TLDR? Casa Museo Maestro Pedro Nel Gomez is a museum that occupies the former home of the prestigious Colombian painter Pedro Nel Gomez.
The Museum sits perched on a small hill that is covered with foliage. It occupies several levels and multiple rooms. It has dozens of excellent paintings from the Colombian Maestro, many of which offer looks into the lives of everyday Colombians over the 20th Century.
So, are you ready to spend a day strolling through the museum? Keep reading for everything you need to know about spending the day here!
How To Get to The Museum
I would recommend getting to the Casa Museo via Cab or Uber. The museum is located at a distant point from the closest metro station. However, if you do want to take the metro, the closest station is Universidades on the A-line.
The walk from the metro does offer an opportunity to stroll down a pedestrian-friendly boulevard. The street passes by the botanical gardens of Medellin, another must-see in the city.
The gardens themselves are across the street from Parque Explora. Parque Explora includes a planetarium as well as a fossil exhibit. So, there’s an opportunity to check out several attractions in one trip if one takes the metro.
Once you have arrived at the Museo, the full tour can be done in approximately an hour or so. There is also the option to hang back and enjoy one of the libraries or seating areas.
A Distinguished Painter of Colombia
Pedro Nel Gomez Agudelo was a Colombian engineer, painter, and sculptor. He was one of his era’s most prominent and celebrated Latin American artists.
Gomez was a prolific creator. His frescoes and murals cover over 2,200 square meters of Colombian real estate – that’s a lot of painting!
The artist was born to humble beginnings in the small mountain village of Anori in Antioquia. He then headed to the metropolitan center of Medellin to study mining engineering. This was considered a practical pursuit at the time due to the prominence of the mining industry in the region.
However, the young man’s heart was enthralled with painting. A world traveler and thinker, Gomez spent years abroad studying the works of the Italian masters of fine arts. He settled in Florence in 1925 before returning to Colombia.
Gomez finished his career and life in Medellin. In his later years, he served as Director and Distinguished Professor of the fine arts academy of Medellin.
Walking Through the Personal Life of a Great Artist
The Museum is exhibited in the real former home of Gomez. The artist’s personal touch is felt from the moment you enter the building. This is partly because much of the artist’s furniture and personal possessions are still present in the exhibits!
I found the presence of the artist’s personal items to be quite touching. I felt that they added a dollop of comfort and friendliness to the already quite beautiful space.
It helped to enhance my understanding of Gomez’s style and tastes. It also created a sense of presence that made strolling about the halls all the more delightful.
The sense of his personality became that much more vivid due to the subject matter of some of Gomez’s paintings. Many of the paintings are of Gomez’s personal acquaintances, friends, and family members. This adds to the highly intimate atmosphere of the small museum.
Mexican Muralism, Colombian Spirit
Art historians tend to place Gomez under the umbrella of the Mexican Muralists. This is a school of painting that emerged in Latin America in the mid-20th century.
Some of the most prominent Mexican muralists include Diego Rivera, the former husband of Frida Kahlo, and Santiago Martinez Delgado from Colombia. The latter studied under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesen West.
Although art historians place Gomez with the Mexican Muralists, Gomez remains distinctly Colombian. His murals grace the facades of several prominent buildings in both Medellin and Bogota.
Gomez’s name also graces the names of several liberal arts schools in Medellin. This adds to his contributions to Colombian society and culture.
Libraries, Gardens and Theatres…Oh My!
The museum has an extensive collection of the artist’s paintings and his personal belongings. It also hosts a variety of other functions and attractions that make it appealing as a destination.
On the museum’s bottom floor is a small library containing information about Gomez. There is also a small exhibit describing his love for music. It contains a record player and a small organ.
The library also contains numerous books that relate to Gomez and his process. This includes analyses of other Latin American artists that he admired. It also includes the context of the intellectual environment of his time.
I found myself reading a small book describing the literary style of one of Gomez’s contemporaries. I was lounging in one of the comfortable bean bag chairs, entranced by the painter and the time that he lived in.
The museum also has a small auditorium that screens films, hosts lectures, and holds classes. I found the small theatre aesthetically aligned with the rest of the charming museum. It is big enough to lose oneself in the attractions for hours on end, yet small enough to feel intimate and personal.
Behind the building is a small nature area that includes an organic garden and a play area for children. It also has some fantastic views of the surrounding Antiochian mountains and scenery.
Preparing for a Trip to The Museum
Getting to the museum is fairly straightforward. The grounds and facilities are all quite comfortable. I would also recommend packing an extra bottle of water and snack since walking up and down the floors of the museum can be a bit strenuous.
I would also recommend bringing a notepad, a good book, and a couple of extra hours in tow. The pleasant museum grounds offer a relaxing space that allows one’s mind to wander.
It’s hard not to feel like Gomez himself would approve of such daydreaming on a sunny afternoon, as he considered material to use for his next great work of art.
Spend a Day Wandering Through a Unique Museum
The museum is a unique way to take in some Colombian culture. This should definitely be on your to-do list if you want to learn more about Medellín’s art scene.
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