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Miami Art Collector Matriarch Remembered: De la Cruz Family’s Celebration of Life

Miami’s artistic community is in shock following the passing of Rosa de la Cruz, a prominent supporter of the arts and a renowned art collector on a global scale. Her family will honor her legacy this weekend.

Rosa de la Cruz, who succumbed to an autoimmune disease at the age of 81 on Sunday, dedicated her life to amassing an impressive art collection and championing artists alongside her husband, Carlos de la Cruz, a distinguished businessman. Together, they amassed a collection of over 1,000 art pieces and established the de la Cruz Collection in 2009, a public museum located in the Design District.

A memorial mass commemorating her life will take place on Friday at 11 a.m. at St. Agnes Church, situated at 100 Harbor Drive, Key Biscayne. Additionally, a celebration of her life will be hosted by the family on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at the de la Cruz Collection, located at 23 NE 41st Street.

In lieu of floral tributes, the family has requested that guests consider contributing to the Miami Foundation New World School of the Arts Travel Fund and/or the Design and Architecture Senior High young designers scholarship fund.

Rosa had a profound passion for supporting the education of emerging artists, and annually, the de la Cruz couple collaborates with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to sponsor students from New World School of the Arts and DASH for educational trips to New York City and abroad, enriching their artistic pursuits. Carlos attributes the success of the travel program to Rosa’s dedication.

The Miami Herald

The philanthropic contributions of Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz will be recognized with the Excellence Award by the organization of Cuban exiles F.A.CE., honoring Cuban-Americans in Miami who excel in various fields, including media executive César Conde, banker Luis de la Aguilera, and Miami City Ballet’s dancer and director, Lourdes López.

Alberto Ibargüen, a close friend of the couple and former president and CEO of the Knight Foundation, emphasized that the travel initiative stands as a testament to Rosa’s enduring impact and legacy. He noted that the trips organized by her were transformative experiences for the students, shaping their artistic identities.

The de la Cruz art collection is esteemed as one of the most significant globally, featuring works by acclaimed artists such as Christopher Wool, Mark Bradford, Félix González-Torres, and the late Ana Mendieta. The private museum is open to the public, offering a unique artistic experience.

Rosa is survived by her husband Carlos, with whom she shared over six decades of marriage, five children, 17 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.