With its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas, PAMM is dedicated to presenting artwork by historically underrepresented artists, including the U.S. Latinx experience, the African diaspora, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Drawing on this theme, Bailey chose artworks by two artists because of their ties to the region: Mario Mesa, who was a political prisoner in Cuba before fleeing in 1980 to Miami during the Mariel boatlift, and Jane Winkelman, who lived in the Miami area for several years before moving to San Francisco to work on behalf of the homeless. Purvis Young has been a significant part of PAMM’s collection since 2005, and Bailey's gift of several superb paintings will provide a wider context for the presentation of his work outside the confines of traditions associated with the American South.
Highlights of Bailey’s gift include: a near eight-foot, reclaimed oak door, carved and painted by Herbert Singleton; an original, mixed media work by Sister Gertrude Morgan, created in 1970 on the frontispiece of God’s Greatest Hits, a book of Bible verses illustrated with Morgan works owned by the late poet Rod McKuen; and an exemplary work depicting two riders on a mule created by the renowned Clementine Hunter when she was in her nineties–a rare verso drawing adds a poignant touch.
Bailey hopes his substantial commitment to PAMM underscores that of donor, and trustee Jorge M. Pérez, and supports the museum’s mission: “Because of the sustaining generosity of Mr. Pérez and Franklin’s leadership, PAMM is establishing a reputation as one of America’s most progressive museums,” said Bailey. “The museum’s expanding collection reflects its vibrant home city, host of the internationally-acclaimed Miami Art Week and Art Basel Miami, and adds to its presence as a dynamic cultural center.”
What Carried Us Over: Gifts from Gordon W. Bailey, an exhibition organized by PAMM’s curatorial staff in conversation with Bailey, featuring selections from his gift, is planned for September 2019.
About Pérez Art Museum Miami
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture, and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. The 35-year-old South Florida institution, formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM) and led by Director Franklin Sirmans, opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, on December 4, 2013 in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park. The facility is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab, and classroom spaces.