Tampa Museum of Art receives Botero sculpture and $1 Million gift from Jorge M. Pérez

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Tampa Museum of Art receives Botero sculpture and $1 Million gift from Jorge M. Pérez
Portrait of Jorge M. Pérez. Courtesy of the Related Group.

TAMPA, FLA.- The Tampa Museum of Art announced today that philanthropist and art collector Jorge M. Pérez bestowed a monumental sculpture by Colombian artist Fernando Botero and a $1 million cash gift to the Museum.

“We’re beyond delighted to receive this remarkable opportunity to further the Tampa Museum of Art’s commitment to collecting and exhibiting artwork that represents the cultural tapestry of our Tampa Bay region,” said Michael Tomor, Ph.D., the Penny and Jeff Vinik Executive Director of the Tampa Museum of Art. “We share Mr. Pérez’s commitment to building better cities and a better Florida, and the gift of art and $1 million donation will help the Museum continue to build art education and exhibition programming that is accessible to all community members.”

The towering bronze sculpture titled Mujer Vestida (Dressed Woman) formed part of the corporate collection of Pérez’s real estate development company, Related Group, and was most recently on view at the Ritz-Carlton Residences on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. Botero’s Mujer Vestida is a significant gift to the Tampa Museum of Art’s permanent collection, not only because of its importance as a work by a modern master, but because it continues growing TMA’s sculpture collection which also includes notable works by Jaume Plensa and Patricia Cronin and Latin American artist collection, which includes works by Oswaldo Vigas, José Bedia Valdés, Rufino Tamayo, Diego Rivera and Milhaud Vik Muñiz.

“Art is at the heart of any great city,” said Jorge M. Perez. “I’ve been fortunate to see the impact public art installations have on communities first hand, which is why we incorporate museum-quality art into every single one of our projects while also supporting local cultural organizations. This commitment stands true in Tampa Bay, especially as the Related team continues to deepen its involvement in the region. We look forward to working with the museum team to further enrich Tampa’s arts and culture ecosystem.”

Joanna Robotham, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Tampa Museum of Art, said, “we’re so thrilled that the Botero sculpture will have a permanent home in Tampa. We couldn’t be more grateful for this very generous gift.”

Perez’s $1 million gift accompanying the Botero donation supports new and growing exhibition and studio art programming at the Museum that results from its Centennial Renovation and Expansion. Last week, the Museum premiered the first of several brand-new exhibition galleries with the exhibition Time for Change: Art and Social Unrest in the Jorge M. Pérez Collection.

This week, the Museum opened its brand-new west lobby, Harrod Family Museum Store, and the entrance to its new first-floor gallery. Earlier this year, the Museum opened the new Vinik Family Education Center. With these improvements in place, the Museum anticipates quadrupling the number of students it serves per year, and the school tour program alone can grow from 6,000 to 24,000 students each year.

Jorge M. Pérez
Jorge Pérez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Related Group, remains committed to building a better Florida, spearheading the state’s complex urban evolution for over 40 years. Starting out in Miami’s public housing market, Pérez’s passion for creating vibrant, urban communities has made him a trendsetter, often the first developer to enter undiscovered neighborhoods.

In addition to real estate development, Pérez is devoted to supporting arts and culture initiatives across the nation, as well as nurturing the artists and curators of the future. Thus, in 2019, Pérez established El Espacio 23, a 28,000-square-foot contemporary art space offering the general public, artists and curators access to a variety of exhibitions and residencies drawn from the world-renowned Jorge M. Pérez Contemporary Art Collection.

Tampa Museum of Art
Founded in 1920, the Tampa Museum of Art inspires visitors with engaging exhibitions and innovative educational programs that emphasize ancient, modern, and contemporary art. The Museum houses one of the largest Greek and Roman antiquities collections in the southeastern United States. As one of the region’s most prominent museums devoted to the art of our time, the Museum’s permanent collection also embraces sculpture, photography, painting, new media, and more.
The Museum’s new Vinik Family Education Center offers expanded year-round studio art classes, lectures, and tours that allow children, teens, and adults to discover new perspectives and learn different art-making techniques. Likewise, through unique community partnerships, the Museum offers outreach programs that provide art-therapy-informed interventions and meaningful modes of self-expression to vulnerable segments of the population.

Located in the heart of downtown Tampa, the Tampa Museum of Art leads as both a cultural institution and a community museum dedicated to celebrating its home city’s diversity. In 2021, as part of its Centennial Campaign, the Museum embarked on an ambitious renovation to increase exhibition space and education facilities to accommodate growing community partnerships and allow more hands-on, up-close experiences for students and adults. The Museum will remain open to the public throughout the Centennial Renovation, with an expected completion date by the end of 2022.

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