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Oaxaca: Rufino Tamayo Museum of Pre-Hispanic Art of Mexico

On January 29, 1974, together with his wife Olga, they opened the doors of the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Pre-Hispanic Art of Mexico. The architecture of this house built in the eighteenth century is one of the most beautiful in the city and was rehabilitated by the artist.

All cultures produce art. Pre-Hispanic peoples were not the exception. A museum that recounts the true value of pre-Hispanic art pieces is a unique space in which you can appreciate the beauty and dexterity of the pieces created by the original cultures. If what you like most when you travel is growing, the Rufino Tamayo Pre-Hispanic Art Museum is for you.

A little bit of history

Duality, a painting by Rufino Tamayo

Rufino Tamayo is one of the Mexican painters with the greatest international recognition. Born in Oaxaca in 1899, throughout his career he managed to combine pre-Hispanic art with avant-garde pieces of art where he imposed color, texture, and harmony.

On January 29, 1974, together with his wife Olga, they opened the doors of the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Pre-Hispanic Art of Mexico. The architecture of this house built in the eighteenth century is one of the most beautiful in the city and was rehabilitated by the artist, with the purpose of housing a collection of works made over twenty years, in addition to having another thousand pieces to the cultures that flourished throughout the national territory, exhibited in five rooms thanks to the curatorship of Fernando Gamboa, in which he used for each of these a color belonging to those used in the artist’s work.

In this museum, you can appreciate the artistic unity that occurred in the native regions of the country, chosen for their expressiveness, peculiarity, and the unique expression of each ethnic group thanks to the assertive gaze of Rufino Tamayo.

It is all about art

Women in tehuantepech, a painting by Rufino Tamayo that shows his love for Oaxaca

Despite counting with this vast collection of pre-Hispanic art, it is not a museum of anthropology, it is an Art Museum, where the spirituality and cultural horizons of our ancestors are privileged.

The atmosphere created by the curator of the museum motivates the spectators to find each of the pieces exhibited. With one thousand fifty-eight sculptures, jewelry work, and fragments of fresco paintings, the atmosphere is full of beauty, aesthetics, and originality.

As well as the museum of modern and contemporary art in Mexico City and the Museum of Pre-Hispanic Art belonging to the Tamayo family, they intend to disseminate the sources of inspiration of one of the most important Mexican creators inheriting his cultural legacy.

This museum stands as a tribute to his land, for which, the state government donated this beautiful viceregal building, in which Tamayo worked on the restoration to adapt it as a museum and exhibit this imposing collection of pieces.

The Rufino Tamayo Museum of Oaxaca is also considered a Museum of Arts since in this space there are three eras of art: Pre-Hispanic, Colonial, and Modern. Most of the works come from various places in the Mexican Republic such as Colima, Puebla, Nayarit, Yucatan, and of course Oaxaca, where the artistic expression of Zapotec and Mixtec culture is appreciated.

What else can you find at the Tamayo Museum?

This museum also holds concerts, conferences, and is a showcase for the inhabitants of Oaxaca and visitors from the rest of the country and the world, the artistic manifestations of other places in our country.

Museum Opening Hours

Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10 to 14 hrs. and from 16 to 19 hrs. on Sundays from 10 to 15 hrs. Closed on Tuesdays

Cost: General admission: $90 Pesos. | Mexican. 50% | Oaxacans: voluntary quota. | Free: Children under 10 years old, students, INAPAM

It has guided tours: In Spanish $500 pesos | In English $1000 pesos

The Tamayo Museum is closed on January 1, Good Friday, May 1, September 16, November 2, and December 25.

Address: José María Morelos 503, Centro. Oaxaca de Juarez. Between the streets Gral. Porfirio Díaz and Tinoco and Palacios.

Phone(951) 516 4750

If you’re looking for what else to see in Oaxaca you might also like reading:

Disfruta las raíces del mezcal, la bebida espiritual más antigua de México desde Quiegolani.

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