Museums in Oaxaca range from displays of treasure (the jewels of Monte Alban), to historical artifacts to wonderful artwork.
We visited the following museums during our time in Oaxaca.
Museo de Arte Contempraneo de Oaxaca (Contemporary Art Museum), is located inside Casa de Cortes at Alcala 202. This museum houses permanent displays of five famous Oaxacan artists including Rufino Tamayo, Francisco Gutierrez and Rodolfo Morales.
The museum also offers contemporary exhibitions and hosts various cultural events. Open from 10:30am to 8pm Wednesday through Monday. The entrance fee is by donation.
Museo Regional de Oaxaca is housed in a green stone building next to Santo Domingo Church. Unfortunately this museum was under restoration when I visited this part of the city. Normally it is open from 10am to 6pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 10am until 5pm on Sunday. Entry is free on Sundays. The museum contains excellent Mixtec treasure taken from Tomb number 7 at Monte Alban. I highly recommend seeing this museum after you have visited Monte Alban, Mitla, or Yagul. That way you will have some additional appreciation and perspective about these historical treasures.
The lower floor of the museum contains most of the treasure. The items date from the 14th century when a Mixtec tribe reused an old tomb at Monte Alban. They buried one of their kings with his sacrificed servants along with generous portions of silver, turquoise, coral, jade, (real jade not like the fake stuff they currently sell at Monte Alban), amber, pearls, intricately carved statues, and most impressive, lots of gold. This sizable treasure trove was discovered in 1932. Other sections of the museum highlight the history of the Spanish conquest, Oaxaca’s Indian peoples and the area’s archaeology.Museo Casa de Juarez is located in a home previously inhabited by Benito Juarez, a Zapotec Indian who first came to Oaxaca in 1818 and one of Mexico’s former presidents. The house is located at 609 Garcia Vigil directly across from Templo del Carmen Alto. This museum displays pictures of Juarez, his personal letters and other items from his career as a lawyer and president. This building under went restoration a number of years ago and is once again open to the public.
Museo Rufino Tamayo displays pre-Hispanic artifacts and other artwork. This museum is located at Morelos 503 and was donated by Rufino Tamayo, a Mexican painter of Zapotec heritage – native to Oaxaca. The nearby Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca also displays of some of his paintings.
This museum is open from 10am until 2pm and again from 4pm to 7pm Monday, and then on Wednesday to Saturday. They are open from 10am to 3pm on Sunday. Admission is 60 pesos. Visit: www.museotamayo.org
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