Centro Cultural Mexiquense
Centro Cultural Mexiquense information
Lonely Planet review
This large cultural center, 4.5km west of the city center, houses three good museums (which all keep the same hours). It’s no must-see but still a worthwhile diversion for visitors interested in local arts and crafts, local archaeology and modern art.
To get here it’s easiest to take one of the plentiful colectivos from outside the Mercado Juárez – just look for ‘Centro Cultural’ on its destination board. The circuitous ride takes 20 minutes. Get off by the large grass roundabout near the Monterrey University Toluca Campus, cross to the opposite side and the museum complex is through the gate and down the road. From downtown you can take a cab (M$40).
The Museo de Culturas Populares has a wonderfully varied collection of Mexico’s traditional arts and crafts, with some astounding ‘trees of life’ from Metepec, whimsical Day of the Dead figures and a fine display of charro (cowboy) gear. There are also mosaics, traditional rugs, a loft and a gift shop.
The Museo de Arte Moderno traces the development of Mexican art from the late-19th-century Academia de San Carlos to the Nueva Plástica and includes paintings by Tamayo, Orozco and many others. There’s an impressive spherical mural of people fighting against slavery, which makes up part of the building itself, as well as more recent exhibits with some challenging pieces of contemporary art.
The Museo de Antropología e História is the standout museum, and presents exhibits on the state’s history from prehistoric times to the 20th century, with a good collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts. It also traces pre-Hispanic cultural influences up to the modern day in tools, clothing, textiles and religion. Sadly nearly all the labels are only in Spanish.