Museo Diego Rivera: The most unusual in Mexico

Posted On January 1, 2011 

Do not think Museo Diego Rivera to be similar to the Museo Estudio Diego Rivera close to San Angel Inn, as it is perhaps the most extraordinary museum of its kind adorning the southern land of the Mexico City. Also known as the Anahuacalli Museum, the Museo Diego Rivera is in Coyoacán, which is also among the little known museums of the world. ‘Anahuacalli’ stands for ‘House of Mexico’ and this museum caters exactly to that by preserving the rich past of the state. The museum was obviously envisioned by the famous muralist Diego Rivera who later also gave it a shape of reality that we see today. This heroic artist was very much interested in Mexican culture due to which he could assemble a vast collection of pre-Hispanic items that are among the largest in the nation and are now housed in this typical Mexican edifice.

Still preserving the aspects of Teotihuacan as well as the Aztec architecture and mimicking a teocali meaning ‘house of energy’, this building of the museum reflect somewhat the shape of a pyramid, an ancient wonder for which not only Egypt, but also Mexico is famous worldwide. Designed in 1957 and completed after the Diego’s demise by his own daughter, the museum today houses articles of almost all native civilizations of the past here. Even today, Museo Diego Rivera is devoted to the builder’s works along with his vast assembly of pre-Columbian art. Made from pedregal that refers to the lava rock found in plenty in Mexico, the museum is planned as a site that aims at housing the different expressions of art in form of music, painting, dance, and theater all of which are within a structural pattern that is a quest for the spirit of Mexico during the rich pre-Columbian days.

Just before the Museo Diego Rivera, you will first come across a replica of a Toltec ball court after which you will see the entrance that refers to a coffin-shaped door. As you enter the museum, 23 rooms of display await you in a chronological order where countless items adorn the shelves, corners, and glass cases.

On the top, there exists an extensive collection of archaeological objects that are of the Mexican culture. From here, you can also indulge in the magnificent vistas of the flanking area via a viewpoint. In addition to this one at upstairs, be at the replica of Rivera’s studio where there are the actual sketches revealing some of Diego’s murals as well as two canvases. Among these, spot his first sketch that was of a train probingly made when he was just 3 as well as his photograph at work. Rivera born in 1886 and died in 1957 spent a majority part of his life as a true Marxist facing personal tragedies. But today, the museum’s plaque announces him as a genius and among the evergreen painters.

I would recommend to come here on November 2 when it celebrates the Day of the Dead, one of the most significant dates here. On this day, the traditional offering of deaths is devoted to Diego Rivera each year along with a chosen theme. Further, you also get a chance to see an assortment of artistic shows like dances, outdoor theater, and indigenous product sales. Throughout the year in the main plaza of Museo Diego Rivera, several activities like concerts, workshops, and exhibitions are held.


Tues-Sun – 10 am – 5 pm (all are guided)


Metro: Taxqueña to tren ligero to Xotepingo from where you must go in west


$45 including a free visit to the Frida Kahlo Museum within a month; free for children under 6 years and folks over 60

  • Cafeteria
  • Gift shop
  • Concerts, theater representations, and dance
  • Exhibition of documentary films per 60 minutes
  • Classes and workshops
  • Library
  • Free cultural events.

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