Must See Museums and Art Galleries in Argentina
Argentina is home to more than just spectacular scenery. This country is also home to many amazing museums and art galleries. In fact, depending on where you are, it seems as if there is one on every corner. One walk through Buenos Aires and you will take away two things; Argentina certainly likes to document their history, and tout their local artists. There is no way you could see them all, and you want to make sure you pick the best so you don’t waste your time. To that end, I can help.
Following are my top picks for “Must See Museums & Galleries” the next time you find yourself in Argentina.
Prison Museum (Museo Penitenciario) – San Telmo
The Prison Museum was established in an effort to document and preserve the cultural heritage of Argentina’s federal prison system. The building houses interesting prison artefacts relating to criminology, women’s prison rooms, and penalty treatments. Many of these date back to the year 1829. However, perhaps the most striking thing about the Prison Museum is the fact that it is housed in a building dating back to the year 1732, involving prostitution as one of its most early uses. An interesting place, with unique architecture – be sure to check it out.
Puppet Museum (Museo del Titere) – San Telmo
On a lighter note, a trip to the Puppet Museum will enchant even the most rigid individual. On display are puppets collected from every corner of the globe, featuring medium such as papier-mâché and fabric. There are more than 300 puppets on display and it is a great place for adults and children alike.
Butterflies from the World Museum – San Miguel
This museum can be attributed to one individual, Mr. Andres Eugenio Varga. The Butterfly Museum houses over 70,000 unique items, all of which were collected during Mr. Vargas’ trips around the world. Visiting continent after continent, he collected some of the most phenomenal specimens on display. The subjects are presented in glass cases along the wall, and create a stunning display. Be sure to stop in and see it when you are in San Miguel.
Palacio de las Aguas Calientes Corrientes (Water Company Palace) – Buenos Aires
This museum looks more like a castle then a place housing ancient relics. In fact, it was originally designed to be part of the city’s health plan, and still has running water service. The building’s style is eclectic, mixing second French empire architecture with Central European and Renaissance trappings. The crown jewel? The building is covered by more than 300,000 tiles made exclusively of Terracotta. Inside, you will find old plumbing fixtures and faucets. Each of these is its own primitive snapshot in history, calling back a time when running water was becoming a luxury rather than a necessity.
Ruth Benzacar Gallery – Buenos Aires
Ruth Benzacar Gallery is one of the most modern contemporary art museums in Argentina. The gallery showcases art by emerging artists found throughout Argentina. Everything from minimalist paintings to surreal expressions can be found hanging on the stark white walls of the gallery.
National Museum of Art (Mueso Nacional de Bellas Artes) – Buenos Aires
Of course, you have to wander through the crown jewel of Argentina’s art museums when you find yourself in those areas. In the National Museum of Art, there are pieces which have helped shape the art scene in Argentina up to the present day.
Fundacion Proa Buenos Aires
If 20th century art is more your thing, then you can wander to your heart’s content here. Fundacion Proa is massive, with more than three floors of art featuring the ideologies of the 20th century. Unique exhibits like live media pieces, electro music, and videography can be found on display here.
Now you have a few places to add to your itinerary the next time you head to Argentina. Unless mentioned, all of the museums and galleries listed can be found in Buenos Aires. Those located in other areas are noted appropriately. They are well worth the extra travel time to check out. Leave feeling more enriched, and aware than you did when you first arrived. That’s the magic of art and artefacts found in other countries. There’s a sense of bonding and closeness that lingers with you long after you are gone. It’s almost magical.