Monday, 14 January 2013

Spotlight San Juan - Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico

At 130,000 square feet one of the biggest museums in the Caribbean, this beautiful neoclassical building was once the San Juan Municipal Hospital. The collection of Puerto Rican art starts with works from the colonial era, most of them commissioned for churches. Here you'll find works by José Campeche, the island's first great painter. His Immaculate Conception, finished in 1794, is a masterpiece. Also well represented is Francisco Oller y Cestero, who was the first to move beyond religious subjects to paint local scenes. His influence is still felt today: another gallery room is filled with works by artists inspired by Oller. The original building, built in the 1920s, proved to be too small to house the museum's collection of Puerto Rican art by itself: the newer east wing here is dominated by a five-story-tall stained-glass window, the work of local artist Eric Tabales.
There's much more to the museum, including a beautiful garden filled with a variety of native flora and a 400-seat theater that's worth seeing for its remarkable hand-crocheted lace curtain.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 299 Av. José de Diego, Santurce, San Juan, 00910 | Map It
  • Phone: 787/977-6277
  • Cost: $6; free admission Wed. 2-8
  • Hours: Tues.-Sat. 10-5, Sun. 11-6

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