Mexico’s capital, Distrito Federal, or better known as Mexico City, is a teeming metropolis of intensity and innovation and is known for having the most museums in the world. Around 175 museums (141 registered by CONACULTA) are spread out in Mexico City and cater to a wide range of interests making the city a magnet for culture seekers, art connoisseurs, social and political devotees, and economic buffs.
This week, Mexico made the news for opening yet another museum — Museo Jumex. Supported by Grupo Jumex, a large fruit juice company in Mexico, this museum was designed by British architect David Chipperfield and will house select pieces of the private collection of Jumex’s founder, Eugenio Lopez Alonzo. The collection includes over 2,000 pieces of contemporary art from around the world, most of which come from after the peak of classic Modernism.
Chipperfield designed an ultra-modern building that stands out, incorporating local materials into its structure. He called it “an investment to a city and a gift that is quite extraordinary.” Los Angeles Times art critic, Christopher Knight, wrote in his article that ” The building is also deftly fitted to the cultural distinctiveness of this particular site. Several elements nod subtly in the direction of celebrated Mexican Modernist architects like Luis Barragán and Ricardo Legorreta.”
Ironically enough, it is built right next to another private collection of art — The Soumaya Museum, which comes from the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim. The Carlos Slim Foundation’s collection in Soumaya represents the great European masters, the artists of New Spain, and national (Mexican) treasures of varied centuries. Unlike Soumaya, which has free admission, Museo Jumex charges 30 pesos.
The new Jumex Museum is now the largest contemporary art space in Latin America. Mexico’s City Mayor, Miguel Angel Mancera, commented that “The addition of the Jumex Museum is an important one for Mexico City and its people, as it showcases emerging artists as well as iconic personalities of contemporary art.” For more information about the museum and current exhibits, visit http://fundacionjumex.org/.