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“Prehistory, treated like fine art”

Rufino Tamayo Museum of Pre-Hispanic Art
Ranked #5 of 133 things to do in Oaxaca
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This museum contains a varied collection of pre-Columbian art donated by Rufino Tamayo, one of Mexico's most famous modern artists.
Reviewed July 4, 2012

Rufino Tamayo was a great painter and printmaker from Oaxaca. He lived in NYC and taught art at Manhattan's famed private school the Dalton School. This museum houses his collection of stone and ceramic artifacts from all over Mexico. It is not very big, but hte works are displayed with great attention to detail. Some of the larger pieces like the fine Maya stone stela, are not enclosed in glass, so you can get great pictures.
Many of the smaller ceramic figures are surprisingly like cartoon characters. There is a ceramic display of the Pre-hispanic ball game from the state of Nayarit that is fantastic.
Check the hours before you go, most museums close on Monday, but this one seems to close on Tues.

1  Thank kevinmpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"amazing collection"
in 16 reviews
"personal collection"
in 8 reviews
"private collection"
in 9 reviews
"each piece"
in 6 reviews
"mexico city"
in 10 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 4 reviews
"on display"
in 4 reviews
"monte alban"
in 10 reviews
"objects"
in 20 reviews
"colima"
in 4 reviews
"nayarit"
in 4 reviews
"aesthetic"
in 14 reviews
"colombian"
in 9 reviews
"courtyard"
in 15 reviews
"donated"
in 7 reviews
"grouped"
in 5 reviews
"pottery"
in 10 reviews
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278 - 282 of 409 reviews

Reviewed July 3, 2012

Although I had visited the Tamayo pre-historic art collection on an earlier trip to Oaxaca, my travels today took me back up Avenda Morelos again this afternoon to see this small, but exquisite collection. In approximately five rooms, Tamayo's personal collection of art is wonderfully displayed giving the viewer a glimpse of earlier civilizations from mostly the northern regions of Jalisto, Colima, and Nayarit. What is most impressive is the quality of the artifacts. Many of the pieces are in nearly pristine condition and "world class" by any museum standard. For our sake, Tamayo was able to rescue so many important artifacts mostly from the time period of 1250 BC - 200 AD that allow us a better understanding of these long disappeared groups of people. One of the most impressive pieces is the ceramic depiction of the ancient ball game. Having just visited Monte Alban the day before, we had an insight as to just how the ball court was used by both payers and spectators. Admission to the museum is $40 MEX. However, teachers get in half price. Today, my teacher discount was given to all four of us in my family. As we had had our fill of shopping for the afternoon, our stops at he Taller (workshop) de Rodulfo Tamayo (Avenida Juarez) and then his museum collection of pre-historic art were exactly the cultural fix the doctor ordered.

Thank Grousedoctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Rufino Tamayo's pre-columbian art collection. I liked the fact that these ancient artefacts were displayed as art, although some of them might have been every day items, although it is more likely that they were reserved for special occasions. I was inspired by the creativity that went into creating the vessels, and given the nowadays common use of plastic cups, I am not so sure if civilization has actually advanced.

Thank salsaretreat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2012

The colonial house itself is worth a visit, but the displays are outstanding, we loved it and sent plenty of time there.

Thank Adele G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 23, 2012

This may be the single best collection of pre-columbian art in the world, certainly from an aesthetic point-of-view. All the pieces were collected by Oaxacan artist Rufino Tamayo for their beauty, not just historical importance.

Thank jodysheila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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