Sunday, March 18, 2012
National Museum of Mexican Art
Pilsen is such a beautiful, vibrant neighborhood itself, with many things to see, do, eat and enjoy. One of the many attractions is the National Museum of Mexican Art. Admission is free and the galleries are beautiful and inspiring.
Through the many different folk art, paintings, sculptures, portraits, photos and textiles, the traditions and history of the Mexican people are spoken. Vibrant colors and textures and patterns are common, and with historical ties to the Aztecs, the tribal symbols and stories are remembered through many of the paintings. The Mexican people remember their roots through art, festivals, and stories.
The National Museum of Mexican Art's mission is to provide a positive influence for the local Mexican community, especially since many other art institutions did not address Mexican art. Today, the National Museum of Mexican Art stands out as one of the most prominent first-voice institutions for Mexican art and culture in the United States. They are home to one of the country’s largest Mexican art collections, including more than 7,000 seminal pieces from ancient Mexico to the present. The Museum is the only Latin museum accredited by the American Association of Museums.
Personally, the messages it spoke were about the sharing of life among the community, and it's origin, many of the symbols and connections deriving from Mexico's pagan Aztec roots. Like a lot of their holidays and traditions, this painting mixes modern idealisms, Catholic traditions, and Aztec beliefs and practices into one central space. When you visit this piece, take note of the man in the middle of the painting, his heart lining up with the eyes of a snake, a heron (I think?), an eagle, a lion/cougar, and a huge profile of a man.
Some of the paintings were very creepy, most of them depicting hell or death. Also, there are quite a few that were vulgar, containing partial or full nudity- as is expected in almost all art galleries. Keep this as a reminder, especially if visiting the gallery with children.
Over all, the museum was a beautiful place to visit. The fact that it's free is just a bonus!
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