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Rubell Museum DC to Open in Nation’s Capital in Fall 2022


Washington, DC – May 11, 2022 – Today, the Rubells announced the launch of a second museum, the Rubell Museum DC, which will open to the public on October 29, 2022. The museum will present exhibitions of works, drawn from the Rubells’ unparalleled and ever-expanding collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, and site-specific work by American and international artists. Residents of Washington, DC will receive free admission to the museum, providing expanded opportunities for the wider community to engage in a dialogue with the artists of our times.

Located at 65 I Street in Southwest DC, less than a mile from the Capitol and National Mall, the Rubell Museum DC will be dedicated exclusively to contemporary art. Its collection encompasses over 7,400 works and is distinguished by the diversity and geographic distribution of the 1,000-plus artists represented within it. The museum will be programmed to complement and be contextualized within the city’s incredible array of art museums, including the nearby Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Gallery of Art, National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as well as the Phillips Collection in Northwest DC and many specialized art museums throughout the city.

The museum will be housed in the historic former Cardozo Elementary and then Randall Junior High School, which were in operation from 1906 to 1978. The adaptive reuse of the building into a museum preserves this important landmark, a historically Black public school in Southwest DC listed in the National Register of Historic Places and brings it back to life as a public resource.

The 32,000 square foot museum will feature exhibition galleries, public programming, flexible activation spaces, a bookstore, and a café with indoor and outdoor dining. The Museum’s opening program will be announced in the coming months.

“Creating a museum for sharing our collection with the people who live and work in our nation’s capital and those who visit the city from across the U.S. and around the world fulfills a longtime dream for us,” said Mera Rubell. “We are truly excited to be joining the community of outstanding museums in the city and adding a public resource that explores contemporary life, issues, and ideas.”

Since the Rubells began sharing art with the public in 1993, they have organized more than 50 exhibitions, loaned thousands of works to institutions nationally and internationally, and published dozens of scholarly volumes. Many of their exhibitions have been presented in cities across the U.S., including the groundbreaking 30 Americans, which began its decade-long tour in Washington, DC at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2011 and has subsequently traveled to 20 museums across the U.S.

The historic building’s reinvigoration and redevelopment into a museum was conceived by the Rubells and Telesis, and realized by Lowe, a national real estate developer, investor and manager, which is also developing an adjacent new 492-unit apartment building, Gallery 64, with 20% of its units dedicated to affordable housing. Beyer Blinder Belle is the design architect for the museum and the apartment building.

About the Rubell Museum  
The Rubell Museum opened in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood in December 2019. Originally launched in 1993 as the Rubell Family Collection/Contemporary Arts Foundation, the foundation was renamed the Rubell Museum to underscore its commitment to growing as a public resource. Shortly after Don and Mera Rubell married in 1964, they started collecting art in New York, when Mera was a Head Start teacher and Don was in medical school. The collection has since grown into a multi-generational family passion for connecting, engaging, and supporting many of the most compelling artists of our time.

The Museum experience in Miami unfolds on a single level, with 36 galleries, a flexible performance space, an extensive research library, a bookstore, and an indoor-outdoor Basque restaurant LEKU, that opens onto a courtyard garden filled with plants native to South Florida. Its home was previously six interconnected industrial buildings that were then transformed by Selldorf Architects.

The Rubell Museum’s collection provides an unprecedented range of contemporary art that has enabled the Museum to organize over 50 exhibitions during the last three decades drawn. These have included such groundbreaking and diverse exhibitions as Life After Death: New Leipzig Paintings (2004), Richard Prince (2004), Red Eye: Los Angeles Artists (2006), 30 Americans (2008), Against All Odds: Keith Haring (2008), Beg Borrow and Steal (2009), 28 Chinese (2013), NO MAN’S LAND (2015), Still Human (2017), Purvis Young (2018), and Yayoi Kusama (2020). Many of these exhibitions have toured to museums internationally and have been accompanied by catalogues, including 30 Americans, which has toured for over 10 years to 20 museums around the country.

On view in Miami:        
Rubell Museum        
1100 NW 23rd St, Miami, FL 33127

  • Natalie Ball, through May 29, 2022   
    Natalie Ball is a Chiloquin, Oregon-based artist and activist who works with a wide breadth of materials including animal hides, horsehair, quilts, acrylic, plastic, and canvas. Through her sculptural paintings which she refers to as “power objects,” Ball considers intersectional narratives of Indigenous experience and history.
  • Hernan Bas, through May 29, 2022       
    Hernan Bas is one of South Florida’s most celebrated artists. Bas’ work incorporates romantic and classical imagery, finding inspiration in fashion, Goth culture, and children’s mystery books. Painted in the early years of Bas’ career, the drawings and paintings presented in this exhibition may be seen as an allegory of the stages of human life from childhood to young adulthood.
  • Reginald O’Neal: AS I AM, through October 2022       
    For this exhibition the Museum commissioned new artworks from Reginald O’Neal, a painter from Miami whose artwork reflects on his lived experience. He states, “My desire is to embrace the unappreciated, defaced, and misrepresented, as well as illustrate the true beauty within my community. It is for people looking from the outside, but mainly a mirror for residents of the community to see ourselves for who we are." AS I AM features seven paintings, including two newly commissioned large-scale works which use historic images juxtaposed with people present in the artist’s life.
  • Cajsa von Zeipel, through October 2022     
    Cajsa von Zeipel works between desire, seduction, and the grotesque to defy traditional representations of gender. Her silicone sculptures of dramatically adorned and contorted figures delve into identity, queerness, normativity, and fantasy.
  • Keith Haring, Ongoing     
    Keith Haring is extensively represented in the Rubell Museum’s collection. A testament to the artist’s relationship with the family, the ongoing presentation of his work also underscores his significance in the New York art world of the 1980s, where he was an influential artist, concerned with the social and political issues of his era.
  • Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Rooms and Narcissus Garden, Ongoing     
    Yayoi Kusama’s celebrated, fully immersive installations create a kaleidoscopic effect that transports visitors to an alternate, limitless universe. Where the Lights in My Heart Go, 2016 and INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER, 2017 are the only Infinity Rooms on view in the Southeast. Concurrently, the Museum is presenting Kusama’s mesmerizing, monumental Narcissus Garden from 1966. Composed of 700 stainless steel spheres, the work flows 200 feet along the Museum’s central gallery, creating an everchanging river of reflection.
  • Collection Highlights, Ongoing     
    Since the new Rubell Museum opened in 2019, the Museum has constantly drawn from its extensive collection to share new works with viewers. Jean-Michel Basquiat, Amoako Boafo, Marlene Dumas, Urs Fischer, Thomas Houseago, Jeff Koons, Tschabalala Self, Mickalene Thomas, and Kara Walker are some of the newly installed highlights.

Touring Exhibitions:

  • Being Human: Contemporary Art from the Rubell Museum will be on view at the Flint Institute of Arts in Flint, MI from May 14 through August 22, 2022.
  • 30 Americans will be on view at The New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, CT from June 16 through October 29, 2022.

For more information on the Museum, please visit rubellmuseum.org and follow @rubellmuseum on Instagram.

Image: Rubell Museum DC Façade Rendering, courtesy of Buyer Blender Belle.

For media inquiries, please contact:        
Resnicow and Associates        
Megan Ardery / Chelsea Beroza / Julia Exelbert / Charlotte Youkilis