It’s all change on the city’s museum scene this month. Opening across the road from the Picasso Museum on Carrer Montcada, is the Museu de Cultures del Món. This new addition to the city’s cultural scene is housed in the 14th-century Palau Nadal and the 13th-century Palau de Marquès de Llió, formerly home to the Museu Téxtil (whose collection has been moved to the new Museu del Disseny at the Disseny Hub). The collection is mostly composed of holdings from the Ethnological Museum of Barcelona and a collection owned by the Folch Foundation, on loan to Barcelona City Council for 20 years. The Folch Foundation was created in 1975 to manage the non-European art collection made by businessman Albert Folch during his trips to different parts of the world. Comprising 2,350 objects, it is the biggest and most important non-European art collection in Catalunya.
The MCM aims not only to preserve this rich patrimony, but to enable the public to engage with the artistic heritages of the many and diverse cultures of Africa, Asia, South and Central America and Oceania. As well as its permanent and temporary exhibitions, the museum will offer guided tours, lectures, courses and educational workshops on cultural diversity.
With over 30,000 pieces, there’s a staggering amount to see here. The permanent exhibition starts with an impressive collection of West and Central African 19th and 20th-century art, comprised mostly of ceremonial masks, representing many different peoples, including the Fang, Dogon, Yoruba, Senufo and Pende among others. There is a diverse collection of Asian works, from Buddhist images from Gandhara to Hindu sculptures from India, and Japanese and Tibetan art. In the Americas section, you can expect to see many pre-Columbian pieces, plus Mayan ceremonial axes, Nazca ceramics and fabrics from Chimu. The collection gives an insight into the cultures of Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The Oceania section is centred around a set of pieces acquired on expeditions by the Ethnological Museum of Barcelona and the Folch Foundation to New Guinea and Australia. It includes many examples of 19th- and 20th-century Oceanic art, from the ancient cave sculptures of the Karawari River, to bark paintings from Australia.
With such a stunning collection and two medieval palaces to call home, it’s hard to see how this museum can go wrong, inviting visitors to travel, both through time and across the globe, in just an afternoon.
Opening: February 7th, 4pm. Free entry until February 28th.
Click here for more information.