Cricket Taplin, Owner of the Sagamore Hotel and Art Collector on Miami, the Magic City

Cricket Taplin is not just the owner of the iconic Sagamore Hotel on Collins Avenue in Miami; she and her husband, Martin, are also world-renowned art collectors, who share their love of art with their guests. Part of Chico’s July mailer was shot in the Sagamore’s gorgeous penthouse.

I was born and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and my background is in dance. I moved to Miami in 1958. It truly is the Magic City- a melting pot of South American, Caribbean and European traditions. I love how the city immerses you in culture and introduces you to colorful worlds you might not otherwise experience.

I studied ballet for 15 years and that truly fostered my love for the arts in all forms. After meeting my husband, Martin Taplin, our appreciation for bold, contemporary pieces intensified as we traveled the world.  On every trip we found ourselves picking up one-of-a-kind pieces and our collection grew organically. It wasn’t until 1988 that we joined Martin Marguiles, a renowned art collector, and formed the Marguiles Taplin Gallery to showcase our eclectic finds. The first piece I fell in love with was “Nature Study,” a painting by James Valerio. Our artists include Massimo Vitali, Walker Evans, Olafur Eliasson, Rusell Crotty, Roxy Paine, Robert Chambers, Will Ryman, Spencer Tunic, Vik Muniz, Manuel Neri, Liza May Post, and Nancy Graves, among others.

The Sagamore was originally built in 1949 by architect Albert Anis. In 1997, we purchased the historic hotel. It was in dire need of a renovation. The Sagamore’s design embodies the crossover to modern resort architecture underway in Miami Beach in the late 1940s. In contrast to the nearby Art Deco skyscraper hotels, the Sagamore’s modest five stories stretch long and low from Collins Avenue toward a private oceanfront beach. Over the next four years, we expanded the public spaces and completely modernized the rooms. When we finished construction, we weren’t sure what to do with the lobby – it was essentially a vanilla box with white Thasos marble floors and white walls. I decided to hang some of my favorite pieces as a temporary solution. It became a huge success and soon defined us as “The Art Hotel.”

We want The Sagamore to be our guests’ home away from home. What better way to welcome them than to share these pieces we’ve spent decades cherishing and gathering. Every piece in my collection is near and dear to my heart. Trying to pick a favorite would be like asking me to pick my favorite child!

Interested in visiting? Learn more about the Sagamore here.

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