Opening at the start of December 2019, the Museum of Graffiti is the first museum dedicated to the preservation, exhibition, and celebration of graffiti art.
Located in the heart of Wynwood, this museum couldn’t have picked a better location. Miami, but more specifically Wynwood, has more murals and graffiti tags than one can count. The city is flooded with history, art and culture that has a lot of the same key roles in the graffiti movement. The museum focuses on the youth that birthed and developed the stylistic art form.
Stepping into the museum exhibit is like taking a step into graffiti history. You first learn about the 1970s where graffiti hit its peek of popularity. Fonts and different lettering styles start to flood street walls, city transpiration and anything else that was visible to the eye. Major cities effected by this artistic movement were New York City, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles and Miami. At this time many individuals where attempting to get their name out into the world in hopes of positive change, influence and success.
With the rise in graffiti, came the rise of misconceptions between audience and artist. Many officials and city representatives believed that the tagging of names where all gang related and therefore needed to stop in order to make living safer for residents. The museum has collections of newspaper clippings, broadcasted news reports and promotional signs that attempted to limit the amount of graffiti going up around the country. Although there was gang tagging during this movement, a majority of the pieces were representative of something much deeper.
During the start of the graffiti era, Jim Prigoff (his photography is presented in the museum) developed a passion for documenting and learning more about aerosol art. This passion built up with the observations he collected throughout his research noting that graffiti addressed issues that newspapers, television and other media outlets neglected. They tell a story of living environments in the mist of this time and ultimately why the graffiti movement exploded in the way that it did. Click here for a photo of Jim at the opening of the Museum of Graffiti in Miami.
The museum continues its timeline with graffiti adapting and growing into what it is today. It shows the progression from street art to graphic design to entrepreneurship. The museum displays predominate organizations, legendary graffitist and influences that continue to impact us today. If you ever seen the movie Paid and Full, the museum host the crew neck jacket that was worn by the character Rico in the film. The airbrushed piece was just one out of many that were designed for artist and DJ’s that were similar to street art.
Something that really stood out to me was how friendly the staff was. Once paying the $16 admission fee plus tax, our cashier walked out from behind the desk to personally give us a tour for my partner and I around the museum. His passion for the museum was evident as he spoke on almost every section. He told us that the museum staff consisted of all graffiti artist that are still involved in the movement today. Pictures are always welcomed and encouraged by the staff. If you are still not convinced, check out an amazing promotion video done by NBC 6 South Florida below.
I highly recommend giving the Museum of Graffiti a visit. The benefits this museum hold are an accurate representation of history, a perspective that shows you a different side of graffiti, and inspiration that will last a lifetime. Some other key aspects I loved were the location, the price and devotion of the museum to something they truly believed in. Although this museum is on the smaller side, there is still quite a bit to unpack. The museum also host outdoor murals as well as the gallery floor. For more information, click on their website below.
299 NW 25th St, Miami, FL 33127
Phone: (786) 580-4678