Does DC really need yet another art museum? Of course! The latest entrant in our thriving scene is the Rubell Museum, which opens October 29. Here’s a quick preview.
It’s Located in a Historic Space
The museum will occupy the 1906 building that once housed Randall Junior High School, a prominent African American educational institution in Southwest DC. Fun fact: Marvin Gaye attended Randall in the 1950s.
It’s Run by a Prominent Couple
Don and Mera Rubell started collecting in 1964, budgeting $25 a week toward purchases. Today the art-loving doctor and teacher own some 7,400 contemporary-art pieces. If that last name sounds familiar, it’s probably because Don’s brother was the late Steve Rubell, who cofounded the famed nightclub Studio 54. The Rubells also own DC’s Capitol Skyline Hotel.
It Should Be Full of Intriguing Work
The Rubells have another museum in Miami that houses part of their contemporary-art collection, and it’s not yet clear which works will end up in DC. But expect big names like Keith Haring along with rising artists like February James and Hank Willis Thomas.
This article appears in the October 2022 issue of Washingtonian.