Museum of Modern Art in Santa Cruz

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The Museum of Modern Art is small, but represents "cruceño" artists as well as national and international artists of the 20th and 21st Centuries with rotating exhibits. It functions more as a gallery, as it has no permanent displays. Many of the artists are featured as the result of art contests.

The Modern Art Museum is locate just a few blocks straight down from the Cathedral on the Plaza 24 de Septiembre (the city's central plaza), on the same sidewalk as the cathedral. The building it is housed in an aging building that used to be a military barracks, and later (until the mid 1980's) was a school before being converted into the museum that it is today.

What is especially interesting is the contrast between the modern and contemporary art it houses and the aging colonial-style building itself. As you enter, you are immediately greeted by a large, open courtyard and you will notice that this building, like so many others built in the 1600's is actually a square with rooms on all four sides and a garden in the middle, typical of most houses of its era.

To your right on the wall you might see the vestiges of this building's colonial military and schoolhouse days - a huge painted map and equally huge painted flag adorn the Western wall (however, the museum assistant curator tells me these will be painted over soon).

The building has about 10 rooms but only 3-4 are used as an art gallery at any one time. Upon entering, you'll encounter a small desk where you must write you name and your country of origin - there is NO admission fee. The first room to your right is the office where you can usually find Curator Silvia Rózsa and Assistant Curator Dolly Méndez doing their best to promote the arts in Santa Cruz.

Several rooms are art galleries with bright track lighting - these will vary according to the size and length of each exhibit. Photography is allowed - but only WITHOUT flash.

If, upon entering, you look to your left you'll see a large cluster of plants. Just next to these plants there is an ancient wooden door that leads to a little-known garden in the back. Here you can enjoy some quiet time under the shady trees amongst some remnant metal art pieces that have been placed there. There are benches to sit on there too. It's a really nice place to sit and read a book for a while.

Calle Sucre Esq. Potosí
(just 4 blocks straight East of the central plaza)
Santa Cruz - Bolivia
Hours: Monday to Friday 10:00-12:00 and 3:00-7:00
No admission fee.

The nice thing about this is that there is always something new and interesting to see. With so many museums featuring similar items, like cultural and historical artifacts, it's good to be able to see what today's artists are creating.

Displays are changed every month or so, some more frequently and some less. Like most museums in Santa Cruz, it isn't large. You could see it all in one hour, two if you linger.

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