Visiting the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City

The Soumaya Museum, or Museo Soumaya in Spanish, is Mexico’s most popular art museum – founded by its richest citizen, Carlos Slim. The museum houses tens of thousands of artworks from the past including Rococo French sculptures, dreamlike Venetian paintings, traditional Mexican tile works, and even ancient Chinese art. Slim knew that many citizens of his country couldn’t afford to travel to Europe to view art, so he decided to bring the art to them and house it in his country’s capital. Entry to the museum is free.

Slim’s intentions to elevate Mexico City to an enticing cultural destination certainly paid off – and the Museo Soumaya, named after his late wife, was certainly a deciding factor of why I decided to visit Mexico City.

Even if you’re not a fan of art, the building itself is worth seeing for yourself. It towers above many of Mexico City’s decaying buildings, and stands pristinely while reflecting the hot Mexican sun. Composed of hexagonal silver tiles which form a cylinder with sharply concave walls, the museum building is physically unlike any other I’ve seen.

Inside, the museum wraps upwards over several floors until you finally reach the top where the hundreds of French sculptures are basked in sunlight which streams in from a rooftop window. Aside from the top floor, the entire museum doesn’t have any windows!

My Favorite Works

On the ground floor is an absolutely gorgeous wall tile artwork by Diego Rivera:

Rio Juchitan, 1956

Diego Rivera, Rio Juchitan, 1956, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

Diego Rivera, Rio Juchitan, 1956, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

David Alfaro Siqueiros, El Padre de la primera victima de la huelga de Cananea, 1961

David Alfaro Siqueiros, El Padre de la primera victima de la huelga de Cananea, 1961, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

Mexican money coins!

Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

Francesco Zanin

Francesco Zanin, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

François Gall

François Gall, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse

Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

Charles Francis Fuller

Charles Francis Fuller, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

Inside the Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

Michele Marieschi

Michele Marieschi, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

Giacomo Manzoni

Giacomo Manzoni, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

Pierre de Belay

Pierre de Belay, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

Hundreds of Sculptures:

Hundreds of Sculptures, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

Museo Soumaya, Mexico City
Museo Soumaya, Mexico City

Soumaya Museum
Boulevard Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303
Granada, Miguel Hidalgo, 11529
Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Sunday – Monday 10:30am-6:30pm; Tuesday Closed; Wednesday – Friday 10:30am-6:30pm; Saturday 10:30am-8pm

October 25, 2017

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I’m an American photographer and writer based in Paris after living in New York for 7 years and then and spending a year and a half traveling. My work has been featured by the Paris and Nice Tourism Offices, Art Basel, and Refinery 29. Culture Passport is a place to share my travels and experiences in new places, with a focus on cultural attractions.

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