Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to be independently wealthy and spend their life traveling around the world collecting art for their lavish Mexican mansion? If that option isn’t open to you, visit this museum – easily one of Cuernavaca’s best – and live vicariously. The one-time home of American artist and collector Robert Brady (1928–86), the museum, which is housed in the Casa de la Torre, is a wonderful place to spend time appreciating the exquisite taste of one person.
Originally part of the monastery within the Recinto de la Catedral, the house is a stunning testament to a man who knew what he liked. Brady lived in Cuernavaca for 24 years after a spell in Venice, never married or had children and has become a modern-day gay icon. His collections range from Papua New Guinea and India to Haiti and South America, and include personal photos with his pals.
Every room, including the two gorgeous bathrooms and kitchen, is bedecked in paintings, carvings, textiles, antiques and folk art from all corners of the Earth. Among the treasures are works by well-known Mexican artists, including Tamayo, Covarrubias and friends Rivera and Kahlo, as well as Brady’s own paintings (check out his spot-on portrait of his buddy Peggy Guggenheim). There is a bedroom dedicated to his friend Josephine Baker, the French-American actor and black civil-rights activist. The gardens are lovely too, with a very tempting (but off-limits) swimming pool in one of them and a little cafe in the other.
Classic and contemporary films are shown in the museum’s courtyard every Wednesday at 4pm and 6pm for a M$30 donation. Movies are in their original language with Spanish subtitles.
Guided tours are available by appointment for groups of up to 20 people for M$300.