO ON VIEW

THE WORLD OF ANNA SUI
Through October 3, 2021

IKÉ UDÉ: SELECT PORTRAITS
TThrough January 9, 2022

ERIC N. MACK: LEMME WALK ACROSS THE ROOM
Through January 9, 2022

I PAINT MY REALITY: SURREALISM IN LATIN AMERICA
Through Fall 2021

WILLIAM J. GLACKENS: FROM PENCIL TO PAINT
Through Spring 2021

The History of Diving Museum

Founded By Drs. Joe and Sally Bauer

By Lisa Mongelia

The History of Diving Museum (HDM) opened to the public in 2005 to share the international story of “the quest to explore under the sea.” Located in the beautiful Florida Keys, visitors from all around the world enjoy strolling through exhibits that cover over 4,000 years of the development of underwater diving while learning about early pioneers and the special role that South Florida has played in this largely untold story.

The majority of the Museum’s artifacts were acquired by the Museum’s founders, Drs. Joe and Sally Bauer, two medical doctors with a fascination for diving history. They loved all aspects of the sport and attained expertise as marine biologists, aquarists and dive historians. After purchasing their first diving helmet in 1970, the Bauers researched the evolution of man’s entry into the sea with a focus on early history and technology, prior to the development of scuba. Over the next forty years, they assembled one of the world’s largest collections of equipment, documents, books, films, and videos related to diving. Their passion took them to virtually every corner of the globe, seeking out inventors and diving pioneers, tracking down artifacts, piecing together a comprehensive timeline to modern diving. The journey began in a pre-internet world forcing them to do in-person research and review of historical and scientific journals which helped them define the history of diving. While Dr. Joe was multi lingual, there were times that other experts and translators were sought out as well.

The Bauer’s enjoyed the hunt, traveling to authenticate artifacts, test historic equipment, submerge in a model of an early diving bell and construct and dive a replica of an 1838 regulator. As they built the Museum’s collection, they also created a network of diving history lovers; Drs. Joe and Sally were founding members of the International Historical Diving Society of both the United Kingdom and the United States. Because of the Bauers’ work, this important story is able to be shared by thousands of people every year. The Museum still collects and preserves historical diving artifacts, while educating a new generation of divers and history-lovers.

DIPC 1st day - father & son in abyss
DIPC 1st Day (left) - Father & Son in Abyss (right)

Educational outreach is a significant part of what the Museum does, offering this inspiring history to schools throughout the Florida Keys, South Florida, and beyond. This is accomplished through Museum in Motion partnerships with school districts to provide virtual and in-class presentations on a variety of topics such as marine biology, history of diving, and underwater artists. The Museum hosts marine themed book clubs and also collaborates with other organizations and individuals to introduce students to careers in the diving field. Schools and summer camps visit the Museum for hands on activities and guided tours with staff and volunteers.

HDM has grown steadily since opening in 2005. In 2012 the Bauer Diving History Research Library was opened, creating a space for lectures and events while housing a robust collection of books, patents, and paper-based artifacts. In 2015 a changing exhibit gallery was opened, enabling the Museum to feature two changing exhibits each year focusing on a wide array of topics with dive partners across the world. Previous exhibits have highlighted underwater habitats, technical diving, and collaborations with local artists, schools and diving groups doing incredible work underwater such as Diving With a Purpose and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Diving in Pop Culture Set Up
Diving in Pop Culture Set Up

The Museum’s newest featured exhibit is Diving in Pop Culture, open only through December 31st 2021. In this exhibit visitors will see representations of diving in literature, movies, games, collectibles, and more. From Reap the Wild Wind to Men of Honor, from board games to video games, there is something for everyone in this fun new exhibit. Popular culture’s depictions of diving inspire, encourage, and sometimes terrify divers and non-divers alike. Artifacts on display include a scuba regulator with a Star Wars backstory, Van Halen’s 1982 record Diver Down, and a variety of gear and equipment seen in films and television shows like Sea Hunt, Jaws, and Life Aquatic. Also showcased are vintage advertisements, magazine spreads, and other materials from the Museum’s archival collection.

