Statement on Terence Riley

We are deeply saddened to hear of the recent passing of our Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) family member and dearest friend, Terence Riley, who played a vital role in shaping the museum into the renowned cultural institution it is today.

Thom Collins and Terence Riley
Former Directors Thom Collins and Terence Riley

With heavy hearts and tremendous gratitude, we thank Terry for the legacy he’s left behind at PAMM. As museum director from 2006–2009, amongst his many other achievements, he oversaw the Herzog & de Meuron design and construction process of our museum, which reopened in Maurice A. Ferré Park to critical acclaim in 2013. Terry oversaw the presentation of major exhibitions at the museum including Andy Warhol: Moving Pictures; Power of Ten: Gifts in Honor of MAM’s Tenth Anniversary; Guillermo Kuitca: Everything; Wifredo Lam in North America; and more. Following his tenure at PAMM, Terry focused on the highly respected architecture firm, Keenan/Riley Architects, which he founded alongside John Keenan. Known for its designs for art museums, galleries, artists and collectors, Keenan/Riley Architects carried out major projects including the first edition of UNTITLED, ART fair in Miami Beach, the Sarasota Art Museum, and the transformation of Miami’s Design District.

In February of 2019, we hosted a conversation between Terry and the critic and writer Beth Dunlop, as part of our Goldman Sachs conversations series, in celebration of the museum’s 35th Anniversary. The two spoke of the history of architecture here in Miami, and most especially, the building of our museum. In the spring of 2019, we engaged Terry’s services for a re-consideration of exhibition design on our second floor. With his experience in exhibition design in addition to being the guiding representative of our building, it was an incredible opportunity to think about original intentions for the building in the midst of exhibition-driven experimentation in curatorial design.  

For generations to come, visitors and the local community will experience the power of Terry’s creativity, philosophies, and dedication, which laid the foundation for the museum you know and love today.

Terry, thank you for having a vision for a museum that would inspire the surrounding community while serving as a gathering place for communication and exchange. The results have been profound, to say the least.

We are honored to share a memory of Terry as he gave his insights on the vision for PAMM in “PAMM: In Perspective.” Take a look.

In honor of Terry, PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans and PAMM Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator Rene Morales reflect on Terry’s impact and influence over the years:

“Terry’s contribution to Miami’s cultural development has been profound. He took the helm of our institution at a critical juncture, just as our dreams of creating a new facility first began taking shape. He was instrumental in the selection of Herzog & de Meuron as the project’s architects, a fateful decision that was based on his deep knowledge of modern and contemporary architecture and his clear understanding that the project called for a forward-thinking design that would draw from and respond to the unique context that this museum was created to serve. His imprint can be seen all over PAMM’s building—in its down-to-earth form and materials, its dynamic use of space, and its concern for ecological sustainability. We would not be the same institution today had it not been for him. Terry was a kind and generous mentor with a sharp intellect and a gift for storytelling. Notably, after his tenure at the museum, he stayed in Miami, where he would continue to play a major role in stimulating the cultural flourishing of the community he loved so dearly. He was deeply loved and will be deeply missed.” — Rene Morales, PAMM Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator

“Growing up in New York I had known of Terry and certainly his work as a curator at MoMA. But, we got to spend considerable time together in February of 2009, when my exhibition NeoHooDoo came to the Miami Art Museum. It was amazing to watch his warm welcoming ambassadorial presence at the door to the museum most of the evening. A generous mind always in consideration of art and its optimal presentation.” — Franklin Sirmans, PAMM Director

Terence Riley, #RestInPeace.