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The Museum of Modern Art (Museo de arte moderno – MAM) is among the biggest museums of its kind in Latin America. An extraordinary collection focuses on the evolution of modern art in Mexico, especially with the Mexican School of Painting and the Breakaway Generation.
In the Chapultepec Park, the museum is housed in two circular buildings with two floors each and divided into four halls, and a gallery. A remarkable sculpture garden connects the two buildings.
The Xavier Villaurrutia and Carlos Pellicer halls allow visitors to admire the museum’s considerable permanent collection. This includes works by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco, and Frida Kahlo, among others. Other halls are used for temporary exhibitions which display parts of the museum’s collection curated under varying themes and topics. These exhibtion often reach some considerable international notoriety.
The MAM plays an important role in research and investigation related to modern and contemporary art.
Having opened in 1964 with an exhibition of works by Rufino Tamayo, the buildings were completed based on a design by the architects Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and Carlos A. Cazares Salcido of the University of Sonora. They worked in collaboration with Rafael Mijares Alcérreca.
The main body of the museum takes an organic form, curved in parallel to the Paseo de la Reforma. It was intended to respond to the landscape and surrounding undulating trees. It’s also, importantly, always been understood as a highly modern capstone to the country’s modernization process. Having been designed, built, and opened at the very peak of the “Mexican economic miracle,” the Museum of Modern Art might also be understood in that light, albeit a fading brilliant light.
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