Browse indigenous, colonial and contemporary works by Bolivian artists at this wide-ranging museum in a colonial-era estate.
Navigate many centuries of art from Bolivia and the rest of Latin America at the National Museum of Art (Museo Nacional). The museum is situated in a beautiful historic space, a three-storey mansion called the Palacio de los Condes de Arana. See Bolivian works ranging from the pre-Hispanic period to contemporary times as you tour the balconies and courtyards of the museum.
The colonial galleries are a good place to start out. Religious paintings are predominate in this large collection of works from Bolivia’s time as a European colony. See pieces by famous masters of the period like Gaspar Miguel de Berrio. His Adoración de los Reyes y Adoración is a must-see due to its rare inclusion of an African subject.
Another colonial-era master is Melchor Pérez Holguín, a mestizo born in Peru. The National Museum of Art features a whole gallery dedicated to him. See some of his religious oil paintings, including Virgen Lavandera.
Browse the section of art from between the 19th century and today to see more recent developments in Andean art. The softly curved sculptures of the female body by Marina Núñez del Prado are a highlight. She took inspiration from the sculptures of the Aymara people, an indigenous group still living in Bolivia and its neighbouring countries.
Interesting travelling exhibitions are always passing through the National Museum of Art, and it frequently features exciting events, like orchestral concerts. Visit in May to join in the day-long Larga Noche de Museos (Long Night at the Museum), when many galleries, cultural attractions and museums in the city feature free admission and longer hours. Bundle your free visit to the National Museum of Art with stops at other city museums, like the Museo San Francisco.
To reach the National Museum of Art, take a shared mini bus to Plaza Murillo. Temporary exhibitions are accessible for free, but you must pay an admission fee to see the permanent exhibition. Check the museum’s website for a schedule of events and exhibitions. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday.