Sunday, May 28, 2017

Dolores Olmedo's Museum

This being our last real day here to do tourist things we decided to trek out to the Dolores Olmedo Museum right at the southern end of the city. It took two metros and an elevated train to get us there, about 1.5 hours, but it was totally worth it.

The museum is in a rambling stone structure originally dating from the 16th Century. Dolores Olmedo was a controversial figure who was involved with Diego Rivera and Frida most of her life. She accumulated many of their paintings as well as an enormous collection of pre-Columbian art and in the later part of her life lived in the hacienda that is now the museum that bears her name.

The grounds of the property are peaceful and gorgeous with large expanses of green lawn (unheard-of in Mexico City), blooming bougainvillea, aloes and stone walkways. What a lovely relief it was to wander around the grounds after an hour and a half metro ride through the heat of the city.

As we entered we noticed this huge statue of an Aztec woman with a dog beside her. Olmeda kept these unique Mexican hairless dogs called Xoloitcuintili, originally bred by the pre-Columbian peoples here. Their descendants are still being cared for at the museum. 

The one in the foreground is a bronze sculpture and the one in the background is real. In this photo you can see three actual dogs behind the sculpture. They live in a large grassy area and appear to be very well kept and happy. 

Dolores Olmeda seemed to be fascinated with these dogs and many of her ancient sculptures and crafts featured images of them. on the left is one of probably forty stone scultptures, and below a large vase featauring a dog image that looks remarkably like those in the pen.

The main exhibit hall featured works by Diego Rivera, including some very early ones done while he was in Paris and experimenting with French styles of the day. The one on the left is clearly cubist and the other one influenced by Matisse.  You can see he was a master of every style.                            

I was also interested in seeing how Diego worked. There were two pieces in the exhibit of the same subject, one a finished drawing about 20x28" and another simpler drawing done very large, about 4'x6', which I think was a cartoon for one of his murals. He was a prodigious worker.

The rest of the museum included some temporary exhibits and a room full of Olmedo's folk art including these full size papier maché Day of the Dead figures.

We also enjoyed seeing this Mexican style kitchen, which has grates under the big pots and a recess beneath it where a fire would be lit to cook the food. The tiles are so gorgeous.

And the lovely arches and the stonework stairs and walls going up the hill behind the house. If you're ever visiting Mexico City I highly recommend visiting this lovely oasis.

At the end of our time wandering around I was relaxed and happy. It was a wonderful way to end our trip to Mexico City. Tomorrow we pack up and get ready to leave for our very early flight on Tuesday morning. The plane leaves at 6:00 so we will be at the airport at 4:00 am.


  1. Looks like you saved the best for last !
    Love all the dogs photos. Perfect Thank You for taking us along on your trip.
    Have a lovely trip home.
    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

  2. Wonderful shots- it looks like quite a place to visit.

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