14 Street 3-08 Zona 10
Guatemala City, 01010
Phone: (502) 24 213333
Fax: (502) 23 635766
Arts & Museums
This museum specializes in the collection, preservation, research, promotion and compilation of documentation of Mayan textiles in Guatemala. The exhibition consists of an extensive collection of textiles from over 140 communities produced in different periods. It also offers two permanent exhibitions: watercolors by Carmen L. Pettersen depicting the Mayan costumes, and paintings by Andres Curruchich showing the daily customs of the Kaqchikel Mayan community. Its facilities include a cafeteria, an art gallery offering handicrafts and paintings, a bookstore and a shop selling textiles, lamps, jewelry, pictures, mirrors, wooden furniture and other handicrafts. There is even a library specialized in Mayan textiles and related subjects, which is open Monday to Friday from 1p to 4.50p and Saturdays from 9a to 12.50p. There is an area for children, the Museo de la Niñez y de la Juventud (Museum of Children and Young People), with interactive activities related to textiles such as painting, embroidering and weaving on wooden looms, using natural inks. The museum offers guided tours and audiovisuals in English and Spanish on Guatemala's Mayan Costumes, Mayan celebrations and the Atitlan Lake's Heritage.
This museum displays a collection of highly artistic, historical and scientific value, that includes archeological objects from Central America and colonial art. It shows the development of Guatemalan culture throughout the years. It offers special guided tours for children and a workshop of colonial silverware for youngsters. The shop, located in the reception area, stocks books, magazines, posters, calendars and paintings, all related to the Mayan culture from the pre-Hispanic and colonial period. They also stock folk, marimba and classical music CDs, as well as videos and maps of Guatemala. Admission: adults GTQ20; children from 2 to 12 years old, GTQ6 and students with identification, GTQ8. To take pictures (without flash) or videos, you are required to pay GTQ15 and GTQ25 respectively.
The Natural History Museum opened in 1950 with a small collection of animals. It now has a large range of species including birds and mammals, as well as mineral and paleontological specimens. There is also a butterfly house, a botanical garden, and an ecological library for children. The exhibitions are permanent and expert guides are on hand to help the visitor make the most of them.
Its main objective is to support formal education within a fun environment. The idea is that children learn through interactive games. Customer service is excellent and the attendants provide information for visitors in each room. The museum has been recently inaugurated and it is sponsored by many companies. The museum is for children over five and it has a capacity for 240 people. The museum also includes a chain restaurant very popular in Guatemala: Pollo Campero. In the future, it will also include a shop specialized in educational material and stimulating toys for children.
The Museum of Modern Art was originally set up in the city center in 1934 by the Friends of the Arts Committee, and was moved to its present site in 1968. The architecture of this building dates from the 1930s, and under President Jorge Ubico it was used as a ballroom and reception hall. After refurbishment at various times, the museum is now in good condition and is used to display a permanent collection of Guatemalan art and sculpture.
Founded in 1945, the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology houses a collection of Mayan archaeological remains. These are mainly jade and obsidian, though there are also pottery pieces and objects taken from royal tombs. The building dates from 1930 and its architecture is in the style of that period. After being closed for several years for refurbishment, the museum was reopened in 1972 as a showcase for the legacy of the Maya.
La Fototeca is not only a gallery but a school of photography as well. Established in 2009 by Juan Jose Estrada Toledo and Clara de Tezanos to promote modern photography through educational programs, workshops, documentation and exhibits, it is one of the esteemed centers in town to hone your skills.
La Erre, the splendid cultural space is associated with the RARE magazine. Although described as an art gallery, La Erre serves multiple functions catering to three dimensions - art, culture and design. Apart from regular exhibitions featuring contemporary art, La Erre also hosts various programs and activities such as performances, lectures, group discussions and lots more that bring together like-minded patrons, artists and art enthusiasts from all walks of life. As such, La Erre is quite the melting pot of art and culture in Guatemala City.
The Rafael Landivar University has a small gallery on the first floor of G block. Exhibitions are organized by the Arts and Sports Committee. Renowned Guatemalan artists have chosen to show their painting, sculpture and photography here. The space is also used for student exhibitions, especially from the architecture, graphic design and engineering departments. Admission is free and visitors are invited to give their opinions in the visitors' book.
One of the most popular tourist attractions, the History Museum, opened in 1974, offers visitors a collection of furniture and political documents going back over Guatemala's history to 1821, the year it won its independence. The displays are changed from time to time so that the events covered match the season. There is also a reference library and admission is free.
Museo Nacional de Artes e Industrias Populares is a small museum of low importance in the hierarchy of national museums. It houses a collection of rather neglected exhibits, but a visit could still be interesting if you want to learn more about traditional Guatemalan popular arts and industries, both old and current. The small collection comprises paintings, textiles, gourds, musical instruments, ceramics, metalwork and Indian masks.
This museum is mostly aimed at children. It consists of three wagons able to fit in 100 children per hour. It is a mainly interactive museum, where children can use, touch and learn from the different objects exhibited. One of the most popular experiments is the microperimeter, which allows children meassure the electricity in their bodies. Two of the wagons offer experiments on physics and optics, astronomical pictures and fossils. The third wagon offers the projection of educational videos on subjects such as the human body, electricity, dinosaurs and more. Outside the wagons there are parking facilities and food stalls.