advertisement

This can't-miss, three-part museum will give you an in-depth look into the life and work of Oswaldo Guayasamín, perhaps Ecuador's greatest artist. The museum, a collection of small galleries with white walls and tile floors, is inspired heavily by the distant past—Guayasamín once said he painted from 3,000 or 5,000 years ago. Two of the sections hold Guayasamín's personal collections, with one an  archaeology museum containing pre-Columbian art, and the other a fine assortment of colonial pieces from the Quito School, including 80 or so crucifixes. Guayasamín's own work is displayed in the section called the Museo de Arte Moderno (Museum of Modern Art). Visitors will encounter several of his most famous pieces. There’s "La Edad de la Ira" ("The Age of Anger"), reflecting the artist's dismay over the violence that was sweeping across Latin America in the latter half of the 20th-century. The three-paneled "Homenaje a Vi­ctor Jara" ("Homage to Victor Jara") depicts a skeleton playing a guitar, a tribute to a Chilean folk singer and Communist Party supporter who was tortured and killed by General Pinochet's army during the 1973 military junta. There is a small café on the premises. If you are also visiting the nearby Capilla del Hombre, go there first so you can walk down the steep hill rather than up it. Plan for a half-day to see both institutions.