To complement this new exhibit, HDM has developed a series of programs and special events through the end of the year. Visit DivingMuseum.Org to learn about film screenings, art programs, book clubs, and more. Along with the exhibit-specific events, the Museum offers a monthly “Immerse Yourself!” presentation and has several themed weekends to participate in. On Father’s Day weekend, the Museum will celebrate some of the pioneering “fathers” of diving. In July, HDM will celebrate women in diving with PADI Women’s Dive Weekend. In August and September, be on the lookout for weekend events that will take participants back to the early days of SCUBA diving using vintage equipment. Each special event weekend will have unique programs, custom scavenger hunts, and fun for the whole family.

The History of Diving Museum honors our military by offering free admission to active duty and discounts to veterans year round. HDM also offers free entry to military families as part of the Blue Star summer program created by the National Endowment of the Arts and the Department of Defense. A highlight of their visit is the Military Exhibit which has information on each branch of service, pioneers and missions relating to divers in the armed forces.

HDM encourages you to “dive in” and explore for yourself! Visit the exhibits, attend events, shop in the Museum Store, become a member, and sponsor or volunteer.

The History of Diving Museum and Museum Store are located at 82990 Overseas Highway (MM83) in Islamorada, FL is pet and child friendly, open daily from 10AM-5PM. For more details check out DivingMuseum.Org or find us on social media and our YouTube channel. To learn more email Info@DivingMuseum.org or call the Museum at 305-664-9737.

Museum Events

TOUR: The Place as Metaphor: Collection Conversations
TOUR: The Place as Metaphor: Collection Conversations
Virtual
Museums - 5/14 11
Sandoway Discovery Series
Sandoway Discovery Series
Delray Beach
Museums - 1/21 - 12/30 11
The World of Anna Sui
The World of Anna Sui
Fort Lauderdale
Museums - 2/28 - 10/3 12
Eric N. Mack: Lemme walk across the room
Eric N. Mack: Lemme walk across the room
Fort Lauderdale
Museums - 3/7 - 10/31 13
Iké Udé: Select Portraits
Iké Udé: Select Portraits
Fort Lauderdale
Museums - 4/4 - 1/9 13
The Magic of Artmaking and Mindfulness
The Magic of Artmaking and Mindfulness
Virtual
Museums - 5/25 15
Diving In Pop Culture
Diving In Pop Culture
Islamorada
Museums - 4/21 - 12/31 11
From Gilbert Stuart to Jean-Michel Basquiat: American Art at CFAM
From Gilbert Stuart to Jean-Michel Basquiat: American Art at CFAM
Virtual
Museums - 6/8 15
Watercolor Workshop
Watercolor Workshop
Virtual
Museums - 5/14 15
In Class with Dr. George: Defining Moments in South Florida History
In Class with Dr. George: Defining Moments in South Florida History
Virtual
Museums - 5/25 13
Michael Richards: Are You Down?
Michael Richards: Are You Down?
North Miami
Museums - 4/21 - 10/10 13
Thursday at Three: Jacqueline Goldstein in conversation with Anne Dopffer, Chagall Museum
Thursday at Three: Jacqueline Goldstein in conversation with Anne Dopffer, Chagall Museum
Virtual
Museums - 5/20 16
Constellations Hot Glass Art by Rob Stern at WMODA
Constellations Hot Glass Art by Rob Stern at WMODA
Dania Beach
Museums - 4/13 - 7/31 20
Fantastique at WMODA
Fantastique at WMODA
Dania Beach
Museums - 4/13 - 7/31 19
Art on Fire - The Chihuly Connection at WMODA
Art on Fire - The Chihuly Connection at WMODA
Dania Beach
Museums - 4/13 - 7/31 14
A Safari for the Soul - Ardmore Ceramic Art at WMODA
A Safari for the Soul - Ardmore Ceramic Art at WMODA
Dania Beach
Museums - 4/13 - 7/31 12
Carnival and Cabaret at WMODA
Carnival and Cabaret at WMODA
Dania Beach
Museums - 4/13 - 7/31 22
Deering Estate Spring Contemporary: Homemaking
Deering Estate Spring Contemporary: Homemaking
Miami
Museums - 4/19 - 6/13 16
Dance Workshop: Rhythms & Movements of West Africa
Dance Workshop: Rhythms & Movements of West Africa
Virtual
Museums - 5/16 13
Paul Stankard - The Art of the Flame
Paul Stankard - The Art of the Flame
Dania Beach
Museums - 6/10 - 7/31 20
BOGO Free: Enjoy a Day by the Bay at the Deering Estate
BOGO Free: Enjoy a Day by the Bay at the Deering Estate
Miami
Museums - 5/1 - 7/31 21
Earth Air Fire Water at WMODA
Earth Air Fire Water at WMODA
Dania Beach
Museums - 5/4 - 9/30 11
International Museum Day at WMODA
International Museum Day at WMODA
Dania Beach
Museums - 5/18 17
Women in US Navy Diving
Women in US Navy Diving
Virtual
Museums - 5/19 16
Conversation at MOCA: Morel Doucet and Stephen Arboite
Conversation at MOCA: Morel Doucet and Stephen Arboite
Virtual
Museums - 5/19 13
Virtual Jazz at MOCA: Lucas Apostoleris Quintet
Virtual Jazz at MOCA: Lucas Apostoleris Quintet
Virtual
Museums - 5/28 12
“The Island Imprint: Legends, Locals and Landscapes of the Caribbean”
“The Island Imprint: Legends, Locals and Landscapes of the Caribbean”
Fort Lauderdale
Museums - 6/1 - 6/30 12
History Fort Lauderdale’s “Meet the Author” Zoom Series Featuring Arthur Jay Marcus
History Fort Lauderdale’s “Meet the Author” Zoom Series Featuring Arthur Jay Marcus
Virtual
Museums - 5/13 15
Virtual MOCA Makers
Virtual MOCA Makers
Virtual
Museums - 5/22 11
Documenting History, Acknowledging a Legacy: Miami Black Arts Workshop
Documenting History, Acknowledging a Legacy: Miami Black Arts Workshop
Virtual
Museums - 6/12 22
 

