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The Decorative Arts Museum
Location: Calle Montalbán, 12
Tuesday to Saturday: 9:30 to 15:00 H.
Sundays and holidays: 10:00 to 15:00 H.
Closed: Every Monday, Jan. 1, May 1, Dec. 24, 25, and 31, and all local holidays.
This little known museum is housed in the mansion of the Duchess of Santoña, which was constructed in the 1880's. The state bought this mansion in 1941. Two floors were added to the 4 story mansion, so there is a lot of display space. This museum is one of the first created in Europe and follows the example of the Victoria and Albert Museum of London. The museum was created in 1912 as the National Museum of Industrial Arts, which wanted to be a place to teach artisans and artists the industrial arts. There are 70 salons which show 15,000 objects, but museum has a total of 40,000 objects. There are many antiques from China. Among the collections are ceramics, glass, textiles, Spanish carpets, Spanish furniture, and jewels and metals.
Very interesting are the rooms that show how the Spanish lived from the 15th to the 19th centuries in Spain. They had all sorts of collections, like the fan collection. Fans originally came from China, but were later made in Europe. Every century had a preference in fans, so styles changed constantly. The museum has a lot of beautiful furniture. Of importance is the beautiful tiled kitchen from Valencia that dates from the middle of the 18th century. The kitchen has tiles that show how servants prepared chocolate and pastries for the woman of the house. The kitchen also has the image in tile of the Virgen del Carmen.