When the pandemic forced Art Basel Miami Beach to shift its raucous annual art fair to online viewing rooms and events, a cluster of top New York City galleries still made the pilgrimage to South Florida in hopes of connecting with collectors in person. Notably, they all chose to set up outposts not in Miami but some 70 miles north in Palm Beach — home (or second or third home) to a concentrated community of prominent art collectors sheltering for the winter.

“What dealer wouldn’t want to be where the collectors are?” said Adam Sheffer, a vice president at Pace Gallery, who is heading up a new space in Palm Beach leased through Memorial Day. “It allows for an ongoing dialogue with some of these same people you would see in Miami once a year, but now you get to do it on their turf, in a way that’s safe where they’re comfortable.”

Building on the success of galleries following their wealthy patrons to East Hampton, N.Y., this summer in the early months of the pandemic, Pace, Acquavella Galleries and Sotheby’s auction house coordinated opening spaces in Royal Poinciana Plaza adjacent to the contemporary gallery Gavlak, long based in Palm Beach.

“Certainly it was synergistic for everyone to be in this smaller, tighter community, less spread out than Miami,” said David Schrader, global head of private sales at Sotheby’s. Its gallery is installed as someone’s home, with a mix of paintings, furniture, ceramics, watches and jewelry available for immediate sale, and drew more than 175 socially distanced visitors in the pouring rain over the course of its opening day in November.

All the galleries recognized the density of collectors living in Palm Beach — including Beth Rudin DeWoody, Howard and Judie Ganek, Ronnie Heyman and Ken Griffin — and the potential of the growing contemporary art scene there, anchored by the Norton Museum of Art.

Founded in 1941, the encyclopedic Norton has amped up its collecting of contemporary art, especially by women and emerging photographers, over the last decade. In early 2019, it completed a $100 million expansion and renovation by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster that increased attendance by 125 percent (before the pandemic brought it to zero), according to the board chairman, Bruce Gendelman.

A stream of visitors to Art Basel Miami Beach had been adding the Norton to their itineraries just before or after the fair, according to Cheryl Brutvan, the museum’s director of curatorial affairs. “We became part of that extended area of Miami, more so because of our new Foster building,” she said.

Just as Miami has become known for collectors opening impressive art spaces to showcase their troves of acquisitions, including the Rubell family and Martin Margulies, in December 2017 Ms. DeWoody followed suit in West Palm Beach. There she opened The Bunker, an art space displaying and storing her vast cutting-edge collection in a 20,000-square-foot 1920s Art Deco factory building.

In tandem that year, and contiguous to Art Basel, the dealer Sarah Gavlak galvanized traffic by inaugurating an annual art weekend, now called New Wave Art Wknd, with openings, panel discussions and visits to collectors’ homes.

Ms. Berrío’s “Esperando Mientras la Noche Florece (Waiting for the Night to Bloom)”  is to open in January, and she is to be one of two artists living for two months in renovated cottages on the Norton’s revitalized campus in a residency program started last year. “Now artists are also becoming part of this destination,” Ms. Brutvan said.

Rotating installations from Beth Rudin DeWoody’s personal collection, including works by Susan Rothenberg, Vija Celmins, Howardena Pindell, Agnes Martin, Hannah Wilke, Eva Hesse, Judy Chicago and Julie Mehretu.

Gisela Colón (Dec. 5 to Jan. 3)

Large-scale organically minimalistic wall sculptures called “Rectanguloids.”

James Turrell (through Dec. 6)

Wall installations that investigate light as a material and viewers’ perception of space.

Sam Gilliam (Dec. 18 to Jan. 3)

Watercolors made with techniques of distressing the surface of the paper, such as staining and folding.

Masterworks from Cézanne to Thiebaud (through Dec. 18)

Wayne Thiebaud (Dec. 20 to Feb. 20)

A selection of paintings ranging from themes of food to the California landscape.

(Through Dec. 31)

A group exhibition includes new work made during the coronavirus pandemic by Hernan Bas, McArthur Binion, Liza Lou, Marilyn Minter, Angel Otero and Erwin Wurm.

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen (Dec. 5 to Jan. 9)

Collaborative sculptures and drawings on the themes of food, music and sport.

(Through Dec. 31)

A group exhibition includes paintings by Agnes Martin, Helen Frankenthaler, Ed Ruscha, Yayoi Kusama and George Condo; sculpture by John Chamberlain, Alexander Calder and Ugo Rondinone; 20th-century design by Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé and the Haas Brothers; prints by Jonas Wood, Lisa Yuskavage, David Hockney and Genieve Figgis; and ceramics by Shio Kusaka, Pilar Wiley and Jacques Ruelland.

(Dec. 4 to 6)

A hybrid of virtual and in-person, socially distanced events explore the theme of “Art as Activism: The Fight for Equality and Justice,” including a public program with online panel discussions between artists and curators and a V.I.P. program enabling donors to make virtual visits to private collections and artist studios.

In-person highlights

Unveiling of Renzo Ortega’s mural “United Migrant Familia of America” and public art installations by Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A.). Rosemary Square, West Palm Beach (Dec. 4, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.)

Gallery open houses at Gavlak, Pace, Acquavella, Paula Cooper and Lehmann Maupin. Royal Poinciana Plaza and Worth Avenue (Dec. 5, 5 to 7 p.m. )

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