The Museum of Art and Design (MOAD) dates back to 2005 with the creation of exhibits within downtown Miami'a historic Freedom Tower. Thanks to the support of college personnel and local philanthropic organizations, Miami Dade College expanded the collection and established a formal museum in August, 2012. The museum reopened in the spring of 2018 following renovations that included the creation of additional gallery space. From offering a space for students and local artists to the formal creation of MOAD, the museum has become Miami Dade College's leading institution dedicated to the presentation and exhibition of visual art and design. With a growing collection of nearly two thousand works and more than 17,000 square feet of exhibition space, this museum is becoming known within and beyond the Miami art community for exhibitions by emerging artists as well as major figures in modern, postmodern and contemporary art. The institution is also known for its efforts to support artists who explore the intersection of design and social issues relevant to Miami, including race, immigration, and inclusion.
Constructed in 1925 as a home for
The Miami News, Freedom Tower was modeled after the
Giralda Cathedral Bell Tower in Seville, Spain. The Freedom Tower was operated
by the U.S. government as a reception center for Cuban refugees from 1962 to
1974. The building is significant because it represents the important story of
the Cuban migration to America and resettlement during the Cold War. It remains
one of South Florida's most distinctive historic buildings and was designated a
National Historic Landmark in 2008.
MOAD provides open, critical, and
collaborative frameworks for artistic experimentation and interdisciplinary
risk-taking that explores the intersections of art, design, and other art forms
with cultural action. It also provides its patrons and visitors access to
unique cultural, historical and educational exhibitions that enrich the greater
community while building and preserving an expansive permanent art collection,
Freedom Tower archives, and newly established design collection. The Museum
advances Miami Dade College’s core values, contributing to the intellectual
life of the college, engaging students and audiences from the community and the
In May 2018, the main floor reopened following extensive renovations and the creation of a pair of companion galleries. The long-established Cuban Exile
Experience and Cultural Legacy Gallery will debut an improved and expanded permanent
exhibition, including new immersive elements. Another permanent new gallery
will show pieces from the renowned Kislak Collection of artifacts, books and
historic documents from the early Americas.
The MDC Permanent Collection
contains over 1,900 works in all mediums and genres, including painting,
sculpture, works on paper, photography, video, film, installation and public
sculpture. The collection was established in the 1960s at the individual
campuses, with the first formal institution of a collection at MDC
North Campus. MDC's Permanent Collection is known for works by emerging
artists, under recognized artists, as well as major figures in the modern,
postmodern, and contemporary art. Among the greatest strengths in the
collection are pieces within movements of Minimalism, Pop Art of the 60s &
70s, Conceptual Art and Contemporary Latin American Artists.