Museum of popular art of Cusco
The city of Cusco has several museums where you can enjoy the art and tradition of the ancient capital of the Incas. One of the most famous is the popular art museum, which offers a window for the artisans of the region. It is an exhibition of various crafts made by modern and traditional artists. It is located in the historic center of the city. Your income is included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket.
All about the Museum of popular art of Cusco
Museum of popular art is a small museum that exhibits different types of work by highly experienced Cusco artisans such as: Hilario Mendivil, Antonio Olave, Edilberto Mérida and others. The sculptures, carvings, ceramics, metalwork, altarpieces and more stand out. The visit to this museum is included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket 2, which also offers visits to other museums and archaeological sites in the city.
The museum is located on Avenida El Sol s / n (first block) in the tourist galleries of Cusco.
How to get?
You can reach the popular art museum walking from the Main Square of of Cusco. It is also possible to take a taxi from any part of the Historic Center. The way more people get there is on foot.
The popular art museum is in charge of the American Institute of Art of Cusco, an institution that has been in operation since 1937 and that every December 24 holds the famous ‘Santurantikuy’ (sale of saints) fair. This fair takes place in the Main Square and exhibits handicrafts with religious motifs (especially the birth of the baby Jesus). The best crafts are exhibited in the Museum of popular art.
Map to get to the Museum of popular art
The museum consists of several spaces where different types of crafts by the best Cusco artisans are permanently exhibited such as: Santiago Rojas, Agustín Ibarra, Raymundo Béjar, Hilario Mendivil, Georgina Dueñas, Antonio Olave, Edilberto Mérida, Jesús La Torre, Fabián Palomino, Enrique Sierra, Sara Negrón, Luis Acosta, Gregorio Cachi, Sabino Tupa and others.
The most outstanding works are: ceramic pieces, textiles, sculptures, photographs, altarpieces and more. There is also a ‘photo library’ space where you can glimpse old images of the city as well as some of the most remembered Cusco artists who achieved national and international fame, such as: Hilario Mendivil, Antonio Olave and Edilberto Mérida. Another specific area of the museum exhibits works by these artists, the highest representatives of regional crafts.
It is worth mentioning that the pieces are progressively renewed by including the best works from the ‘Santurantikuy’ Christmas fair (sale of saints). Because of this, the museum is an excellent way to show the talent of some of the best artists in Cusco.
Since Inca times, the Cusco people have created pieces of high quality in ceramics, goldsmiths and textiles. During the colonial era, the knowledge of popular art expanded in the population, where great artists in sculpture, ceramics, goldsmithing and more stood out. A clear example is the so-called ‘Cusco school’ of art, which produced beautiful canvases and sculptures in the colony. Most of these works are found in the main churches of the city.
The 20th century saw the birth of some of the best exponents of Cusco crafts. Examples include Hilario Mendivil (author of elongated neck imagery), Santiago Rojas (author of dances from the province of Paucartambo), Antonio Olave (author of manuelitos children), Edilberto Mérida (author of sculptures of grotesque figures) and others. They and other artisans from Cusco were declared masters of national crafts.
Cost of the visit
The visit to the Museum of popular art is included in the ‘Tourist Ticket of Cusco Circuit 2’, which has a cost of 70 Peruvian soles (22 US dollars, approximately). This ticket also allows entry to the contemporary art museum, regional historical museum, Coricancha site museum, Qosqo center for native art, monument to the Inca Pachacutec as well as the archaeological sites of Tipón and Piquillacta.
Hours of Operation
From Monday to Saturday, from 9 in the morning to 1 in the afternoon. Also from 2 to 6 in the afternoon.
Photos of the Museum of popular art
Interested in crafts? The famous neighborhood of San Blas in Cusco is known as the ‘artisans’ neighborhood’ because there are the workshops that the most consecrated artisans in the city left their families: Hilario Mendivil, Antonio Olave, Edilberto Mérida and others.
During your visit to Cusco you will find a large number of handicrafts. Most are offered to tourists in markets, craft centers and in the same streets (squares and parks). Some of the pieces that you will only find in Cusco are clothing made of alpaca fiber, a characteristic auquénido of the Andes.
Tips for the visit
Do not touch the museum pieces as you can damage or, in the worst case, destroy them. Take special care if you visit the museum with children. Many of the pieces on display are made of fragile materials.
During your visit to the city of Cusco, do not miss the opportunity to acquire handicrafts. The most famous places to get them are: the Cusco craft market, the San Blas neighborhood, the San Pedro market, the Pisac market, the Ollantaytambo craft market and the Machu Picchu craft market.