Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz
Key Biscayne, Florida
Coca-Cola bottling in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean
Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz first met as teenagers in Havana. Both were from cultured backgrounds; Rosa’s grandfather was an architect and Carlos’s family collected art. Married since 1962, they have assembled one of Miami’s finest collections of contemporary art (including a noteworthy number of postwar German paintings). They estimate the number to be around a thousand, and many of the works are housed in the 30,000-square-foot de la Cruz Contemporary Art Space, launched in 2009 in Miami, which is free to the public. It is a destination during Art Basel Miami Beach each December.
Their collecting seems to be in no danger of slowing down: “This year, we have acquired several works by Glenn Ligon including new large-scale paintings from his ‘Debris Field Series,’ and a neon from his ‘Notes for a Poem on the Third World’ series,” they told ARTnews in 2019. Carlos holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, as well as a degree in law from the University of Miami, where he is now a senior trustee. He sits on the Council of Foreign Relations in addition to holding a chairmanship at CC1 Companies, a $1-billion-per-year bottling and distribution empire. Rosa serves as director and treasurer of the same company. The de la Cruz collection includes works by Isa Genzken, Christopher Wool, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Mark Bradford, and Peter Doig. “Our collection brings together pivotal works from artists whose practices respond to issues of identity, gender, class, power, and the values that contribute to our social fabric,” they said. “Our exhibitions are a collective effort that includes the voice of the artists.”