Long before Wynwood Walls, Mana Wynwood and the late, lamented Wynwood Yard began drawing multitudes to a dicey and decrepit old industrial district in inner-city Miami, there was the Rubell Family Collection.

Don and Mera Rubell, owners of what’s widely regarded as one of the leading collections of contemporary art in America, first came to Wynwood looking for the same thing that had drawn a small legion of artists and galleries to the neighborhood — cheap digs in which to show art.

They famously found it in a fittingly secure fortress, a former U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency evidence warehouse, which they picked up for a now comical $450,000. It was their 1993 conversion of the windowless warren into a showcase for some of the sharpest art of the times that first put Wynwood on the international map.

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