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Cool Art at the Diego Rivera Museum in Guanajuato

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 terrific movie project “Frida” (in which Hayek also starred).

We’re talking about Diego Rivera.

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.

Visiting the Diego Rivera Museum is one of the best things to do in Guanajuato
Visiting the Diego Rivera Museum is one of the best things to do in Guanajuato

Quick art history quiz:

Who are the other two great Mexican muralists?

  • Jose Clemente Orozco
  • Diego Alfaro Siqueros 

Diego Rivera Museum, Guanajuato

Rivera was born in Guanajuato, one of Mexico’s most charming colonial towns.

There are several excellent museums in Guanajuato. Perhaps the most famous is the macabre Mummy Museum, displaying over 100 mummies. 

The home where Rivera was born is also open to the public as a museum.

And if you’re an art lover, visiting the museum is one of the best things to do in Guanajuato.

A fountain sits in an atrium courtyard in the center of the Diego Rivera House Museum
A fountain sits in an atrium courtyard in the center of the Diego Rivera House Museum

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 Rivera was born in.

Diego Rivera Museum, Guanajuato
A bedroom in Diego’s house

Art on display at the Diego Rivera House Museum

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

We love this painting by Ecuadorian realist and visionary painter Santiago Carbonnell in the Diego Rivera Museum, Guanajuato.
We love this painting by Ecuadorian realist and visionary painter Santiago Carbonnell

There’s even a black-and-white nude sketch of Rivera’s lover and wife, Frida.

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

The modern new art gallery connected to the Diego Rivera Museum
The modern new art gallery connected to the Diego Rivera Museum

A collection of imaginative works by contemporary Mexican artists, found in a new glass and stone building connected to Rivera’s birth home, is an additional treat.

(We were unable to take photos of Rivera’s art works, but we could snap photos of other artists’ pieces.)

Painting on display at the Diego Rivera Museum, Guanajuato
Another painting 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 (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…

Singing cowboy by the Teatro Juarez in Guanajuato, Mexico
Our singing cowboy by the Teatro Juarez

Museo Casa Diego Rivera

Hours:

Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm

Location:

Positos 47, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato

More information:

See the museum website (in Spanish)

Where to stay in Guanajuato?

We loved the old-world elegance at Quinta Las Acacias (see our review).

Get the Mexico art books

See these books on Mexico art, muralism and Diego Rivera, available on Amazon. (Just so you know, as an Amazon associate, we earn from qualifying purchases).

Experience more of Mexico!

Cozumel | Which is better? Cozumel vs Cancun? (Hint: If you’re an avid scuba diver, pick Cozumel.)

Zihuatanejo | For a great beach vacay, see the best beaches in Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa.

Mexico City | Spending three days in Mexico City? You’ll want to see this helpful itinerary covering the best museums, attractions and restaurants in the fabulous capital.

Planning your next trip?

See the following helpful services:

Our Travel Resources Guide | Get airline booking tips. Discover great travel and tour companies. And find crazy useful trip planning info!

Booking.com | Score a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one.

GetYourGuide | Check out the best local guided tours and book skip-the-line tickets to attractions.

Discover Cars | Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.

World Nomads | World Nomads travel insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, with coverage for more than 150 activities, as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.

Our Travel Shop | Find the best travel gear. We suggest these comfy travel sandals for city walking, the beach and kicking about.

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Diego Rivera Museum, Guanajuato

Photo credits: © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase (except #1 by David Ludwig)


About the authors:

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!

Valen

Thursday 19th of June 2014

Wow! Your photos are great and you've really captured the feeling of being there. I am sad now that I didn't make it to this museum when I was so close.

Becky Padmore

Saturday 7th of June 2014

Oh wow I love this kind of stuff, if I find a contemporary art gallery in a city I'm there! :-)

Agness

Friday 23rd of May 2014

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.

Michelle

Wednesday 7th of May 2014

What an interesting character Diego was. Looks like a great museum. Your photos are fabulous!

Susan Moore

Tuesday 6th of May 2014

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.