Amid Miami Excess, Margulies Collection Aims to Help the Needy

Last year, the collection raised six figures for the homeless.

Martin Margulies and his daughter, Elizbaeth. Photo: Angela Pham/BFA
Martin Margulies and his daughter, Elizbaeth. Photo: Angela Pham/BFA
Martin Margulies Paul Porter/

Martin Margulies.
Image: Courtesy of Paul Porter/

Miami Art Week is known for multimillion-dollar art sales and lavish parties, but the Margulies Collection takes advantage of the crowds ever year to do something different. The collection requires a $10 donation ($5 for out-of-state students, free for Florida students) that benefits the local Lotus House Homeless Shelter.

Located in the Overtown district, Lotus House has been serving the homeless since 2006, and assists over 200 people a day. Collector Martin Z. Margulies is also the founder of the facility. Therapeutic activities there also include counseling as well as meditation, yoga, and art-related activities like photography.

“The residents don’t just get a bed and a toothbrush,” curator Katherine Hinds told artnet News by phone. “They live there for a year and get job training and life skills training, and we place them in low-cost housing. Every year, all my security guards come from the shelter.”

All the collection’s proceeds go to support the charity, and the amounts raised are substantial.

“Last year we raised six figures for Lotus House during Art Basel,” Hinds said. “The art world is full of people who are generous of heart and mind.” This time around, donations will go partly toward opening an expanded facility; groundbreaking will take place in the spring.

The Margulies Collection includes works by artists like Magdalena Abakanowicz, John Chamberlain, Willem de Kooning, Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, Richard Serra, and Franz West. Currently on view are the exhibitions “Anselm Kiefer: Paintings, Sculpture, and Installation” and “Susan Philipsz: Immersive Sound Installation.”

Despite appearances during Art Basel, many Miami residents live in poverty, Hinds points out.

“The impression about the parties and the VIPs, it’s not necessarily the core of what Miami is,” Hinds says, “not in regards to how poor the city is, and not to how collectors actually behave.”

If you can’t make it to the show, you can donate to Lotus House here.

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