The 5 best museums in Buenos Aires

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  Julieta Fraguío 23/06/2016

The city of Buenos Aires always characterized for having a great cultural identity that we can see reflected in its museums and cultural spaces, where there is an infinite range of exhibitions of national and international art that range from ancient works to contemporary pieces and objects of the new era.

When it comes to wanting to know each of these places, you probably don't know where to start, so with this guide to the 5 best museums in the city we are going to help you get to know the most important ones:

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA)

The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes  is the oldest in the city, is located in the picturesque neighborhood of Recoleta on Avenida del Libertador, has one of the largest collections of art in South America. You will be able to see paintings by renowned international artists such as Rembrandt, Goya, Degas or Manet and also, very important local artists who portray the customs, traditions of the country and life in the city in Argentina.

The Museum originally opened its doors in 1895 in the Galleries of Bon Marché, site of the current Galerías Pacífico, but in 1932 the museum was moved to the Casa de Bombas (site where the pumping stations and water tanks were located), where it remains today with a extension of 8000 square meters.  

Its samples are made up of more than 12 thousand works, an artistic library with more of 150 thousand volumes and an auditorium of 320 square meters, the National Museum of Fine Arts of Buenos Aires (MNBA) collects and exhibits the greatest artistic heritage of Argentina, becoming one of the main museums in Latin America mérica. 

Among the thousands of works owned by the museum include paintings, engravings, drawings, sculptures, tapestries and other objects, exhibiting a total of 700 items throughout 34 colorful rooms. The museum's permanent collection has works by prominent Argentine painters and sculptors that are intermingled with the works of well-known artists such as Picasso, Goya, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Rubens, Cézanne, El Greco and Rodin. This large collection of European Impressionists was largely due to the wave of immigrants that arrived at the end of the last century. 

The National Museum of Fine Arts is an n ideal place for those who wish to learn about the history and development of Argentine artists in a global context and also, it counts in the Top floor with a collection of 20th century Argentine art for those who wish to see material outside of classical art. 

In the case of wanting to go with children I recommend that you check the agenda on the MNBA website because there are regular activities to share with them and they are so much fun. Another important piece of information is that admission is free and free. 

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Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA)

The Museum of Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires - Costantini Foundation is a way of getting closer to Argentine and Latin American art within one of the most modern museums that exist in the city. 

El Malba is a private non-profit institution that preserves and exhibits a heritage of approximately 400 invaluable works by Latin America's leading modern and contemporary artists (includes works from the early 20th century to the present).

In May 2007, MALBA was declared a Site of Cultural Interest by the Legislature of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. This title was not only given for the quality of its exhibitions but also for presenting a fusion with a calendar of temporary exhibitions, together with the stable exhibition of its institutional collection, and it functions simultaneously as a space for the production of activities. cultural and educational.

Within the most outstanding works of the museum, you can find exhibitions by David Siqueiros, Diego Rivera, Fernando Botero, Frida Kahlo, Antonio Berni, Tarsila do Amaral and Guillermo Kuitca. All these works and exhibitions can be visited with guided tours on Wednesdays and Sundays at 4 pm, no It is necessary to make a prior reservation except for groups greater than 10 people.
During your stay at Malba you can enjoy film cycles in its cinematheque which grows monthly through the acquisition and rescue of essential films in the history of national cinema. It also has a literature and design sector through which meetings with writers, courses, seminars, literary talks and book presentations are held. In the case of going with children, they have programs designed for them with the aim of generating educational tasks. 

The Museum of Latin American Art was inaugurated in in 2001 by the Argentine economist and businessman, Eduardo Costantini. It is located in the Palermo neighborhood (Av. Presidente Figueroa Alcorta 3415) and has a modern square undercut limestone structure, with high walls and large windows. While inside it has three floors with permanent and temporary exhibition rooms, sculpture terraces, an auditorium, shop, conservation and maintenance workshops (not open to the public) and a cafeteria and restaurant area with the possibility of sitting in an external garden to taste a variety of drinks and food (open from 10 am to 9 pm).

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Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo (MNDA)

The Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo was inaugurated in 1937 in the Errázuriz Palace, an astonishing French neoclassical mansion that belonged to the Argentine aristocratic Errázuriz Alvear family (Is the most important mansion in the city). The museum is attractive not only for its works but also for the majestic building built between 1911 and 1916 by the architect René Sergent, who included in the project a central heating system, two elevators and a centralized dust extraction system, something extremely novel for the time!

The National Museum of Arte Decorativo is dedicated to design and decorative arts, it has valuable collections of sculptures, paintings, tapestries, weapons, books, ceramics, furniture, miniatures and pieces of metalwork, mainly European and Oriental, from the 16th to the 20th centuries (the most important of its kind). 

