On your next visit to the island, do not miss the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art which is an excellent alternative to cold, stiff and boring museums. It is located in San Juan and is housed in a small but beautiful building with a lovely courtyard that soothes the eye and spirit.
A Brief History
The Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art was founded in October 8, 1984 and was a product of the partnership between several generous artists and members of the society. They formed a non-profit institution that will enable local artists to display their art so that the general public can be exposed to many kinds of art forms and modern art expressions. Initially, the museum offered its services in Plaza Las Americas and other public areas. By 1988, they were given the opportunity to use space at the Magdalena Sofía Barat by the University of Sacred Heart where they stayed for 15 years. In 2002, they petitioned the government to give them the Labra Historical Building which is located in Santurce which is its current location.
Also known as the Museo Arte Contemporaneo (MAC), all the pieces inside the museum belong to the people of Puerto Rico and the museum’s objective is to educate locals and tourists while at the same time preserving and documenting many kinds of art coming from Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Latin America.
Even if you’re not a big fan of contemporary art, or any genre of art for that matter, a visit to this museum is still recommended. It’s a lovely museum that will enthrall adults and kids alike.
The museum houses exhibitions, performances, art videos, social gatherings, concerts and creative workshops. They also accept artwork donations from local and top artists, and they also document and record the process of producing art using printed material, photography and film so as to educate and promote awareness to the people of Puerto Rico.
There are two floors filled with several galleries ranging from paintings, sculptures, mixed media, and sound and video installations. There is a small giftshop on the first floor and restrooms in the basement. Literature is in Spanish only.
If you have kids with you, be sure to check out the art workshops. They have classes for kids, adults and people with disabilities. You can work with professional artists in creating your own masterpiece which you will probably want to show off to friends back home.
The MAC is only a few minutes walk from the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico where you will find plenty of classic art work. One area has paintings, religious artifacts and wood carvings from the 17th until the 19th centuries. In another area on the same floor you will find art pieces from the 1930s to 60s. On the second floor you will find a gallery filled with artwork from the 1950s to 90s.
Other Important Information You Should Know
The museum is open from 10AM to 4PM from Tuesday to Saturday, and on Sundays they are open only from 12 Noon to 4PM. The museum is closed on Mondays. Admission is free.
If you want to go to the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art, it is located at the corner of Robert Todd Avenue and Ponce de Leon Avenue in Santurce, San Juan.