dusk near Cuernavaca

dusk near Cuernavaca

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Musuem Quiz - The Mexico City Edition

Last month I posted a quiz to identify famous museums from throughout the world.  Fellow blogger Kim, "El Gringo Suelto", commented that I could do a "Ph.D." level quiz on obscure museums just in Mexico City.  Mexico City is said to have more museums than any other city in the world... even more than Paris.  Many of them are small and specialized in interest, and I do not claim to have visited nearly all of them.  I've probably been to a couple dozen.  So, can you identify these ten Mexico City museums?  They are not even especially obscure. The first time visitor usually sees the National Museum of Anthropology and the National Museum of History in Chapultepec Park.  However, all of these somewhat lesser-known places are worthwhile.  Some of them I would even recommend to a first time visitor.

Here goes...

UPDATE:  I quickly received a comment from blogger Gary Denness, the author of the "Mexile" blog.  Gary lived for a number of years in Mexico City, and I figured that he could identify many of these museums.  He got seven of the ten correct!  Gary frequently comments on my blog, but this is the first time that he has participated in one of my quizzes.
Congratulations, Gary!

Three museums remain to be identified.

FINAL UPDATE:  Wow!  That was quick!  In less than five and a half hours, all of the museums were identified.  But then again, the participants are very familiar with Mexico City.  Gary commented again with two more answers, and blogger Kim, "El Gringo Suelto", answered the last remaining question.
Congratulations to Gary and to Kim!

Number One...

This is the Soumaya Museum in the Polanco neighborhood.  Although Gary did not give the name of the museum, I will give him credit, because he correctly identified it as the relatively new museum that was built by Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim, to house his huge art collection.  When the museum opened some critics said that Slim is a better businessman than an art collector.  They said that the museum is filled with second-rate art created by first-rate artists.  However, the sculpture gallery on the top floor contains more works by the French sculpture Auguste Rodin than anyplace outside of Paris.

Number Two...

Gary correctly identified "La Casa Azul" (The Blue House) in the neighborhood of Coyoacán.  This was the home of the famous artist, Frida Kahlo.  Although the museum does not contain much in the way of her paintings, its is furnished as it was when Frida lived here... including her studio, and the bed in which she died.

Number Three...

Gary correctly identified the Revolution Museum which is located underground beneath the Monument to the Mexican Revolution.

Number Four...

Gary identified the Dolores Olmedo Museum in the southern district of Xochimilco.  Dolores was a wealthy socialite and patron of the arts.  She bequeathed her home, a former hacienda, to be opened as a museum to contain her large collection of paintings by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.   Photography within in the museum is prohibited, but in the gardens around the house, you will see a number of Xoloitzcuintli, a breed of Mexican hairless dogs, which was a favorite of Dolores.

Number Five...

Gary identified this museum as Anahuacalli, a structure built of volcanic stone to resemble an ancient temple.  It was built by the painter Diego Rivera to house his large collection of Pre-Hispanic art.

Number Six...

Gary got this one too.  It is the Museum of the Interventions.  It is located in the former convent of Churubusco, and deals with the many foreign invasions of Mexico during the country's two centuries of independence.

Number Seven...

Kim answered this one, and kept Gary from having a clean sweep.  This is the Museum of San Carlos which houses a collection of European art.  Although it cannot compare to the great museums of Europe, it is noteworthy for its architecture.  The structure was built in the 18th century, and was the palace of a Spanish nobleman.  It was designed by the famous neoclassical architect Manuel Tolsá and features a unique elliptical courtyard.

Number Eight...

Although he had never visited this museum, Gary correctly guessed that this is the Museum of the "Templo Mayor" (the main Aztec temple).  Here you will find an impressive collection of  artifacts that were found when archaeologists excavated the foundation of the Aztec temple right in the heart of the city.  The photo above shows an enormous (13'x11') carving of the goddess Tlaltecuhtli.  It was discovered in 2006, and was installed in the museum four years later.

Number Nine...

Gary recognized that this photo was taken inside the Museum of Popular Arts, a fairly recent museum which is housed in a former fire station.  This picture shows a collection of clay sculptures known as "Trees of Life", a typical item of Mexican handicrafts.

Number Ten...

Finally, Gary recognized that this is one of the galleries in the MUNAL, the National Museum of Art, located in a splendid palace in downtown Mexico City.  The museum contains a large collection of Mexican art from colonial times to the early 20th century.

Good luck!


  1. 1. This is a new one to me. So I'm guessing it is Slim's new art museum that went up afetr I left.
    2. Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul.
    3. The museum under the monument to the revolution.
    4. Dolores Olmeda.
    5. Annahuicalli. Or whatever! Diego's place built out of volcanic rock in the south of the city.
    6. Ooooh, now this one is so familiar but I can't quite place it. Could be the convent in Culhuacan, or the ,ilitary museum near Metro Generales.
    7. I forget it's name, but it's up near metro San Cosme.
    8. Popular Art museum.
    9. MUNAL.

    How did I do? Don't mark spelling. Do allow rough addresses!

    1. Good job, Gary! You got 7 out of ten! (And, no, even though I was a stickler for spelling as a teacher, I won't mark off on spelling.)
      You are thinking of the right place on number seven... the one near San Cosme.
      And you might be on the right track on number six as a military museum. (But, no, it's not Culhuacán.)
      Thanks for participating in the quiz, and congratulations! We'll see if Kim gets the remaining museums.

    2. Number 6 is the museo of interventions, round the corner from metro general anaya.

      I got my numbers muddles up. obviously 9 is the popular art museum and 10 is Munal. I missed number 8. I'm going to assume its Templo Mayor. Can you believe, I never went there.

      How many have I got right now? I think it's just 1 and 8 that have a question mrk over them.

    3. You are correct on numbers 6 and 8! (I gave you credit for number 1 even though you didn't give the name of it.) So you have answered 9 out of 10! Good work! Bravo!

  2. Number 6 is the Franz Mayer Museum across from the Parque Alameda, though I don't have a ton of confidence in that answer. But it's the best I can do.
    Number 7 is the San Carlos Museum in Tabacalera.
    Number 8 is the Templo Mayor (or the attached museum if you want to be persnickety).

    By the way, Anahuacallí was meant to be Diego Rivera's tomb, but after his death it was found to still not be large enough to contain his ego.


    Kim G
    CDMX, México
    Where we're adding "don't breath the air" to "don't drink the water."

    1. San Carlos! I knew where it was and the name was on the top of my tongue...

      I'm still plumping for the museum of interventions for number 6 though. It was the last photo of my 365 project.

    2. Kim, you were incorrect on the Franz Mayer Museum, but that's not a bad guess since both that and the Museum of Interventions are located in former convents.
      You were correct of the Templo Mayor museum, but Gary beat you to it.
      You did, however, wrap up the quiz by identifying the last remaining museum, San Carlos.

    3. Gary, I knew you were thinking of the right place when you mentioned the San Cosme Metro station. But 9 out of 10 is outstanding.
      On your upcoming trip to Mexico City you should visit the Templo Mayor Museum. It is quite impressive.
      Thanks for participating.