Wednesday, June 2, 2010

TOP 5: Museums in Mexico City.

(Photo: Ana Ma. Pimentel)

It is always hard to choose the ideal place to visit when you don't have much time, specially in Mexico City, housing hundreds of Museums (literally), this TOP 5; sorted by subject, not by importance, is perfect for those who are hesitant about choosing amongst this fabulous collection of museums.

For Frida and Diego fans:

• Museo Dolores Olmedo Patiño:

This ex-hacienda with xoloitzcuintles (hairless dogs) and peacocks is perfect to explore Frida Kahlo &Diego Rivera’s love story featuring the largest collection of the couple’s work, the visitor will find famous paintings such as "Unos cuantos piquetitos", "La columna rota" and room filled with Rivera's Cubist work. If that’s not enough, Dolores Olmedo hosts folk art and pre-Columbian pieces from Mrs. Olmedo's personal collection.

Hours: Tues-Sun: 10:00 to 18:00 hrs.

Rates: Mexicans: $ 5.00mxn; Foreign public $ 55.00mxn; Free admission: INAPAM and children -6 years & Tuesday for general public.

Address: Av. México 5843 Col. La Noria, Xochimilco. Ph.5555 1221.

Tours: Groups of 5 people maximum: $ 50.00mxn

For muralists, architects and surrealists:

Fine Arts Palace's Museum (“Palacio de Bellas Artes”):

This magnificent palace was built in 1904 while trying to surpass the Paris Opera House. Besides hosting a great deal of the local cultural life, theater, concerts, etc. “Bellas Artes” houses numerous gallery exhibitions. Enjoy monumental murals with revolutionary themes by Siqueiros, Orozco, Rivera, Tamayo and Montenegro, among other artists. Until July 2010 visit the temporary exhibition featuring René Magritte: Belgian artist who was friends with André Breton, Max Ernst, Joan Miró and Dalí. Experts consider him a revolutionary because of his anarchic, ironic and filled of “visual paradoxes” style; form some ahead of Warhol's pop movement.

Hours: Tues-Sun: 10:00 to 18:00hrs.

Rates: $ 35.00mxn; Sundays: free.

Address: Avenida Juárez and Eje Central s / n. Centro Histórico, Mexico City. Ph. 51300900 ext. 2616.

Tours: Reservations: 5130 0900 ext. 2616.

• For archaeology lovers:

Museo del Templo Mayor:

One of the greatest exponents of our pre-Columbian past and a big part of our national identity. In the heart of the Historical Center, it features eight rooms of extraordinary pieces such as the Mictlantecuhtli, or Coyolxauhqui sculptures. A fabulous journey to Mexican Past and the Mexica Culture a MOST!.

Hours: Tues-Sun: 9:00 to 17:00 hrs.

Rates: Admission: $ 51.00mxn; Free admission: students & children -12 years.

Address: Seminario # 8, Historical Center. Ph.55-42-49-43.

Tours: Free. Tuesday through Friday, 9:30, 11:30, 14:30 and 16:30; Saturdays, 10:00 and 12:00. Reservations: 55424784.

Activities for children: Light and sound show at the model of the sacred enclosure from Tuesday to Friday, 11:00 and 16:00. Film Club: Thursdays, 16:00.

For baroque, ornaments and reading lovers:

Franz Mayer Museum

Dedicated to exposing the always venerable union of utility and beauty in everyday objects, this museum displays objects from the 16th Century, independent Mexico and Europe and Asia. Showing off an extraordinary collection of silverware, ceramics, pieces furniture, religious art, textiles, and sculpture, as well as its graphic collection with works of famous painters, such as: Juan Correa, Cristóbal de Villalpando, José María Velasco and Diego Rivera. Meet México's multiple faces at "Mil y un rostros de México", the temporary exhibit, presenting Ruth D. Lechuga's masks collection.

Hours: Tues-Sun: 10:00 to 17:00hrs.

Rates: Admission: $ 45.00mxn; Students and Teachers: $ 25.00mxn; Children -12 and adults +60: free admission.

Address: Hidalgo # 45. Historical Center. Ph.5518 2266.

Tours: Up to 25 People; reservations two days in advance: $ 15.00mxn.

Activities for children: Work Among frogs, swans and princesses: Listen to the tales of Hans Christian Andersen, and then enjoy a fine arts workshop. Sunday, April 25, 13:30; $15.00 mxn

For conceptual contemporary designers:


The University Museum of Contemporary Art is tempting in every sense; exhibitions are for those who like a little brain teasing and to whom art is philosophy. Featuring the group exhibition “Superficies del deseo” (desire´s surface) with pieces made to awake the senses.

The store with objects as diverse as chairs, energy saving lamps or cool little cards, jewelry & hip books call the visitor's attention. Prices might not be so accessible but the objects are fun, useful and a work of art themselves. Hours: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday: 10:00 to 18:00hrs, Thursday and Saturday: 12:00 to 20:00hrs.

Rates: General admission: $ 30.00; 50% disc for students & teachers. Free admission for children under 12 years & Sundays to the general public.

Address: Insurgentes Sur # 3000, Centro Cultural Universitario, Coyoacán. Ph.5622 6972.

Tours: Reservations, with 15 days notice: 56,226,972.

Activities: Children (in body or heart) can enjoy free workshops at “El Ágora “ (Wed-Sun). Enjoy a nice meal at “Nube Siete”; restaurant perched on a transparent surface making you feel on the Moon.

What you need to know:

• The Franz Mayer Museum's library holds a large collection specializing in decorative arts, and owns the biggest Don Quixote collection in America.

• MUAC: Jazzercise is an Anthony O'Connell's installation where you can play undone and redone pianos, mixed with chairs, lecterns and other items that UNAM dismissed by renewing their property, it's part of a massive recycling program by guest artists. Really mind-blowing.

• Palacio de Bellas Artes also hosts the National Museum of Architecture; find it at the top stage.

• Templo Mayor supports the policy of inclusive education for children with hearing, cognitive, visual or motor special needs, and schedules visits on Wednesdays at 9:30 and 14:30.

• Dolores Olmedo: Features interesting art workshops, lectures and conferences for different age groups.

Getting There:

• "Bellas Artes" and "Franz Mayer": Metro Bellas Artes or Metro Zócalo (from Zócalo work towards Eje Central).

• Templo Mayor: Metro Zócalo.

• MUAC: Metrobús CU Stop or Metro Universidad & take (at Escuela Nacional de Servicio Social exit ) the Pumabús Route 10 to Zona Cultural, or Zona Cultural Pumabús Route 3.

• Museo Dolores Olmedo: Tren ligero's "La Noria" Stop.

VIP Tip:

• We recommend public transportation so your access to museums is easier, and o that you do not spend too much on parking lots.

• Do not forget neither your student/teacher ID nor your camera!

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