Among the almost 6000 objects of high value, the oil on canvas by El Greco, tapestries from the 16th century, a sculpture by Auguste Rodin and a bronze clock that was a gift stand out. wedding for Kings Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. 

Regarding the conditions of the building ficio, the palace was restored as a house-museum, which not only houses valuable pieces of art and furniture from different eras, but also reveals the lifestyle of a patrician family at the beginning of the 20th century. During the eighteen years that the Errázuriz Alvears lived here, the house was the scene of receptions, concerts and charity balls (you can visit the large ballrooms with their original furniture), it was also a space of luxury and comfort. 

The house recreates the most significant styles of decorative art and European decoration of the 18th and 19th centuries. It has a small room decorated in early Art Deco style by the Catalan artist José María Sert, four panels painted in oil stand out, one of them on a mirror. This room is the only one in the house with 20th century decoration. 

The residence also has an impressive French-style garden which functions as an extension of the reception rooms and has a Fountain of the Swans in its central axis, surrounded by cut boxwood beds that evoke designs from the Palace of Versailles. One recommendation is that during your visit to the museum you check the agenda on its website because orchestras usually perform in this wonderful garden that the palace has. This type of event, such as admission to the museum, is free.

If you are interested in taking the guided tours, these are done every day with a maximum of 50 people per shift (1pm, 2 pm, 3.30 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm). The tour will be through rooms on the ground floor and outside garden.

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Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (MAMBA)

Located in the emblematic neighborhood of San Telmo, where it is part of the Arts District of the City of Buenos Aires, the Museo de Arte Moderno was founded in 1956 with the intention of make society aware of avant-garde artistic trends. 

The MAMBA has a total of 7 a thousand works of different historical avant-gardes both of national origin and of international production that are represented in its rooms: minimalism, informalism, abstraction, conceptualism, kineticism and figurative art. Guillermo Kuitca, Marta Minujin, Pettoruti, León Ferrari, Henri Matisse, Mondrian, Picasso and Kandinsky are some of the many artists that make up the museum with their works, which also has temporary exhibitions of contemporary Argentine artists.

The collections have varied elements that include collections of photography, drawings, prints, graphic designs and different works of the artistic trends of the last two decades.

This benchmark space in the city of Buenos Aires in terms of cultural avant-garde received very important donations such as those from León Ferrari or Patricia Phepls de Cisneros. 

In 2018 the museum building completed its extensions so it now has more exhibition rooms and an outdoor cafeteria next to a shop with an interesting variety of Argentine and international literature, decoration and design content. 

If you have time, I recommend you visit the building that contains the museum, since it has an important architectural value that dates back from 1918, it was originally built for the Piccardo tobacco company with a striking facade of neo-Renaissance influence from northern Italy.

Starting in 1987, the Reconditioning that made it suitable for its new function, although it always kept some characteristics that it originally possessed, such as the colored brick facade, similar to the sheds in the port area, but with a more careful finish, and a large entrance door built of reinforced wood. with iron sheets and rustic rivets.

This new building, whose project was donated by the prestigious architect Emilio Ambasz, involves not only the expansion of the exhibition space, but also also the creation of suitable areas for the preservation of the Museum's heritage, according to the International Council of Museums (ICOM) protocol.

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Fundación PROA

Fundación Proa is located in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, in La Boca, a few meters from the renowned walking site: El Caminito. Fundación Proa is located in a house recycled in 1996. The architectural project was to adapt a typical Italian house from the end of the century to the objectives of a contemporary art center. The three-story space allows you to view exhibitions, visit a video library, hold art and literature seminars  and enjoy concerts. It is an ideal place for those who enjoy contemporary art.

The PROA Foundation was created with the main objective of promoting and discover everything related to the artistic movement in Argentina, allows a constant encounter between art and urban culture, where there are always proposals that maintain a constant, changing activity and enriched by a huge range of artistic expressions of the XIX, XX and XXI centuries. All works can be seen exhibited in film, radio, photography, literature, drawing, painting formats and even in debates with some of the protagonists of the exhibitions. 

Numerous disruptive, controversial, acclaimed and innovative contemporary artists bring their works and experimental exhibitions here, attracting numerous local and foreign visitors, who do not want to miss the latest of the latest in art. 

But it is not only the interior that is interesting about the visit, but also the exterior. The Foundation is located in an old renovated three-story building and you can see large windows that fill the interior galleries with light, and in the bar on the top floor (open from Thursday to Sunday from 12 pm to 6 pm) you can find the best panoramic view of the Riachuelo and La Boca. Another curiosity of the building is that its floors are made of oak, which generates a unique detail that mixes modernity with the classic. 

This large gallery also offers guided tours for adults and children in English and Portuguese, if you want to do the tour with a specialist it is necessary to do the reservation on the website.

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