Local Developer Pledges $35 Million to Miami Art Museum

The Miami Art Museum has announced that longtime supporter Jorge Pérez, founder and CEO of the Related Group, has pledged $35 million to help build a new home for the museum next to Biscayne Bay.

The lead gift in a $220 million capital campaign, Pérez' commitment includes $5 million he has already pledged and partially paid to the museum, $15 million over the next ten years for the campaign, and $15 million worth of Latin American art from his personal collection. Scheduled to open in 2013, the 120,000-square-foot facility will be named the Jorge M. P�rez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County in recognition of the gift.

According to the Miami Herald, three museum board members resigned in protest after word got out last month about the name change, and former museum president Mary Frank and her husband, Howard, commissioned a full-page print ad decrying the decision. "Let's be realistic," Frank said to the Herald, "they sold the name of the museum."

But museum board chair Aaron Podhurst said the change was supported by "dozens" of board members, and that only four opposed it. "I believe people of success should give back and I think that's what Jorge is doing," said Podhurst. "To me, this is the American dream in action."