Caracas Art Galleries

(Caracas, Miranda, Venezuela)

The art museums dominate the cultural scene in Caracas. There are a number of very nice galleries and museums dedicated to the canon of Venezuelan artistry that are well worth a visit. The Museo de Belles Artes is particularly comprehensive and diverse.

The large Plaza de los Museos compound at the Plaza Morales contains two of the best art museums in Caracas - the Museo de Belles Artes (Museum of Fine Arts) and the Galeria de Arte Nacional (National Art Gallery). Together they house a massive collection of Venezuelan art works spanning the full spectrum of periods and styles. In this one site you can browse fine art, modern masters, crafts and folk art from the colonial era to the present day. Outside the museums is a lovely sculpture garden connected to the Parque Los Caobos.

Set in a magnificent old colonial mansion is the interesting Museo de Arte Colonial (Museum of Colonial Art), which recreates room settings from the colonial period of Caracas. Original artefacts, furniture and decorations are all displayed, as well as copious paintings. The mansion's landscaped gardens are if anything, lovelier than the interiors. Occasional small chamber music performances and other concerts are held here.

Stay Art Centre (Centro de Arte La Estancia)

Address: Avenida Francisco de Miranda, Caracas, Venezuela, VE
Tel: +58 0212 507 8815
For a look at what contemporary Venezuelan artists are doing, stop by this impressive little venue. A continually rotating group of exhibits shows the latest work by a range of artists and styles. Many are from Caracas, but there are also collections by more far-flung Venezuelans. The surrounding gardens are beautifully manicured and a pleasure to explore after your time spent appreciating the regional pieces on display.
Open hours: Tuesday to Friday - 09:30 to 16:00, Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 16:00
Admission: free

Museum of Contemporary Art (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo)

Address: Avenida Bolivar, Parque Central, Caracas, Venezuela, VE
Tel: +58 0212 573 8289
Another decent art museum in Caracas, the 13 rooms of this place form something of a maze spread over several floors. The Museo de Arte Contemporaneo is located on the eastern side of the Parque Central and boasts a permanent collection with the works of Jesus Rafael Soto - one of the country's real stars, along with pieces by Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, Marc Chagall, Joan Miro and others. The rotating exhibitions include quality shows by established international artists, and there's a nice little sculpture garden outside as well. Close by is the East Tower (Torre Este) and some useful information outlets.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: free

Museum of Sacred Art (Museo Sacro)

Address: Plaza Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela, VE
Tel: +58 0212 861 6562
Located on the Plaza Bolivar, the Museo Sacro is to be found within a sympathetically renovated colonial building, constructed on the cemetery of the old cathedral. The religious art on display is quite modest, although much care and thought has been taken in what to display. Other highlights here include an old prison, where the remains of some notable Venezuelan church leaders reside, in sealed recessed areas. Look out for the regular recitals staged here throughout the year.
Open hours: Tuesday to Saturday - 09:00 to 16:00
Admission: free

Museum of Colonial Art (Museo de Arte Colonial)

Address: Quinta de Anauco, Avenida Panteon, Caracas, Venezuela, VE
Tel: +58 0212 551 4256
Highly regarded throughout Latin America is the Museum of Colonial Art, which is to be found within a grand late 18th-century mansion named the 'Quinta de Anauco', just off the Avenida Panteon and close to the Parque Anauco. Displaying many traditional paintings and noteworthy sculptures, this 'museo' is also very well-known for its beautiful gardens and seclusion. Interestingly, it was here where famous Venezuelan leader Simon Bolivar spent his last night in the city, attending a lavish ball in his honour.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 11:30, 14:00 to 16:30, Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for students

Museum of Fine Arts (Museo de Bellas Artes)

Address: Avenida Mexico, Parque Central, Caracas, Venezuela, VE
Tel: +58 0212 578 0275
Another of the Parque Central's many attractions, the Museo de Bellas Artes is one for the keen art aficionado. This is a spacious venue where exhibits are spread between two buildings, set over several storeys. In total there are just under 20 individual gallery spaces, with highlights including valuable Cubism paintings and exhibitions dedicated to Chinese and Egyptian art works. A small onsite shop specialises in modern art, while there is also a decent cafe and attractive gardens, complete with a pond and mature trees to shade beneath.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 17:00, Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

National Art Gallery (Galeria de Arte Nacional)

Address: Avenida Mexico, Parque Central, Caracas, Venezuela, VE
Tel: +58 0212 808 9615
Located alongside the Museo de Bellas Artes, the National Art Gallery opened as recently as 2009, after some ten troubled years of building work, and was certainly well worth the wait. Officially inaugurated by president Hugo Rafael Chávez Frias, this art museum holds a staggering collection numbering more than 7,000 pieces, spanning around 500 years. Inside you will discover that there is everything here from pre-Hispanic art to contemporary masterpieces. Some of the most highly regarded artists exhibited here include the likes of Arturo Michelena, Armando Reveron, Carlos Cruz Diez and Jesus Rafael Soto. After touring the paintings, you may well like to pop into the cafe or the museum shop, which sells prints, books and postcards.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 17:00, Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00
Admission: free