Revillagigedo 11, Colonia Centro, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06050 Ciudad de México, CDMX
Mexico City offers visitors and tourists a wide selection of museums that promote the art and culture of the country ranging from the pre-Columbine to the Colonial era, as well as artwork that focuses on modern and contemporary artists, yet it also has the Museo de Arte Popular which presents a collection preserving the work of popular and folkloric artists spread out over several regions of the country, where it’s still a tradition for skilled artisans to make unique artifacts of daily life all in a handmade fashion.
At this museum located in the historic center of the city, on Revillagigedo street a few steps away from the Teatro Metropolitan and the “Juárez” Metro station, there are on exhibition some of these exquisite handmade artifacts such as rugs, ceramics, vases, piñatas, toys, kitchenware, and the peculiar, but kind of cute, alebrijes. The alebrijes are Mexican artworks made out of wire figurines covered in paper or wood molded to resemble fantastical creatures inspired by real animals or just the imagination, they are painted in lively colors and have come to represent Mexico on an international level.
The museum was founded in 2006 in order to preserve the work of local artisans who don’t have the resources or connections that are needed to find their way into art galleries or to present solo exhibitions, it also strives to dignify the work of these artisans before the local public eye and on an international level. Several institutions and private donors offered their collection of these folkloric artifacts when the museum was founded and the permanent collection is now divided into 4 main rooms: 1) Essence of Popular Mexican Art, 2) Popular Art and Daily Life, 3) Popular Art and the Sacred, 4) Popular Art and the Fantastic and Magical Things.
The exhibit covers 3 out of 4 floors from the building and is made up of a total exhibition area of 7,000 square meters. There’s also a floor dedicated to temporary exhibitions and an “interpretation” room that holds artifacts from the 32 Mexican states (including the Mexico City Federal District). The Museo de Arte Popular is open from Tuesdays to Sundays and access costs $60 pesos, yet minors under 18 years of age, senior citizens over 60 years old with a valid ID, students, and professors, as well as artisans, enter for free; Sundays the access is free of cost for everyone.
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