The University of Miami was founded in 1925 in Coral Gables at the same time as the new city was being developed by George Merrick who gave the new university 160 acres of land and the immense sum of £5 million (at the time). Its start was slow due to the collapse of the Florida economy and the major hurricane of 1926.
Today it has an enrolment of over 17,000 students and has built a considerable amount of new research, teaching and student buildings over recent years, with a strong focus on sustainability.
The Lowe Art Museum, opened in 1952, is one of the key arts facilities on the campus. Inevitably modern university collections are a product of the donors who have supported the university and donated collections. The Lowe has a rich and diverse permanent collection, one of the highlights being the contemporary glass and studio arts in the self-contained pavilion (including glass by the Cuban artist Jose Chardiet). Another Cuban highlight is Carlos Alfonzo’s ‘A Tongue to Utter’ and his ‘Ballerinas’.
When I visited, there were several excellent special exhibitions including an extensive display of early 20th century Russian art from the Bekkerman Collection and work by the Argentinian artist Marcelo Bonevardi exploring his interest in magic realism, myth and art history.