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December 4, 2021 9:00 am
Season 4

Art Basel Miami: Duke Alumni Brunch at the Rubell Museum

with Duke Alumni
Other Fashion & Fine Arts

After last year’s hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Duke Alumni’s signature brunch event held during Miami Art Week and Art Basel Miami Beach is set to return on Saturday, December 4.

This year, the brunch will be in-person at one of the most prestigious and influential private contemporary art institutions in the United States, the Rubell Museum.

Registered guests are in for a treat! Not only will you able to enjoy exclusive access to the Rubell Museum’s exhibitions while catching up with friends. You will hear from Duke’s own John V. Brown, vice provost for the arts, on his commitment to expanding the arts into the educational experience and extend the impact of the arts at Duke to Durham, the region and beyond.

It’s a Blue Devil event you don’t want to miss!


  • $25 for Duke alumni, current Duke students and parents and Duke faculty/staff
  • $35 for Duke friends and spouse/partners of a Duke alum

Registration includes:

  • A continental brunch reception with bottomless mimosas and bellinis along with an espresso bar and nonalcoholic beverages. Duke-themed cocktails generously donated by Kate Shapira Latts ’93, M.B.A. ’96, P ’25 and and Allan Latts ’91, M.B.A. ’96, P ’25 with Heaven Hill Brands
  • Admission and exclusive access to the Rubell Museum’s exhibitions before it is opened to the public.
  • First-come, first-served digital art fair passes to Art Miami & CONTEXT Art Miami.  (Digital passes will be emailed to you closer to the event date.)


A brief history of the Rubell Museum

For nearly three decades, Mera and Don Rubell P ’91, GP ’23, GP ’25, and their son, Jason Rubell ’91, P ’23, P ’25—major players in first attracting Art Basel to Miami Beach almost 20 years ago—have mounted preeminent exhibitions of narrative complexity in their original Miami location.

Art, Jason will tell you, is in the family DNA. Following in his parent’s footsteps, Rubell launched his first exhibition as a senior at Duke, fourteen years before the Nasher Museum of Art was even a reality.

Today, the Rubell family’s imprint on the contemporary art world is unparalleled: 7,200 works by more than 1,000 artists—and still growing. Equally impressive is the family’s shared dynamic in collaborating with one another: No purchase is made unless Don, Mera and Jason all agree.

The Rubells created their collection by looking at art, talking with artists and trusting their instincts. They started collecting 54 years ago when Don was in medical school and Mera was teaching at Head Start, and now with their son Jason, continue to follow the same practice today. They acquired their first work after a studio visit and were only able to do so by paying on a modest weekly installment plan.

Art became the Rubells’ passion and, since that first acquisition in 1965 they’ve built one of the most significant and far-ranging collections of contemporary art in the world. The collection is further distinguished by the diversity and geographic distribution of artists represented within it, and the depth of its holdings of seminal artists. In 1993, their passion became their mission with the opening of the Rubell Family Collection/Contemporary Art Foundation in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, which pioneered a new model for sharing private collections with the public and spurred the development of the neighborhood as one of the leading art and design districts in the U.S.

In 2019, the Rubell Museum expanded its commitment to serving as a public resource with the opening of a 100,000 square-foot campus. Housed in a former industrial building transformed by Selldorf Architects, the new museum features 53,000-square-feet of galleries, with 65% dedicated to long-term installations and 35% to special exhibitions, all drawn from the collection.

Since the beginning, the Rubells have focused on finding artists early in their careers and those who have been overlooked. They were among the first to acquire work by renowned contemporary artists, supporting them at a critical moment in their careers, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cecily Brown, Keith Haring, Rashid Johnson, Hayv Kahraman, Jeff Koons, William Kentridge, Yoshitomo Nara, Cindy Sherman and Mickalene Thomas, among others. They collect by visiting studios, art spaces, fairs, galleries, biennials and museums, and by talking with artists, curators and gallerists. If the work grabs them, they dig deeper—conducting intensive research and having extensive conversations before they welcome it into their collection. The result is a wonderfully expansive and deep collection that reveals both resonances and dissonances.

About DEMAN Live

We know that finding a job/internship in all industries during these unprecedented times is confusing and stressful. We are here to help with DEMAN Live—a new Zoom series featuring conversations with alumni working in creative industries to help students and alumni navigate careers and opportunities during this time.