Joan Miró was a Catalan painter and sculptor born in Barcelona who combined abstract art with surrealism. He is considered one of the most influential painters in the world from the first half of the 20th century.
When you visit the Catalan capital, it’s difficult to miss the legacy that Miró left in the city. In fact, Miró’s work might be the first thing you see upon your arrival in Barcelona, since Airport Terminal 2 features a 50-meter mosaic that he designed. La Rambla includes one of his mosaics as well and the logo of the largest bank in Catalonia, La Caixa, which is visible on every corner, was also created by Miró.
Most visitors, however, tend to miss his museum, Fundació Joan Miró, founded in 1975 by the artist himself. Fundació Joan Miró is a cultural institution that contains Miró’s largest collection and, along with Gaudí’s buildings, should be part of any first-timer’s itinerary.
History of Fundació Joan Miró
Joan Miró dreamt of having a foundation which not only served as a regular museum where artists’ works could be displayed, but he also wanted to create a real art gallery of cutting edge art, where rising talents could be discovered and promoted. For its construction, the Barcelona Council offered Joan Miró the palace in the Old City, where the Picasso Museum is now, but, for such a new concept of a museum, he knew that his foundation had to be built in a brand-new emblematic building with its own personality.
For that, he sought the help of the renowned Catalan architect Josep Lluís Sert and, together, they designed an imposing building with Mediterranean features that is integrated perfectly in Montjuïc’s landscape. Today, the building of the Fundació Joan Miró is considered to be one of the finest examples of rationalist architecture in Barcelona.
Its opening provoked an unquestionable positive impact on Barcelona society, which perceived the museum as a new way of connecting with art and artists. Fundació Joan Miró quickly became one of the “art galleries” of reference in Spain and such was its growth that an extension had to be built in 1986.
Fundació Joan Miró Collection
Joan Miró was an extremely valued artist, so visitors should note that the greatest of his works are displayed in other parts of the world. From the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to the National Art Gallery in Washington DC and the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, Joan Miró is present in some of the top art galleries worldwide.
It is also important to mention that Joan Miró had many debts with Spain’s Treasury Department, debts which were paid off with some of his most valued works. Those works are displayed in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.
However, Fundació Joan Miró houses absolute masterpieces. The collection is composed of more than 200 paintings. Man and woman in front of a pile of excrement (1935), Morning Star (1940) and The gold of the azure (1967) are among his most significant paintings. In addition, there are more than 169 statues that had been unseen before being displayed here and over 8,000 drawings and sketches which are essential to understand Miró’s work.
Besides Miró’s works, the collection also includes works from the American artist Alexander Calder, like the Mercury Fountain (1937). Antoni Tàpies, one of the most important Catalan artists from the era, has some of his works displayed at the foundation, as well.
Fundació Joan Miró tickets
A general admission ticket costs 13€, which includes the permanent collection and access to the temporary exhibition. It is also possible to book a separate ticket for the temporary exhibition only, which costs 7€. Guided tours cost 20€.
Tickets for the Fundació Joan Miró can be booked online through the official website.
Fundació Joan Miró for kids
With his fantasy allegories and colorful shapes and patterns, the work of Joan Miró has always attracted the youngest generation as well, which is why the foundation is known for organizing activities for kids. Most of them are only available in either Catalan or Spanish, but they do organize some in English, like Miró Universe. In this play, the actors represent the landscape of a certain painting with movement, sounds and shadows, while kids also learn about Miró’s world.
You can find out the latest activities on their official website as well.
How to get to Fundació Joan Miró
Fundació Joan Miró is located in Parc de Montjuïc. The easiest way to get there is by taking the metro to Paral.lel (Line 3), from where you can take the funicular to the upper part of the park. For a more epic arrival, you can also take the cable car that departs from La Barceloneta and drops you off right next to the foundation.
Restaurants in Fundació Joan Miró
Inside the foundation, there is one restaurant-bar with a garden and great city views. They serve traditional Spanish and Catalan dishes with a slight modern touch. It’s actually not bad for a museum, but we also recommend exploring Montjuïc and looking for Terraza Martínez, a restaurant serving one of the best paellas in town. It’s always packed with locals, so do book in advance. If you want to have some drinks in a relaxed atmosphere, go to Caseta del Migdia.