The Museo Soumaya in Mexico City is a private museum owned by the Carlos Slim Foundation. It is best known for its modern, innovative architecture at the Plaza Carso location in Nuevo Polanco. The museum is named after the telecommunications mogul's late wife, Soumaya, who passed away in 1999.
The museum's collection holds over 66,000 pieces of art. The greatest part of the collection is made up of European art dating from the 15th to the 20th century, but it also contains Mexican art, religious relics, historical documents and coins.
Slim has said that the collection's emphasis on European art is to allow Mexicans who can not afford to travel with the opportunity to appreciate Europe's art.
The Soumaya has two locations, the original one is in the San Angel area of Mexico City, at Plaza Loreto, and the new location at Plaza CARSO (pictured). The newer location has distinctive modern design and was inaugurated in 2011. The museum at the original location remains open.
Plaza Carso Location:
Address: Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra No. 303, Colonia Ampliación Granada
Phone: +52 55 4976 0173 and 4976 0175
Getting There: Nearby metro stations include Río San Joaquín (Line 7), Polanco (Line 7) or San Cosme (Line 2).
Services: Besides the exhibition areas, the museum also houses a 350-seat auditorium, a library, offices, a restaurant, gift shop, and a multi-purpose lounge.
Plaza Loreto Location:
Address: Av. Revolución y Río Magdalena –eje 10 sur– Tizapán, San Ángel
Phone: +52 55 5616 3731 and 5616 3761
Getting There: Nearby metro stations include Miguel Ángel de Quevedo (Line 3), Copilco (Linea 3), Barranca del Muerto (Line 7), or on the Metrobus: Doctor Gálvez.
10:30 am to 6:30 pm daily. Plaza Loreto location closed on Tuesdays.
Entrance to the museum is free for all.
The distinctive architecture of the Soumaya Museum building at Plaza Carso is a major highlight. This six story building is covered with 16,000 hexagonal aluminum tiles.
The overall shape is amorphous though some have suggested it alludes to the shape of a woman's neck. The interior of the building is somewhat reminiscent of the Guggenheim Museum in New York: it is overwhelmingly white, with ramps leading visitors up to higher levels. Highlights of the collection include:
- The largest collection of Auguste Rodin sculptures outside of France
- Works by Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Joan Miró, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, and Claude Monet.
- The most expensive piece in the collection is da Vinci’s Madonna dei Fusi (Madonna of the Yarnwinder).
Official website: Soumaya Museum