Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno (the Municipal Museum of Modern Art) is a fine blend of the old (the buildings housing the art) and the new (the hundreds of works of art you'll find here).
The first time you visit, give yourself plenty of time. Visit all the small galleries full of art. And drink in the beauty of the courtyard.
The building that houses the Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno was built centuries ago of adobe (mud bricks) and hand-hewn wood. It was Casa Temperancia, a recovery center for alcoholics before becoming a prison.
In 1982, Banco Central restored it. It has two large wings that connect to the auditorium, which was originally the building's chapel. As the building was slowly transformed, it became a remarkable artistic center for visual arts and expressions of the evolving modern spirit of Cuenca.
The museum has hosted art exhibitions from various parts of the country and from overseas.
Artists include Honorato Vásquez, Goya, Jésus Soto, Pérez Celis, Luís Felipe Noe, Juan Villafuerte, Guayasamín, Tabara, Oswaldo Muñoz Mariño, Oswaldo Moreno, and others of great significance to Ecuador and the world.
The stunning progressive works of Marco Martínez were on display during September 2010. Very organic, these beautiful paintings show the development of this artist from Audubon realistic to the almost impressionistic renditions of flowers, plants, and trees.
If have you haven't already viewed the photo gallery, click here to see some of Martínez's work (the first three photos are of his work).
The exhibitions change every month. It's well worth a visit each time as the museum gives out a package of prints for each show. The prints are in the 8x10 inch range, high enough quality that you could frame them. Each comes with artist information on the back.
The International Painting Biennial originated with the Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno. The eight Biennials have built the museum's art collection with some major contributions, including some from artists themselves, as well as from Luis Crespo Ordóñez.
There's also a specialized art library, available to researchers, scholars and lovers of aesthetic production.
Wonderful and enriching, the museum is one more example of Cuenca's devotion to the arts and history, along with the preservation and advancement of the visual arts. Don't miss the opportunity to visit this gem.
Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno is located at Sucre 15-27 at Coronel Talbot. It forms the southern side of San Sebastian square.
(Note that the map above is slightly incorrect. The pointer should be a bit to the left. The street address indicated is incorrect as well.)
The museum email address is email@example.com. The website is part of the Cuenca government's site at www.cuenca.gov.ec/?q=page_artemoderno (all in Spanish).
The museum is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., and then again from 3 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. On Saturdays, it's open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Closed Sundays.
As you can see in the photo above, the museum has a shop where you can buy art books, art calendars and art reproductions.
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When I came to the US we still had the "sucre," the bus ride cost 1,000 sucres and a pack of trident gum would cost 3,000 sucres. I am very nervous to go back, but thanks to your web site I now know what to expect.
My husband is American and Captivating Cuenca has taught him a lot about what my great city has to offer, things that I had forgotten about myself! :)
Thank You both so much! I cannot wait to visit Cuenca!!