Rosa de la Cruz: A Legacy of Art in Miami

Celebrate the life of Rosa de la Cruz, whose dedication to contemporary art profoundly influenced Miami’s cultural fabric. Learn about her journey, the De la Cruz Collection, and her commitment to art accessibility and education.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
Rosa de la Cruz, an influential art collector in Miami's art scene, passed away at 81, leaving behind a legacy of passion and dedication to contemporary art.
Together with her husband Carlos, Rosa created the De la Cruz Collection in Miami's Design District, a 30,000-square-foot space offering free admission and educational programs, showcasing over 1000 works of contemporary art.
Rosa's visionary approach to collecting art focused on works addressing identity, gender, class, and power, making the De la Cruz Collection a vital space for cultural engagement and education.

Remembering Rosa de la Cruz

Rosa de la Cruz, who played a big part in making Miami’s art world what it is with her husband Carlos, has died at 81. She was born in Cuba in a family that loved art and culture. Her story is about moving from Havana to Miami and becoming a well-known art collector, filled with passion, hard work, and a clear goal. After leaving Cuba in 1960 to escape Castro’s government, Rosa and Carlos started a new life in the United States and soon became important figures in Florida’s art scene.

A Life Dedicated to Art

Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz’s love for art was not just a hobby but a way of living. They began collecting art seriously in the late 1980s, with their first major acquisition being Rufino Tamayo’s “Star Gazer” in 1988. Their collection, which started with a focus on modern Latin American art, soon embraced contemporary international art, influenced by the works of Cuban artist Félix González-Torres.

The de la Cruz Collection: A Legacy of Accessibility and Education

Rosa and Carlos turned their love for art into something everyone could enjoy when they opened the De la Cruz Collection in Miami’s Design District in 2009. This big place, as large as 30,000 square feet with over 1000 works of contemporary art, shows how much they wanted everyone to see and learn about art for free. They also put on programs to teach people more about it. The museum always has lots of different art on display, showing how modern art helps us understand what’s going on in society and different cultures.

A Visionary Approach to Collecting and Sharing Art

Rosa’s approach to collecting art was thoughtful and intentional. She and Carlos sought to document the art of the 21st century, focusing on works that address identity, gender, class, and power. Their collecting practice was a partnership, balancing their individual preferences for paintings and performance art. Rosa’s dedication to critical thinking and her active engagement with art advisors and curators underscored her belief in art collecting as a meaningful pursuit​​.

Making Art Public: From Home to Museum

Before they opened their museum, Rosa and Carlos turned their home in Key Biscayne into a place where everyone could come and see art, living uniquely surrounded by their art collection. They wanted everyone to enjoy their art, which led them to start the De la Cruz Collection. This place was made to help people get involved in culture and learn more. It offers talks, classes, and scholarships, showing how much they want to help others really get what modern art is all about.

Rosa de la Cruz has greatly impacted Miami’s world of art and community. Working with Carlos, she didn’t just make Miami’s culture richer; she also showed a great way to bring art and people together. The De la Cruz Collection keeps her dream alive, encouraging new generations and proving her important role in today’s art scene.

Grace Angelique

An accomplished Art News Journalist with a decade of experience, Grace has passionately covered global art events, exhibitions, and emerging trends. With a keen eye for aesthetics and a pulse on the art world's undercurrents, Grace has crafted compelling narratives that bridge art and its societal impacts. Her work has graced major publications, offering readers a fresh perspective on contemporary art and its evolving landscape.

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