After a transforming but emotionally exhausting experience at El Museo de Memoria y Tolorencia earlier that morning, my friend K and I decided it was time for lunch. With the sky threatening to rain overhead, we stopped in a mall food court before we headed to the Soumaya Museum.
The Soumaya Museum is a private collection founded by one of the richest men in the world Carlos Slim Helú (the wealthiest man in 2010 and 2013). When you look at its modern design with iridescent hexagon tiles covering the outside of the building, you would never guess that this museum houses a massive collection of Mexican and Asian art plus the most extensive Rodin collection outside of France. The best part of all is that it’s free.
Walking into the museum, a vast white space almost empty great us, this enormous empty room drew all of our attention to the infamous “The Gates of Hell.” The room is befitting of this masterpiece by Rodin that is so detailed it’s hard to take in. To be honest, I did not understand the hype of Rodin till I saw this piece; I honestly can’t imagine the gates of hell any other way after seeing it.
From there, we walked upstairs to the first gallery, which focuses on Mexican art and artifacts from the Spanish colonial area. You wind your way around the room up to the next exhibit full of Asian art and antiques, including some of the most beautiful ivory carvings I’ve ever seen. Up and up, you continue past a vast collection of European and Mexican artists from Brugel to Monet until you reach the top of the museum. As you take your up and look around, you are instantly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of statues. It was only then that I really understood a small part of what it was like to be a prolific artist. The amount of Rodin works contained in this one room was overwhelming, each statue having a story to tell. It was a wondrous experience walking amongst his masterpieces and viewing them from every angle.
The Seolmaya museum does not disappoint, housing a magnificent collection of art from across the world. If you are ever caught on a rainy day in Mexico City, I recommend spending an afternoon here. You won’t be disappointed.
After the museum, we returned to our hostel for a few drinks on the roof before turning it in for the evening.
Museo Soumaya – FREE – Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Granada, Miguel Hidalgo, 11529 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Day 5 Part 1 The Day I found my WHY
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