Situated on the Prado, in a grandiose late 19th-century mansion, is a museum dedicated to Bolivia’s modern arts scene.
La Paz’s Museum of Contemporary Art is a private museum owned and run by Bolivia’s Plaza family. The museum houses an eclectic collection of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and works by Bolivian and international artists mostly from the 20th century.
The first two floors of the museum are filled with works by current Bolivian artists, reflecting modern-day issues in Bolivia, while the third floor is dedicated to the owner’s permanent collection. Harboring a clear political tone, many of the museum’s paintings are based on famous figures such as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara as well as focusing on themes such as the conquest of the Incan empire and other Latin American invasions. Also featured in the museum’s collection is a selection of Andean colonial art and paintings by well known Cochabamba artist, Rodríguez-Sánchez, as well as pieces by the famous international sculptor, Remington.
Even if you are not an art aficionado, the museum’s interior alone is worth a visit. Designed by the creator of the Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel, the 126 year old mansion has a wonderful art-deco feel, featuring high ceilings, a wrought iron staircase a glass roof and stained-glass panels. The beautiful century-old building also holds a number of events which are listed on the museum’s events calendar.
For those looking to bring home a unique souvenir, some of the artwork on display is available for purchase, with pieces ranging from $200 to $3500.
Entry into the museum is Bs 15 ($2 US) and while photography is permitted it costs Bs 20 ($3 US) to take pictures. On occasion there is a Spanish speaking guide who provides a 30-minute tour of the museum. There is also a shop on the first floor selling souvenirs.
For those wishing to gain some insight into Bolivia’s art over the last 500 years, the Museum of Contemporary Art is definitely worth a visit.