In 1980, the old summer house of traditional Ortíz Basualdo family became the headquarter of Juan Carlos Castagnino Municipal Art Museum. The magnificent villa that is currently historical heritage of the city of Mar del Plata, It is located on Stella Maris hill and surrounds the building designed by the architects Louis Dubois and Paul Paters.
The building was built by the Basualdos in 1909 and remodeled in 1919, preserving its classic style of early twentieth century. Reminiscences of French castles of Loire are reflected in each room, decorated by Belgian designer Gustave Serruier-Bovy, who gave it the seal of art nouveau.
Original furniture of Belgium, oak and wrought iron staircase with flowers and geometric lines, the lamps, the stained glass windows, the details of the furniture and the other pieces of art nouveau, are considered by international specialists as one of the best collections in the world of that current.
But beyond these precious relics, the museum has a complete sample of 450 works made by artists from Mar del Plata and Spain, consisting of paintings, drawings, engravings, photographs and sculptures. Among these creations, there are 130 works of the painter Juan Carlos Castagnino, which gives the name to this museum.
Castagnino was born in Mar del Plata in 1908 and was considered a social painter, since in his works denunciation is presented in front of injustice situations. As talented and committed artist, he stood out not only for his strong sensitivity but also for his great technical quality, reflected mainly in his aguadas.
His work is displayed on the second floor on a rotating basis, where you can also see photographs and personal objects that recall his life.
The exhibition is completed with works that include a profuse artistic production from 1920 to the present, with the exception of two portraits by painter Pridiliano Pueyrredón, dating from about 1830.