Yes, we love the Arsht Center and have seasonal passes to MOCA, but sometimes our cultural curiosity craves something a little more...unique. If you haven’t realized yet, Miami has certain depths dying to be explored — and all right under your nose. Indeed, the city is home to a museum dedicated to sex, an indie collection of artist studios showcasing our most talented up-and-comers, and a spot celebrating retro flyers. See? You don’t need to travel far to develop distinctive tastes. Make the day different and click through to check our selection of the most notably bizarre (and interesting) public collections Miami has to offer.
Photos: Courtesy of The World Erotic Museum, Art Center/South Florida, and Wings Over Miami
Wings Over Miami
You’re feeling that vacation itch. If you're dreaming of old-timey luggage, giant sunglasses, and headscarves, a luxe vacation is within reach. Sure, you still have to go to the airport, but don't worry — lift off isn't needed. Wings Over Miami is an aviation museum located in a restored hangar at the Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport, and features vintage aircraft, military trainers and jets from the Cold War.
You might not actually be getting out of town, but for special events, you can watch planes take off and make formations at this “living museum.” Headscarves and giant sunglasses welcome.
Photo: Courtesy of Wings Over Miami
World Erotic Art Museum
Perhaps you’ve been in the car with your parents/boss, en route to dinner, and blushed as you drove past the World Erotic Art Museum on South Beach. You are officially invited to work up the guts to go inside; the pieces are just as much of a lesson in history as they are X-rated.
The World Erotic Art Museum, established in 2006, is the largest collection of erotic art in the Americas and worth an estimated $10 million. Founder Naomi Wilzig became interested in the subject as a grandmother looking to help outfit her son’s bachelor pad and hook him up with some “conversation pieces.” We aren’t sure how well that plan worked out, but we're positive that the works, including Picasso’s, are worth checking out.
Photo: Courtesy of The World Erotic Art Museum
ArtCenter/South Florida, a storefront property right on Lincoln Road that we've all passed a million times, is a museum/work-space/center/gallery (whew!) where the artists' practice is just as much on exhibit as the work.
The doors are open for the public at no fee. Artists in residency each have a studio space meant to be spied on by visitors. The rotating workspaces of contemporary artists presents a welcome alternative to the Britto store aesthetic just down the street.
Wander through the winding mosaic hallways after dinner (they’re open until 11 p.m. on the weekends) and you’re likely to catch an artist in the midst of winding a piece of wire into a silhouette or painting an abstract landscape.
Sign up for an open class in jewelry-making (who doesn’t harbor dreams of designing an eponymous accessory label?) or take advantage of the onsite darkroom and become just as much a part of the museum display as the residents.
Photo: Courtesy of ArtCenter/South Florida