Cool art at Diego Rivera Museum in Guanajuato

In CULTURE by Janice and George15 Comments

Diego Rivera Museum

His tempestuous affair and marriages with fellow artist Frida Kahlo, scandalous lifestyle and controversial communist politics are all reflected in many of his paintings. They were also immortalized in Selma Hayek’s movie project “Frida” (in which she also starred).

But today, Diego Rivera is also celebrated and revered in his homeland as one of Mexico’s foremost 20th century artists – perhaps the best-known member of its trio of great muralists.

Quick art history quiz:

Who are the other two great Mexican muralists?

  • Jose Clemente Orozco
  • Diego Alfaro Siqueros 

Diego’s birthplace in Guanajuato

Diego was born in Guanajuato, one of Mexico’s most charming colonial towns. Guanajuato has several excellent museums (including the famous Mummy Museum with over 100 mummies). The home where Diego was born is also open to the public as a museum. And if you’re an art lover, it’s a must to visit.

In typical style, the tall narrow house has a central courtyard and fountain. Its first floor rooms feature furnishings of that era, including the brass bed Diego was born in.

Diego Rivera Museum Guanajuato - fountain

A fountain sits in an atrium courtyard in the center of Diego’s house

A bedroom in Diego's house

A bedroom in Diego’s house

Art on display at the Diego Rivera Museum Guanajuato

Over 175 original water colors, sketches of his murals and oil paintings are on display on the upper floors.

There’s even a black-and-white nude sketch of Diego’s lover Frida.

They represent various stages of his artistic life, including his Cubism training.

A collection of imaginative works by contemporary Mexican artists, found in a new glass and stone building connected to Diego’s birth home, is an additional treat. (We were unable to take photos of Diego’s art works, but we could snap photos of other artists’ pieces.)

We love this painting by Ecuadorian realist and visionary painter Santiago Carbonnell

We love this painting by Ecuadorian realist and visionary painter Santiago Carbonnell

Diego Rivera Museum Guanajuato

Gallery showing the works of other talented artists

Diego Rivera Museum Guanajuato

The modern new art gallery connected to the Diego Rivera Museum

Diego Rivera Museum Guanajuato

More art on display at the Diego Rivera Museum Guanajuato

Coffee after… and a singing cowboy!

After we visited the Diego Rivera Museum, we stopped at an outdoor café by the ornate Juarez Theater (or Teatro Juarez) – another must-see site in Guanajuato.

As we sipped our drinks – limonade for Janice (made from fresh-squeezed lemon juice and soda water) and cappuccino for George – we were serenaded by an senior singing cowboy strumming his guitar.

For a tip of course…

Our singing cowboy

Our singing cowboy

Lead image by David Ludwig; all other photos are © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase

What art galleries and museums have you enjoyed visiting on your travels?


  1. Agness

    I’m a huge art freak so I would definitely go there. I used to paint myself when I was 18 so some of these pictures bring back great memories from my art class.

  2. I’ve been wanting to visit Guanajuato for some time now, thanks for giving me yet another reason to go. Visiting art galleries is a big part of the travel experience for me.

  3. Missed Guanajuato when I was in San Miguel, now I really want to go back! What a talent Diego Rivera was, I didn’t realize he was born there. Now have to find out where you stayed and visit the other posts of your time there!

  4. I’ve only been to Guanajuato once but just loved it. This museum looks fascinating and very well done. Thanks for the scoop – I hope to return there one of these days and will definitely check out the museum.

  5. I was familiar with his work, but never knew about the museum! Love the photo of the man with the guitar, so real, so authentic! My most recent favorite museum is the newly reopened Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam!

  6. This looks like a great museum to visit. I feel like kicking myself because we passed it and didn’t have time to go in! Love the photography~

  7. Agness

    I am a big fan of museums and art galleries and I’m already in love with this one as well. So classic! Adding it to my bucket list. Was the entrance free?

  8. We’re living in San Miguel de Allende for the next 3 months, hoping to make a few visits to Guanajuato so will add this museum to our list of things to see whilst there.

  9. I haven’t been to Guanajuato. I love reading all your Mexico posts, because I’ve just got to get back there pretty soon!

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