Miami Art Museum Runs into Major Push Back Over Proposed Name Change

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By Steve Delahoyde Comment

What’s in a name? If you’re a publicly funded museum, plenty it seems. In Miami, now in the tail end of this year’s Art Basel, the controversy du jour is over the Miami Art Museum‘s announcement that it will be renaming itself the Jorge M. Perez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County after the wealthy real estate developer donated $35 million toward the construction of the organization’s new Herzog & de Meuron-designed building. While there’s nothing incredibly unique about this, as you’d be hard pressed to not be able to find a named-cultural institution in any major city anywhere in the world. So why the problem? The Miami Herald offers up this great overview of the issue, ranging from the fact that Perez’s donation will only a portion of the funds needed while the public coffers will be sending over $103 million and that the developer isn’t the most popular in the city right now due to perceptions that he overbuilt luxury buildings during the real estate boom and now many of his towers stand empty. Add to that some general anger against the extremely-wealthy thanks in part to both the economy and groups like the Occupy Wall Street movement and the picture’s starting to get a bit clearer. However, it isn’t just chatter. The paper writes about the fall out from the renaming, including board members resigning and even a full page newspaper ad taken out by the museum’s former president, speaking out against it. On the other side of the debate, the NY Times provides the museum’s side of it, as well as giving some more positive background on Perez himself. And now, of course, we must mention that we would happily change our name to the [Your Name Here] Blog About Design Stuff for just $25 million. Cheap!

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