Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and More: Visiting Mexico City’s House Museums
This week our series on Mexican art and architecture will focus on visiting Mexico City’s house museums, which host the country’s major cultural institutions. Here’s what to do and bring to see during a visit to Mexico City.
These three small museums are at the heart of Mexico City’s historic downtown and showcase the works of famous Mexican artists and are open for free all day. Museums are free to enter, with the exception of special exhibitions. Some of the art and architectural details are a bit fragile, not to mention there are some steps and the museum has to be entered through the Museo Reina Sofia.
These three museums are located in the historic district of this sprawling city of 2.4 million people. They were all founded in the 1960s and are part of the city’s growing collection of museum buildings.
The Museo de Arte Moderno de Mexico (MAP-MoMA), known as simply the MoMA, opened to the public in 1979. It features contemporary art from around the world—museum-goers will find pieces by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and others—and has a permanent exhibition of works by Diego Rivera, considered Mexico’s greatest muralist. The building is designed in the style of the French-American architect Frank Lloyd Wright with Art Deco details that date back to the Art Deco period (1919-1929).
The MoMA has a collection of other Mexican artists, mostly of the surrealist or pop-art genres, such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (MAP-MAC) opened in 1994, but was moved to a new building in 2000. MoMA houses a permanent collection of important contemporary Mexican artists as well as other international artists. The museum also has a permanent exhibition of Diego Rivera’s murals and a temporary exhibit in the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The Museo de la Historia (MAP-MHH), which opened in 2010, opened as a temporary exhibition space during the Mexican presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto. The permanent exhibition is a tribute to Mexican political figures and also showcases the works of Diego Rivera. It is located in Plaza de la Constitución, a plaza that was