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01.27.2010

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Museum of Popular Art
Attractions of Mexico City

Address: 16 de Septiembre on the corner with Revillagigedo
Area:
Centro Alameda
Metro: Juárez
Opening
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. Thursdays from 10:00 to 21:00 hrs.      
Cost:
$40 pesos. Free admition for students, teachers and people with an INAPAM credential.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A vibrant fusion of colours, textures, materials and expressivity, popular mexican art has a new palace in which to showcase its beauty to the world: the Museum of Popular Art of Mexico City, also known as the MAP.

The Museum of Popular Art opened its doors in 2007 taking advantage of the old Fire Station complex, which had been abandoned for three years. The building was constructed in 1927 by architect Vicente Mendiola, and was part of a government effort to modernize the infrastructure of the public offices so as to restore the presence of government institutions after the Mexican Revolution. The building was planned over a central courtyard, which was originally meant as a parking space for the firetrucks, and was left open for that purpose, with three levels above it for offices and on-call rooms.

The emergency alarm used to be located at the top of a tower, under a cupola; the tower is located on one of the corners and is the highlight of the building from the outside. Other interesting elements are the stone high reliefs with prehispanic motifs, the fluted butresses and the flagstaffs, all of which give the building great aesthetic harmony and make it one of the best accomplished examples of Art Deco in the city.

When the increasing needs of the city outgrew it and it turned out to be an insufficient space to continue to function as the Fire Department, the building was left unoccupied for a long time and its situation worsened after the 1985 earthquake. Nevertheless, in the late 1990's and thanks to the close colaboration between cultural organizations and the city's government, the building was rescued and put to use by housing the most important popular art collections in Mexico and promoting its appreciation and knowledge across the national and international public, in a place that would become the main showcase for mexican artisans and their artistic wealth.

The project was entrusted to architect Teodoro González de León, who, within the strict requirements that this type of building rehabilitation imply, managed to express a contemporary spirit by means of simple and transparent details which allow the pieces to be shocased at their best.

Anyone who wants to get to know the different artistic traditions of Mexico and the variety of expressions they have according to each region, must visit this museum. There's also an excellent shop where one can buy beautiful handmade pieces of furniture, fabrics or toys, with proceeds going to some of the country's remote communities. Additionally, there's a research centre and workshops throughout the year where one can learn diverse artisan trades.

 

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