It is no surprise, to find that South America has an incredibly diverse collection of museums. All of them full of pre-Inca art, European baroque or modern American sculptures. There are countless museums and exhibitions just waiting to be appreciated. Visual art in South America is shaped primarily by Spanish, Portuguese and French Baroque paintings and Italian artists. However, by early 20th century, Latin art started developing its own form.

Argentinian Art collection – truly impressive!

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) in Buenos Aires is the largest art public collection in Latin America. With more than 12,000 pieces it’s also the most valuable art collection in Argentina. In fact, the museum exhibits a significant number of European paintings and sculptures by Curatella Manes and Rodin. Spread over, two floors and 24 exhibition halls of the ground floor, visitors will encounter paintings by El Greco and Rembrandt, the magnificent Goya and the most important Latin American collection of impressionists and post-impressionism.

Sao Paulo Museum – full of surprises!

Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), undoubtedly our favourite place in the city of Sao Paulo. While MNBA is presumably the largest art collection in Latin America, MASP has the largest collection of western art in Southern Hemisphere. The Museum exhibits Italian and French, African and Asian art. With over 8000 works (but only around 500 are ever on display at a given time) we can see the works by Raphael, Rembrandt, van Gogh, Renoir, Delacroix, Cézanne, and Picasso. MASP has one of the best ways of displaying the art we have seen. The vast open space filled with suspended glass structures makes the visit even more interesting.

One of the oldest museums in South America

Museo Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá – one of the oldest museums in the Americas, it was initially established in 1823 in another location. In 1946, the museum moved to its current location, which was once used as a prison for both men and women. The Museum exhibits an important collection of Pre-Columbian antiquities and a small group of modern works. As a matter of fact, the museum is the most complete museum on the national history and identity of Colombia. Imagine learning about Pre-Columbian heritage while strolling the building that once served as a prison. It’s worth visiting just for the building’s sake.

Worth mentioning!

The Larco Museum in Lima is surely a jewel. The perfect choice for those who are keen to understand more about pre-Columbian art. Equally important for those who just want to know a bit more about everything that shaped Peruvian heritage.

The Museo del Oro

Bogotá’s most famous museum and one of the most fascinating in all of South America. The Gold Museum contains the most famous jewellery collection worldwide. After all, exhibits roughly 30,000 pieces of gold and other materials from all the major pre-Hispanic cultures in Colombia. Truly the most impressive of all!

MALBA Museum Buenos Aires
MALBA Buenos Aires

Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA)

There are many interesting art galleries in Buenos Aires, including Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. However, MALBA has dedicated itself to the preservation, dissemination, and integration of modern and contemporary art. Painting, sculpture, photography, and installations and major works by Diego Rivera, Antonio Berni, Frida Kahlo and Jorge de la Vega. All collection has a focus on art from the early 20th Century to the present.