Museum Directory

an image

{{ m.name }}

{{ m.address }}
{{ m.address2 }}
Visit Site
Dates & Times

Discover museums and attractions throughout Florida.

Click to view location and links.

  • Key West Art & Historical Society
  • The Studio of Key West
  • Audubon House Gallery
  • Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
  • Key West Tropical & Botanical
  • History of Diving Museum
  • Lowe Art Museum
  • The Deering Estate
  • The Barnacle Historic State Park
  • Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
  • The Cuban Diaspora
  • Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum
  • Miami Seaquarium
  • Virginia Key Beach Park & Trust
  • HistoryMiami Museum
  • Miami Center for Architecture & Design
  • Jewish Museum of Florida Inc
  • The BASS Museum
  • Institute of Contemporary Art
  • African Heritage Cultural Arts Center
  • Doral Contemporary Art Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Ancient Spanish Monastery
  • The Frank Gallery
  • Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts
  • Old Davie School Historical Museum
  • Flamingo Gardens
  • History Fort Lauderdale
  • NSU Art Museum
  • Young At Art Museum
  • Island SPACE
  • Broward Art Guild
  • Butterfly World
  • Coral Springs Museum of Art
  • Boca Raton Museum of Art
  • Spady Museum
  • Sandoway House
  • Old School Square
  • South Florida Science Center
  • Norton Museum of Art
  • Flagler Museum
  • Arts Council of Martin County
  • Cornell Fine Arts Museum
  • Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • USF Contemporary Art Museum
  • Florida Aquarium
  • Tampa Museum of Art
  • Henry B. Plant Museum
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • St. Petersburg Museum of History
  • James Museum
  • Florida Holocaust Museum
  • The Dalí
  • Imagine Museum
  • The Ringling
  • Sarasota Art Museum
  • Circus Sarasota
 

Get Social with US!

Miami / Ft. Lauderdale

Palm Beach

Tampa / St. Pete

Close

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Error message here!

Back to log-in

Close