Art is a universal language. Through art, you’ll be able to learn many things, from history to culture. In the Museum of Antioquia, you not only get to marvel at Medellin’s finest pieces, but also learn about how the city has become what it is today. Art pieces from one era to another, from old to new generation, are being displayed extensively. Located in one of the busiest parts of the city, the Museum of Antioquia in Medellin is a must-visit. In this article, we’ll reveal everything you need to know about the museum.
What is in the Museum of Antioquia?
Every city has its own unique way to capture its development, and Medellin is no exception. In the Museum of Antioquia – or Museo de Antioquia – you’ll find everything from historical art pieces to modern works all displayed in specific sequences. Each sequence is set in sections of the three-floor building.
On the first floor, you’ll find art pieces from Antioquia’s colonial and republican eras. While another section exhibits the intercultural dialogues which have taken place in Antioquia. An interactive guide is provided in some parts of the exhibitions, which help visitors understand each photo and art piece more deeply. However, most of these guides are only available in Spanish.
Moving onto the second floor, you’ll find sections and exhibitions categorized by centuries. In the northern part of the building, you’ll find Antioquia art pieces from the 19th – 20th century. And the southern part is occupied by art pieces from the 20th – 21st century.
Last but not least, the third floor showcases the masterpieces of the one and only, Fernando Botero, along with other international artists who donated their pieces to the museum. The figurative artist and sculptor was born in Medellin. His work inspires a signature style of his own, called Boterismo. This unique style depicts objects, especially people, in exaggerated sizes, which often represent his criticism towards politics. While you may not have heard of him, his popular pieces can be found in Park Avenue of New York City and Champs-Elysees of Paris, and other major cities around the world. Botero’s mural can be found in the center of the third floor. Don’t miss it!
Each of these sections is filled with paintings and crafts, made by Medellin artists. Even if you don’t understand Spanish, the universal language of art helps you understand the beauty of each piece.
The ancient art of clay
It is important to explore the Museum of Antioquia floor by floor, section by section, to understand the transformation of art and lives in Medellin. Before you make your way up to Botero’s exhibitions on the third floor, there’s one section you should not miss: the colonial and republican exhibit. Here, you’ll find sculptures and crafts made from all kinds of clay. Beside seeing the transformation of the art styles and shapes, you get to also see the changes in the clay making process itself.
Clay was a very important part of Antioquia. Back in the day, everything from kitchenware to household tools were made of clay. One of the interactive guides shows the distinctive process of turning clay into these useful tools and equipment which you can find in Pueblito Paisa, Medellin.
As you progress from one floor to another, you’ll see how each era brought its own influence to art. From ancient sculpture on the first floor, you’ll see modern paintings presented in an interactive slideshow on the second floor. If there’s one art piece you simply cannot take your eyes off of, you can take a panoramic picture with your phone. Unlike most art museums, you are allowed to take pictures as long as you don’t use flash photography. Detailed photos of the works and the use of tripods are not allowed.
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Pablo Escobar depicted in the artwork
It’s not Colombia without its notorious history. And it’s not a Colombian museum without an art piece depicting the notorious Pablo Escobar. While it’s still considered taboo to openly talk about him in Colombia, Escobar’s life and death are still a part of Colombia, and especially of Medellin.
One particular artwork on display portrays Pablo Escobar’s death. The painting will not likely make you grimace. In fact, it looks comical and theatrical. Even though Escobar has nothing to do with the Museum of Antioquia, his life is still a big part of the city’s history.
What you need to know before your visit
The Museum of Antioquia is located in Plaza Botero, near Estacion Villa, San Benito, and La Candelaria areas. It’s only 5 minutes away on foot from Parque Berrio Metro Station. Plaza Botero itself is popular among locals, so your taxi or Uber driver can take you there easily. Please note that this area is one of the busiest areas of the city, and is also known as a red district. We recommend storing your important belongings securely in your bag and out of reach.
The museum itself is open every day from 2 PM to 5 PM (hours may change from time to time, so please check the official website). While the entrance is free for Colombians, tourists must pay 18,000 COP (around 4.7 USD) per person. Payment by debit and credit card is accepted. Inside the museum, you’ll also find art shops and restaurants. Perhaps order a Menu del Dia before you leave?
Museo de Antioquia
Address: Cra 52 No. 52-43, Medellin, Colombia
Phone: (574) 251 36 36
Website: Museo de Antioquia
More than just a museum
The Museum of Antioquia is historical, making it a must-visit to those visiting the unique city. Museo de Antioquia is the first museum built in Antioquia and second in Colombia. And this is THE one museum that represents the city, while housing art pieces of “the most Colombian of Colombian artists” in history. If you haven’t included the museum into your itinerary, please try to fit it in. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, your visit will be worth it!
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