In celebration of the Miami Art Museum’s reopening as Pérez Art Museum, collectors Dennis and Debra Scholl have donated close to 300 works of art to the museum’s permanent collection. The longtime supporters of the arts in Miami donated pieces ranging of international, national and regional importance including Vito Acconci, Ólafur Elíasson, John Baldessari, Liam Gillick, and Catherine Opie.
Dennis is the Vice President of Arts for Miami-based Knight Foundation, where he is responsible for the foundation’s national arts program. Debra is the chairperson of Locust Projects, Miami’s leading unconventional art space. Over the past 35 years they have accumulated rare and unique pieces that are speculated to be worth millions. Thom Collins, the museum’s director, released a statement regarding the Scholl’s extreme generosity, “This is a huge, important and really I think catalytic gift, and I expect that we’ll have more announcements to make over the course of the next few months along these lines, in part because of Dennis and Debra’s generosity. They are the leading edge of the wedge, as it were.” The museum director also revealed that in honor of the Scholl’s gift, an annual artist and curator lecture series will be named after them.
What is especially unique about the Scholls as art collectors is their unbiased, yet passionate approach to art. The couple takes initiative collecting cutting-edge pieces from emerging artists. Whether the medium, the Scholls have an eye for extraordinary work and pride themselves on collecting pieces that represent a new dimension for the creation of art. It is for this reason that their contribution to the Pérez Art Museum is more than just a generous donation, but also another step in the continuous development of the Miami art community. In the words of Denis Scholl himself, “We just want people to know that we think the Pérez Art Museum of Miami is a wonderful place. I think we’ve made it clear with this gift how we feel about this institution as a repository for great art.”