Museo de Arte de Ponce (Map)
Lonely Planet review for Museo de Arte de Ponce (Map)
With an expertly presented collection, this commanding art museum is the vibrant heart of the city’s artistic community, easily among the best fine-arts centers in the Caribbean and itself worth the trip from San Juan. Set across from Universidad Católica, about 10 blocks to the south of Plaza Las Delicias, the museum’s expertly curated collection – some 850 paintings, 800 sculptures and 500 prints – represents five centuries of Western art that was donated in large part by former governor Luis Ferré. While typical museum etiquette applies, the intimate spaces are loaded with works presented in a fully bilingual manner, and visitors can get up close and personal to take in every brush stroke. The building’s blanched edifice, winged central stair and hexagonal galleries are the masterwork of architect Edward Durell Stone, who created Washington DC’s Kennedy Center. The exceptional pre-Raphaelite and Italian baroque collections are offset by impressive installations and special exhibits (which usually cost a nominal extra fee). Lord Leighton’s erotic Flaming June is the museum’s sensual showpiece.