Architecture, music, dancing and art all find their place within the vibrant city of Buenos Aires. Dance halls and city streets are part of the town's charm, but it's in the museums that travelers can gain a better perspective of the culture that so defines the region. There is a place that stands out as one of the best museums in Argentina, if not all of South America: the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires.
Halls rich with history
The MALBA, as abbreviated in Spanish, is a rich collection of art across the span of Latin America, from the northern border of Mexico to the Caribbean islands, and every Spanish-speaking country in the hemisphere down to Argentina.
Opened in 2001 as a showcase of businessman Eduardo Constantini's vast art collection, the museum boasts an edgy, abstracted modern architecture to house its treasures. The exterior of the building is a work of art in and of itself and worth consideration by people who choose to visit. Inside, however, visitors will find the real gems - modern and contemporary works from the likes of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Emilio Pettoruti and Pedro Figari. Surrealism, the modernist vanguard, pop art, conceptual art and minimalism all share space in the collection.
The wide breadth of the museum is a deliberate choice of curators, as the mission of the MALBA is to collect, preserve and share Latin American art of the past and current century. The depth of the collection makes a strong argument for this region's place in the pantheon of the world's great art. Yet, perusing the museum's hall also provides invaluable insight into the cultural trends and attitudes that permeated the lives of people throughout the years.
Exhibits worth a look
There are a number of highlights in the MALBA. One, according to Frommer's, is the comparison between European and Latin American art in the permanent collection, which demonstrates how movements either overlap, diverge, branch and borrow from one another over time. The museum also boasts a strong collection of Argentine art.
While the MALBA looks into the past, it also delves into the present, showcasing new exhibitions from artists both local and foreign. These exhibits may host retrospectives of established artists' careers or new works from up-and-coming photographers, painters, sculptors and multimedia artists.
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