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“Small but remarkable collection”

Rufino Tamayo Museum of Pre-Hispanic Art
Ranked #4 of 121 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.
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
131 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Small but remarkable collection”
Reviewed August 15, 2012

The five rooms of this museum contain a stunning collection of pre-hispanic art and artifacts that, in some regards, far exceeds the quality of pieces on display at the much larger collection in the museum adjacent to Santo Domingo church.

We spent two hours here and enjoyed every minute. Aside from the historic importance of these pieces, what's remarkable is to see how clearly they influenced Tamayo's work, and how they continue to influence the work of hundreds of painters, sculptors, potters, weavers and other artists across Oaxaca.

Visited August 2012
Thank nationalparkslover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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351 reviews from our community

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Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“great treasures saved”
Reviewed July 22, 2012

The artist Tamayo saved many objects to have on view for the public's enjoyment. Very nice museum.

Visited July 2012
Thank KCrabbclaws
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kutztown, PA
Level Contributor
44 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Prehistory, treated like fine art”
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.
Plattsburgh, New York
Level Contributor
328 reviews
126 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 276 helpful votes
“A World Class Collection of Pre-Columbian Art”
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.

Visited July 2012
Thank Grousedoctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Inspiring collection of pre-columbian art”
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.

Visited June 2012
Thank salsaretreat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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