Building the world’s largest Latin American Art Museum, the Louvre of Latino Art, seems to be an ambitious project to carry out. But Gary Nader, a Lebanese/Dominican veteran developer of the arts is up for the task. Actually, he’s been up for the task for at least the last 30 years.
“I started promoting Latin America art since I was very young,” he said. I moved to Miami and opened a gallery when I was 23. To tell the story of this collection is very important. It took 30 years to form this collection.”
The new $50 million “Nader Latin American Art Museum,” (NaderLAAM) opening in 2018, will be located in Miami, measuring approximately 125,000 square feet. The museum’s art collection will mainly come from his private collection of about 2000 pieces from 190 Latino artists.
The plans have been attracting media attention and support; a recent premiere showing of the new Gloria and Emilio Estefan musical "On Your Feet" in New York City benefited NaderLAAM.
The architect will be Fernando Romero, the son-in-law and same architect who designed Carlos Slim’s extravagant Museo Soumaya in Mexico City. Included in the design plans is a 1,600-seat performing arts theater conceived by Emilio Estefan Jr. and a “culinary experience” restaurant which would occupy 25,000 square feet of the ground floor.
But perhaps the most ambitious part of the project will be a $300 million two-tower residential/hotel totaling over 400 units which will help fund the museum. “It’s specially built for collectors. We have many pieces we cannot hang so to create revenue for the museum we’re going too have a leasing program with the owners of the apartments so they can have art,” says Nader.
In the United States alone, there are over ten museums and cultural centers that exhibit Latin American art to a certain degree such as The Museum of Latin American Art in California, New York’s Museo del Barrio and The Hispanic Society of America. These serve respectively a more contemporary and classical Hispanic baroque collection.
But what will distinguish Nader’s museum from the aforementioned institutions is that it will to cater exclusively to Latin American artists from Mexico all the way down to Argentina, without Spaniard and US Latino artists constituting its collection.
“The idea has always been to promote [Latin American art] and let the people know what’s happening in Latin America,” says Nader. “I strongly believe the story of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Botero, Mata, Lam, Tamayo, the great ones, is untold.”