5.9.12

Soumaya

Soumaya Domit was a philantropist and art promoter, she was the wife of Carlos Slim Helu, the world's richest man. He named the new spectacular art museum of Mexico City after her. It holds an impressive number of art works (66.000) by Mexican and European artists and it was designed by architect Fernando Romero, his son-in-law.
Soumaya museum in Plaza Carso

It is located in Plaza Carso, in Polanco. Plaza Carso (named after the first three letters of his name, Carlos, and the first two of Soumaya) is Slim's version of Rockefeller Center, a square surrounded by buildings hosting most of his companies' headquarters. The outside of the building has the shape of a trapezoid, inspired by Gehry's Guggenheim, and covered with 16.000 aluminium plates that reflect the sunlight.
The interior consists of 6 floors of galleries connected by a spiral ramp and a skylight at the top.
The museum hosts the world's largest private collection of Auguste Rodin's sculptures and Salvador Dalì's largest collection in Latin America.
In the atrium we can find Rodin's The Thinker and Diego Rivera's mural Bath in the River. There's also a giftshop and a Sanborn's cafeteria.


Auguste Rodin's The Thinker
Diego Rivera's Bath in the River
Climbing to the first level there's a beautiful sculpture: Michelangelo's Pietà, an extremely rare piece of art, one of only 14 original casts commissioned by the Vatican (the mold was then destroyed), it is an exact rendition of Michelangelo’s original marble sculpture on display in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
Michelangelo's Pietà (cast)
The first gallery is dedicated to pieces in silver, gold, wood and ivory, like the world's largest collection of pre-Hispanic and colonial era coins.

Stocks of Slim's family company from 1934

The second gallery hosts temporary exhibitions, like the 100 new artworks of the museum, which includes Joan Mirò's Personage in the Night.

Joan Mirò's Personage in the Night (1960)
[...] we must find a way to make universally accessible everything that is fundamental and desirable, therefore we believe in the importance of this museum being for the Mexican people, making this building and its collection available to Mexico City and the country, with the intention and compomise to contribute in the education and development of human capital, trying to enrich and share the history of art, world culture and the history of Mexico. - Carlos Slim Helú
 The third gallery hosts works of art of European and Mexican artists, including pieces by El Greco, Rubens, Tintoretto and Correa.


Unfortunately, the fourth gallery which hosts the impressionists (Cezanne, Renoir, Monet, etc.) was closed during my visit.
The fifth gallery is dedicated to Mexican art, hosting paintings by Mexican muralists like Siqueiros and Tamayo.


David Alfaro Siqueiros'  The Father of the Fiirst Victim of the Cananea Strike

David Alfaro Siqueiros' sketch for the 3D mural  The University for the People, The People for the University of UNAM's Rectory building.
David Alfaro Siqueiros'  Coal Miners

Pre-hispanic pieces and sculptures
"My feeling is Mexican, my color is Mexican, my forms are Mexican, but my concept is a mix" -Rufino Tamayo, Mexican painter
The sixth gallery on the top, contains beautiful sculptures mostly by Rodin and Dalì.


Salvador Dalì's Profile of Time
Against what many critics say about the architecture and the collection, I loved this museum, it is a great contribution to Mexico City's museum scene, and it's free so, if you are in the area, you must visit it!

Museo Soumaya
Plaza CARSO

Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra No. 303,
Col. Ampliación Granada México, D.F., 11529
Tel.: (+52 55) 4976 0173 and 4976 0175
Free Entrance
Opening times: open everyday from 10:30 to 18:30 h