Housed in the futuristic design of 16,000 hexagonal aluminum tiles arranged to make a space-age cocoon, the Museo Soumaya is a work of art itself. Once you’re done admiring the outside, you’ll find it holds over 66,000 works of art spanning the previous 30 centuries. From the sculptures of Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica to the surreal paintings of Salvador Dali, walking through the halls and rooms of the Museo Soumaya is a stroll through the timeline of some of humanity’s greatest artistic feats.
Museo Nacional de Antropología
With its sleek architecture and countless outdoor gardens, it’s easy on first look to think the Museo Nacional de Antropología is a through-and-through art museum. It’s not, and yet it is: to witness the priceless archaeological and anthropological artifacts of the pre-Columbian cultures is in many ways to glimpse the groundwork for all the art and culture that has followed.
El Palacio de Bellas Artes
If the art of Mexico City was a solar system, it would be easy to label El Palacio de Bellas Artes as the Sun. El Palacio is the home of the seasonal performances by the opera, symphony and Ballet Folklórico de México. Additionally, it’s the permanent residence for the Museo Nacional de Arquitectura as well as a collection of murals from some of the most accomplished Mexican artists. If Diego Rivera’s infamous El Hombre controlador del universe isn’t enough to elicit awe, then the cascade of colors from the million-plus pieces of the stained-glass curtain certainly will.
Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo
While Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo painted hundreds of pieces of art that are on display throughout Mexico, no museum offers the peak into their enigmatic lives quite like the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo. Serving as both home and studio for both artists during the later years of their lives, the museum today showcases Diego’s studio, as well as housing a rotation of temporary exhibits to accompany the various permanent pieces.
No exploration of the art of Mexico City would be complete without a glimpse of where the future is heading. The Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (or MUAC) allows for just this. Consisting of only nine rooms, each room provides a full-fledged sensory experience; be it the more abstract pieces that invite you to touch, or the area of sound experimentation that harbors various sounds as they bounce off the pyramid-adorned walls.
Between the venues discussed and the dozens that we didn’t touch on, the art of Mexico City is one of the most impressive collections to be found in any major metropolis of the world. Enjoying it is as easy as strolling down streets and discovering museums!