Museum Cabañas: Hospicio Cabañas: Guadalajara, Mexico 17 June 2018

by Carene Lydia Lopez on July 3, 2018

The third event of my second day in Mexico with my friend meli, a cultural anthropologist doing her research in Mexico and based in Guadalajara. We visited Museum Cabañas in Hospicio Cabañas. The museum is best known for the murals by José Clemente Orozco. To read about the rest of my trip, go here.

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The building originally provided care and shelter to underprivileged children and the poor. It is another colonial-era building in the neoclassical style. There are 23 different sized courtyards inside. Bishop Juan Cruz Ruíz de Cabañas y Crespo opened the House of Charity and Mercy in 1810. It also served as a military barracks on and off and then was an orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity. Orozco painted the inside of the main chapel in 1937 at the invitation of the State of Jalisco. In 1980, the building became an art institute/museum (Instituto Cultural Cabañas).

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The murals depict two important periods in modern Mexican history – the Conquest and the Revolution in addition to homages to the Bishop and the Sisters.

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An interesting fact: Orozco lost his left hand when he was 21 years old.

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The two-headed horse, which was part of the murals, is one of the pieces in the children’s section of the museum, where you can play around with different parts of the murals.

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Other rooms house art by artists both old and new.

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And the best piece in there (other than the murals):

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There were more courtyards and more artwork but this is the point where my phone battery died and I could not take any more photos. The building alone is worth a visit. The art is icing on the cake.

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